So, you’re heading off to university. Where to begin, right?

Don’t stress! We’ve compiled a checklist of essential items that’ll help make your transition to first year a breeze.

Read on for the 10 things in our Uni Survival Kit:

© admin admin

What’s in your uni survival kit?

1. A STUDY SCHEDULE

You know those nightmares where you’re running late for class but you don’t know where it is? Then you walk in late and everyone’s staring at you, and you realise it’s because you wore pyjama pants and your old school jumper in your rush? Don’t be that person.

Once uni starts, sorting out your study schedule and keeping a copy of it close at hand is your first order of business. (Tip: the sooner you lock this down, the more likely you’ll get your preferred class times. That way, you won’t get stuck with the dreaded early morning tutorial every day of the week.)

2. O-WEEK OPENER

© sitaliano@swin.edu.au sitaliano@swin.edu.au

O-Week is a great time to get those questions answered, meet new people or join a club.

Whether it’s the classic Princess Bride name badge* or a sandwich board saying “If lost, return to…” – you can’t beat a good opener to break the ice during Orientation Week. 

While it may be tempting to write it off as a free extra week of holidays, O-Week is the time to get your bearings, buy your textbooks, stake out your library spot and chat to studentHQ about any questions you have. And yes – it’s also the time to suss out your fellow first years and find people with the same sense of humour as you.

You might even discover a club you want to join – there are over 70 at Swinburne, and it’s a great way to make some close friends in your first year. (O-Week… More like O-Strong, right? Anyone?)

3. REUSABLE COFFEE CUP

You’re going to be drinking a lot of coffee; be kind to the environment. (Most places will give you a discount for bringing your own cup, too – cha-ching!

Got questions on studying in Semester 1? Come to our Hawthorn Info Evening on 23 January to get them answered. One less stress? Tick!

4. SPARE PHONE CHARGER 

We all know the stress of getting to 3pm and having to play Russian roulette with what you can do on your remaining phone battery. A spare phone charger in your bag will be a lifesaver.

5. A CHEAP EATS SPOT

© sitaliano@swin.edu.au sitaliano@swin.edu.au

Go forth and find that cheap eats mecca, fellow pilgrims.

In an ideal world, you’d save big bucks by bringing food to uni every day. In reality, you’re probably going to need to know where you can get a cheap and cheerful meal close to campus.

The great news is Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus is located right on Glenferrie Road, a haven of delicious cheap eats under $10. Our top tip?Explore the alleyways by Glenferrie Station (or even better: find a second year student, and demand to know their food secrets. Nicely.)

6. A STUDY BUDDY

© sitaliano@swin.edu.au sitaliano@swin.edu.au

The study buddy: part-student, part-counsellor.

Having someone to study with is great; having someone to vent with and support you through your course is essential. Get thee to a study buddy. (Don’t know anyone in your course? Introduce yourself to someone in your tutorial – chances are, they’re just as keen as you to have a friendly face to bounce ideas off.)

7. THE COOKING BASICS

If you’re heading off to uni accommodation or share-housing, knowing how to throw something quick and tasty together will be essential. We’re talking spag bol, stir fries, how to boil an egg. (Yes, we know – 2-minute noodles and sriracha is a great combo. You’re a genius. But don’t eat it every night.)

8. AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE COUNSELLOR

Uni can be stressful, and looking after your mental health is really important. Make use of the free counselling support on campus – and talk to them about the little things, before they become big things. Check out the health and wellbeing support available to you at Swinburne here.

9. AN OPEN MIND

© admin admin

Have an open mind about what you study at uni – and follow your interests.

Students starting their first year can feel under a lot of pressure to get university “right” – the right course, the right career, the right etcetera.

Here’s the thing about uni. You can’t know in advance which courses you’ll love, who will inspire you, what interests you’ll pursue. Take an open mind with you. You might just find that where you end up is not where you set out to go (and that sometimes, it’s even better).

10. IF YOU’RE STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY, TALK TO US

Studying is hard enough without having money stress on top of it. If you find you’re struggling to make ends meet once you start uni, you can apply for a grant for things like books, food or travel. There’s also a foodbank on every Swinburne campus if you can’t afford groceries – it’s free and you don’t need an appointment. Find out more about the financial support available at Hawthorn here.

Got all that sorted? Nailing it!

Now all that’s left to do is come to our Swinburne Info Evening to get all your course questions answered! We’ll just leave this register button here…