The experience of course planning will be completely different depending on what degree you intend to take. So on one end of the spectrum you have the biomed/health sci (I am yet to figure out the difference between these two) and engineering end. That’s when the university gives you a timetable, and you take it. A bit like high school, except you don’t even need to pick subjects anymore.  Same with BCom. In the middle you have the BA’s and BSc’s, which are a little finicky, but not too bad. Keep going and you get to the the BA and BSc conjoint degrees, and on the very end you have the engineering and med conjoints. I’m a BA/BSc conjoint student and I’ll try to go over how this has been to me

(Also I know there were several degrees I missed, but it’s only because I have no idea how those ones work)

So to begin with if I want to graduate in four years, I have to take nine papers a year, which is normally one semester with five and one with four. Five papers is hell for your first semester. Don’t do it. Normally you invest much more time in other things during first semester, like making friends, taking part in university life, and adjusting. Don’t do it unless you’re absolutely sure you want to forgo all of these things and commit to study. So in other words, don’t do it. Do it semester two, or in summer school if you have to. I found  this out the hard way, don’t repeat my mistake.

There’s also the pain of getting concessions for subjects that you’re qualified in. For ECON 152, student services online bars you from sitting it if you haven’t done 151. It took emailing the lecturer to finally get a concession, and words can’t express how appreciative I am of the Department of Economics for this. Once again, thanks!

Also, pick your courses the day that you’re accepted into university. I know many people who were stuck with 8AM’s or 6PM’s because they enrolled late. Or they had 5 hour gaps between classes. Obviously this isn’t ideal, but the way to solve it is just to get in quick. Also I’ve had bad experiences with timetable planner (on Student Services Online), so I would advise people to pick their classes by the “select course by name” tab. To do this, you just need to have a bit of paper beside you to note down when what classes are, so that you can get the tightest timetable possible. I’ve found stacking days with as many lectures as possible works for me, but other ways of laying out your day might work better for you. Best way to do it is to try it out. I’ve found that having a free Thursday incentivises me to go out too much on student night, to the point where I become incredibly unproductive during the rest of the week. The fix? Stack Thursdays so I don’t want to anymore.

Also, just as a side note that I’ll talk more about another week, remember where you want to be going. Make sure you have your pre-requisites for the next year, so think about what you need to do to graduate. This feels like a long blog already, I’ll just cut it off here.

– Chenchen

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Chenchen Huang

Hello! My name’s Chenchen, and I hail from Lower Hutt, although I’ve been fortunate enough to call Southampton, UK, as well as Taiyuan, China, my home. This year, I’ll be working towards a BCom/BSc, majoring in economics and physics whilst living at O’Rorke hall, being a resident cynic. I’m known to be found hunched over in my room reading or playing video games, as well as over a chess board, under a car, or anywhere that Steely Dan is being played. Other than that, I dabble in debating as well as discuss politics like a sport. Blogging for the Inside Word should be an interesting experience to say the least; I’m sure many misadventures will be documented here. Come give us a yell if you see me around Uni!

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