Your campus days are an experience like no other but there are some things no-one tells you!
With the wisdom of experience, here's what we wish we knew before we started...
Stress less, you’re sorted
Once you’ve accepted your offer you can relax! Enjoy your summer knowing you have done it. You’ve finished high school, you’ve received a great offer and you have done all the right things to get accepted.
It might feel like your whole future is being dictated by how you did at school and who you were then, but it really means very little in the uni scheme of things. The past is done. From now it’s all about your future.
And now it really is YOUR future. Your choices.
In a way, everything that happens after you receive your Letter of Acceptance resets your life and is an opportunity to thrive and excel in something you really care about.
‘Friend’ us before you even start
A great way to learn what uni life is like is to connect on social media even before you start. You can see what’s happening on campus and you might even make some online friends before you begin!
Follow the ICMS Instagram and Facebook pages. You might also think about getting a head-start on your career gaols by setting up your LinkedIn profile and interacting with your uni there too.
Get amongst it at O-Week
When O-Week begins, it means a new batch of first years are about to start their studies. Forget what you’ve learnt about starting uni from clichéd US college movies. In reality, everyone starts off a little nervous and unsure of what they are supposed to be doing.
So, come along to as many O-week events as you can and make it your aim to meet at least three new people at each event. For example, if you are standing in a queue take the opportunity to chat to the person next to you. Ask them about what degree they are studying and where they are from. If they are from a different country realise that this might be their first time away from their family and if you are local they will be so grateful for a warm welcome to Australia.
At the O-week commencement ceremony and cocktail party take it all in and be aware that this is a key moment of your life – one that you will remember for years to come – so make the most of it.
Have fun. Meet people. Be open and friendly and you'll find that you get back what you give out.
Even though you’ll only be at uni for a couple of days a week you still need to work hard. You’ll have assignments and assessments which will help to see how you are going. Not all unis offer support services like ICMS. If you are lucky enought to have access to these services, make sure you use them if you feel you need them.
At ICMS we WANT you to succeed. With the smaller classes at ICMS your lecturers will pick up if you are being challenged with any aspects of your studies and will suggest you seek extra support. It might be something as simple as learning proper referencing techniques or it could be help with maths, English language skills or even just general wellness. If you are happy at uni and getting the appropriate support when you need it, you will succeed.
Expand your friendships
Remember that whilst maintaining your high school friendships is great, we can sometimes rely on our established friendships at the cost of forming new ones.
There are heaps of clubs and sports what you can get involved in at uni. This is where you will meet likeminded people and develop those friendships that will last a lifetime. At O-Week you’ll have a chance to walk around and sign up for anything that sparks your interest. And if the club you were hoping to join doesn’t yet exist, then start one!
Finding new and interesting people to introduce to your existing friends could also have other benefits that go beyond socialising, like establishing the foundation for a strong professional network.
Go out and get some real-world industry experience
Of course, your formal coursework is important, but so is engaging with it in more practical way helps you understand it better.
At ICMS you will have plenty of opportunity to engage with industry professionals. Take all those opportunities and speak to people, make a great impression when you do your Work Integrated Learning subjects (internship), shadow people with jobs you’d like to do, create side projects and some volunteering. These are experiences that will help you to make the most of your theoretical coursework.
Work a bit too
Working while studying can be very demanding but any work experience is better than none. It’ll help you learn how to balance responsibilities, how to be independent and it gave you a different perspective.
Just make sure that earning an income doesn’t come at the expense of your studies as long term you earn more throughout your life when you have a degree! And if it all gets too much remember that you do not have to study full-time. As a domestic student, you have the opportunity to tailor your study load and can be flexible in when you study!
Uni will teach you the theory and skills necessary for a job, but it's so much more than that. It's a time for growth, making lifelong friends from around the world, and having the best years of your life.
Make the most of it, study hard, embrace all the opportunities presented to you and most of all --- enjoy it.