Wasss gooood guys!? Kia ora and welcome to my first ever blog post! After thinking back to the dark days of Year 13, (Jk, it was dandy) I remembered how I feared what University would be like in comparison to High School (or if they were even comparable in the first place). So I thought: why not write about it, from my point of view as a fresh first year, for all those who are feeling the same? So if you’re a worry-wart just as I was, this one is for you! xx
The Caaaraazyy workload
I’m not going to lie, the workload at University does slap you in the face pretty quick – especially if you’re doing first year Health Science or Biomed. It’s much different to your gentle welcome back into the school year, from teachers you’ve known and have been trying to avoid for the last six years – it is some heavy stuff. You’re not given a simple worksheet to test your stale knowledge from the the year before, instead you’re given quizzes for pre-readings which are attached to post-readings that link to modules that have questions about past-readings that relate to your pre-lab readings. All in all, THERE IS A TONNE OF READING (I’m joking, but I’m also very serious. #prayforme).
Throughout lectures, you’re also getting stuff thrown at you 100 miles an hour; and yes, you’re most definitely expected to have efficient brain-coordination in order to catch info like your mind is Richie McCaw. Sadly my days (and eventually yours) of zoning out in class and staring aimlessly at the board, waiting for the day’s lesson to pass into me via osmosis, are completely over.
I’m sure you’ve heard this all before though, from teachers, career-advisors and the like, but trust me there is a silver lining. It doesn’t lead to rainbows, but it does lead us to my next point.
You’re learning what you want to learn
Learning at University is actually exciting and fun! (yes fun, it’s not a typo) Whether you’re going to do a BA, BHSc, BMus, BCom or a B-random-papers-you-just-chose, you’re doing it on your own terms and hopefully you’ve decided on your course based on a passion or interest that is entirely personalised to you. Working ain’t hard if you’re digging it. Sure the workload is slightly crazy, but how exciting is it to know that instead of doing the dark voids that are Maths Internals, you’re studying and engaging in things that you love. So remember that slap in the face I talked about earlier? It’s a slap in the face with glitter, chicken nuggets and all things great. The workload is insane, but what you’re learning is insanely good!
Your time, is shine time
Another piece of intel about University that most people hear, is that you become independent and responsible for your own learning. This is certainly true, and it became evident to me on my first day of lectures. After three hours worth of actual class time, I was pushed out the door to twiddle my thumbs and think of what to do with the remaining nine hours of the day. But like the heading says, your time, is shine time. You’re given mountains of work, and as soon as the last lecture slide flicks off the screen, you’re free to learn and absorb it all however you like. As a low-key nerd that doesn’t mind a good ole study session, this is a new and exciting thing that I am keen to embrace with open arms. Unlike school, where you’re guided through learning new concepts, at University, the world of study techniques is your oyster. Whether you like to rap your notes in the shower, relate each word to a body movement, or you just like the classic pen and paper, University seems to be the place for it.
University Culture is AMAZING
Last but not least, the great existence that is the culture of University life, is much different from High School. To me, the last year of High School was a lot about fitting into different roles – whether it be prefect, a social enthusiast, a community giver, a focused student, or a sports goer – there was an expectation as a Year 13 student to fulfil so many things. However, now as a student at the University of Auckland, that has just finished her first ever week in a tertiary environment, I feel as if the only role that I have to fill, is the role of being the best version of myself. The culture of University is so exciting, vast and diverse, that I’ve learnt quickly that there is so much room for individuality and that whoever you are, you’ll be able to find your niche.