How to triumph in your first year at uni

Starting university can be as daunting as it is fun.

The University of Wollongong (UOW) has plenty of ways to help you transition into uni life and navigate your first year like a pro.

Download the apps

Student holding a phone with lost on campus app open

Whether it’s your first year at uni or your first year on campus, getting lost is almost guaranteed. That’s where the Lost On Campus app comes in! It’s the most detailed interactive campus map. It works across multiple UOW locations and can tell you everything you need to know; from how to get to your next class, to where the nearest vending machine is.

Traveling to and from campus also has its difficulties if you’re new to the area. Luckily, there are apps that can make your journey just a little bit easier. UOW Parking is a great resource to stop you from driving around campus looking for a spot, sending live updates straight to your phone. Travelling by bus? UOW Shuttle lays out the routes and timetable for the shuttle bus to minimise waiting around.


Explore the resource hubs

Lounge booth seats with table and TV in library

The library is my number one place to go when I find myself in the deep end with assignments. There’s computer and internet access, group study rooms and quiet areas, so you can really focus on your assignments.

The UOW Library website tabs like 'Subject Readings' and ‘Referencing’ are my go-to for managing and staying on top of coursework. Exploring the on-campus spaces can be beneficial too. The print lab has never failed me and booking a meeting room is the best way to kick start group projects.

The Learning Co-Op can also be accessed through the library website and is filled with guides for formatting assessment tasks, research strategies, and tips to smash any upcoming exams. If you’re still stuck, don’t stress, there are also options for one-on-one chats with peer coaches and academic consultations. For something more subject specific, check out Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). These are study sessions run by high achieving students who have completed that subject. You can check online to see if there are any sessions for your classes.

Student Support Services is the place to go if you’re feeling overwhelmed. They can provide you with numerous UOW contacts including financial assistance, disability services, career resources, and several others to help you better settle into life at uni.


Connect with community

Students surrounding a table for the Quidditch Club

University is a great time to connect with likeminded people and make new friends. Perhaps the most valuable community you can have on or off campus is with your classmates. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your classmates – remember you are all in a new place together. Use social media to create a digital space where you can share resources, share memes, and build connections.

Connecting with a club or society is another way you can make friends on campus. Just by browsing the more than 120 clubs and societies that make their home with UniLife, you can find a crowd that suits your interests. You can also tune into the UOW UniLife app to keep up to date with a variety of buzzing on campus events. Grab your mates for a carefree night at Unibar or stretch out at Bend & Snack (guided yoga).

Getting involved on campus is a brilliant way to give back to the community while building new connections. UOWx provides ample opportunities to meet new people and hone your skills through their variety of co-curricular activities. You could try your hand at volunteering with Pulse, the heartbeat of the community.

Pulse has five unique volunteering areas: events and entertainment, wellness, environment and sustainability, sports and recreation, and community. Whatever your interests, UOW Pulse has plenty of opportunities to follow your passions and join an active community.

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