5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Uni

Quadrangle - The University of Sydney

The transition into university can be tough. Whether you are coming straight out of high school, had a gap year or are an international student. Here is a list of 5 important things to help you through your studies!

  1. Textbooks are EXPENSIVE! But there are so many options:
    • Students sometimes end up spending thousands and thousands of dollars on textbooks, but StudentVIP is a website that allows for past students to sell their used textbooks at discounted prices. It’s a win-win for both parties.
  2. Resources from the library are (almost) endless:
    • Libraries are magical places. But more often than not, their resources are wasted on people who don’t know how to properly utilise them. Going to the library information session at the start of the semester, or even walking in and asking the librarian for a quick how-to can be the difference between a grade boundary or two!

      Fisher Library – The University of Sydney
  3. Clubs and Societies are the core aspects of student life:
    • Universities have myriads of clubs and societies to choose from – with their focuses ranging from language and faculty to societies, to performing arts and food ones, as well as sport and culture-oriented groups. They usually host multiple social events a semester, with some of them throwing end-of-the-year balls too. Engaging with them is a great way to meet like-minded people and boost your social life.

      Welcome Week Festival – University of Sydney
  4. Make use of student hubs:
    • They provide support to students who require a little extra help in areas like essay writing, finding the right resources, how to properly cite academic sources. Students hubs can also act as information centres, and lead you to people like career counsellors or degree planners who can help you sail smoothly across the murky waters of higher education.

      Students receiving advice from a mentor
  5. Plagiarism – Don’t do it! Unless you want to get caught, because you will.
    • Each assignment gets scanned by TurnItIn, a software that detects plagiarism and any uncredited work,
 upon submission. Plagiarised work will be flagged and then begins the lengthy process of clearing your name. So trust us, it’s not worth it!
A thief stealing another student’s idea


Studying at The University of Sydney is fun and exciting! You’ll be here for 3 – 4 years, so make the most out of your time!


AUTHORS: Shania O’Brien, Jeanny Hen, Xingyi Jing, Vicky Song