For most year 12 students, university life is a total unknown, so we asked UOW students about the biggest myths they busted during their first year at university.
“YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN”
You’re an adult, so at uni you’ll be treated like one. And while that means there’s no one checking you’ve started that assignment every 5 minutes, as Hannah Woods found out, you’re not on your own. “The biggest thing that surprised me about UOW is how welcoming and personal the experience is. When you are at high school, careers advisors warn you that university lecturers don’t care who you are. I had prepared myself for the cold shoulder responses but instead I have had nothing but welcoming and positive experiences.”
“IF YOU DON’T HAVE A GAP YEAR NOW – YOU’LL NEVER TRAVEL”
The HSC is nearly over and you’re keen to see the world. But going to uni doesn’t mean you’re stuck in the one place. As a Wollongong local, Hayden Wilkinson wanted new experiences so he joined the 600+ UOW students that study overseas every year, and found that study and travel can go hand in hand. “Going on exchange changed my life. I went over to Ireland thinking I’d just study and come home. What I ended up doing was travelling to 14 countries in 6 months for university field trips and for fun.”
“YOU’LL HAVE NO FRIENDS”
Choosing to move away from your family and friends to study at uni is a big deal, and while you may have to leave your hometown behind, Mia Donaldson found she gained so much more. “Moving to Wollongong was a big change, but I didn’t lose anything. I gained so many new friends from all parts of the world and the increased independence has opened up a world of new experiences.”
“Ps GET DEGREES”
It’s true: a pass mark in every subject will earn you a degree. So, why do more than you have to? If you ask Campbell Jirgens, it could be the difference between a foot in the door, and kicking it in to score that first job. “The more I’m putting in to my studies, the more I learn and the more I’m getting out of it. I know that once I have completed my UOW degree, I’ll have the tools I need to go anywhere.” Plus, a credit average (65% plus) opens doors while you’re at uni, giving you opportunities to study overseas, or specialise in a study area by doing an honours year or postgraduate study.
“MAKE SURE YOU USE ALL YOUR ATAR POINTS – YOU EARNED THEM.”
A great ATAR shows you’ve got what it takes to work hard. But it’s not always an indicator of success at uni. Those who choose a course they’re passionate about are more likely to do better than those with a high ATAR and no interest in the course they’ve chosen. That’s why Claire Lane followed her passion for early childhood teaching not her ATAR. “I heard the idea that I should do more with my ATAR, but mum always said, ‘There’s no point doing something if you don’t love it. You’ll hate going to work in the morning.’ ”
“WOLLONGONG IS TOO FAR AWAY”
Being just over an hour south of Sydney, UOW is world-class, not a world away. For commuters the leafy campus is only 45 minutes from Campbelltown and 40 minutes from Sutherland. Victoria Lee loves her car and any drive where you don’t have to deal with Sydney traffic. “I’m from Harrington Park in the Macarthur area. It takes me about an hour to get to uni. It’s good because I’m going against the traffic the whole time.”
WATCH: Victoria Lee's UOW story...
“ALL UNI STUDENTS ARE POOR”
For most, university isn’t the life of the rich and famous. So when every dollar counts, it’s good to know that Wollongong is an affordable university city set up for student life. The free ‘city loop’ shuttle buses link UOW with the city centre shopping district and trains, while UOW’s CareerHub can help you join the 52% of 18-29 year olds who combine studying with either part time or full time work.1
“UOW DUCKS WILL STEAL YOUR LUNCH”
OK, if you don’t guard your lunch carefully, this one is true.
1. 2015 Future Leaders Index White Paper 1