University Survival Guide

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The first year of study at university can be a very daunting and challenging experience. Where do you go? What do you need? Who should you talk to? Even students who have been here for years may need a helping hand every now and then. Todd Newton has some survival tips that will aid all students in survival at Macquarie University.

1. LEARN YOUR PASSWORD AND STUDENT NUMBER

Let’s start off with the simplest tip. Remember your password and student number! It’s your entry into all of the different university portals: be it your personal student email, iLearn or eStudent. Otherwise you’ll have to subject yourself to numerous phone calls to a variety of student services in the painstaking attempt to retrieve your details. You have to choose a new password every semester for eStudent, so write it down in a diary or even type it into ‘Notes’ on your phone so you can find it on the go.

2. EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD DISCOUNT

It is important that you have your campus card on you. Most services at Macquarie require its use for its details first and foremost, but you will also be eligible for student deals.  Show your card for food, Rebel’s sporting equipment and for student prices at the movies. Think of it as a kind of discount card.

3. SOCIALISING, STUDY BUDDIES AND STUDENT GROUPS

By making friends in your lectures and tutorials, you can develop some really great relationships. This can make your time in classes much more enjoyable. Soon you’ll have someone to talk to, someone to borrow notes off if you miss a class or maybe even someone as a study buddy during exams.

There are also student groups you can join throughout the year. These groups allow you to meet people who share similar hobbies, opinions, and circumstances. We are nearly 200 groups like the Quidditch Association, the W.A.N.G. club, Oxfam Macquarie and loads of culture-based groups such as Los Latinos en Macquarie. In fact, developing friendships with students who come from other cultures is a great way to learn about new things, and in return you can teach an international student about your own culture.

4. NOM, NOM, NOM

In the food court located in Campus Hub there is a huge variety of food to choose from. From Asian to Mexican to the old-school hamburger and chips, there are many different places you can get food from. For a coffee fix there are pop-up cafes located around the campus including Piccolo Lane near E4A, Wally’s Coffee Cart outside Macquarie Theatre, Café Mezze in Y3A, and the Library Café. Don’t forget, there’s the Macquarie Centre across the road.

If you’ve brought your food along with you there are microwave stations you can use to heat up your delicious home-made goodies. You can find them across from Pie Face in Campus Hub and downstairs in the Atrium.

5. WI-FI WOES

Having problems with connecting to WiFi? There are a number of access points all over campus. OneNet published a coverage map online that will help you find the WiFi sweet spots. Try and avoid peak times such as in the middle of the day when most students are on campus.

Check it out here: https://wiki.mq.edu.au/display/onenet/OneNet+WiFi

6. STUDY IN THE SUNSHINE AND ELUDE THE LONG LIBRARY LINES

When studying, most students opt to study in the library which means when it comes to the last few weeks of the semester, it is exceedingly challenging to find a spot to study. Yet few students think to study in the fresh air. It could be raining or too hot, but otherwise, students can review their notes or borrow a library book and read it outside in order to avoid the long waiting times for a seat. A great place to get some nice rays is down by the lake.

For those that need the library for its resources or for accessing the Wi-Fi network, the second and third floor of the library often leaves little room to find a seat for one person, less a study group. However, the ground level of the library always leaves spare seats for students. It’s the level below the library entrance so go down to the ground level for seats first.

7. LOADING UP YOUR CAMPUS CARD

For those that may need to print or photocopy in the library, your campus card serves as an account card to load up with money. It is best to load it up with at least a couple of dollars in your first week so that it saves you constant trips back to the loading machines and reduces time if you are ever in a rush. In the library a single-sided A4 black and white print or photocopy is 11 cents, whilst a single-sided A4 colour print or photocopy is $1. There is more than one printing station, so don’t get stuck in the queues at the front of the library.

8. AN UNEXPECTED SOURCE FOR COVERSHEETS

Coversheets are documents attached to all assignments that state your name, student number, the unit and your declaration. Most people print coversheets at home or in the library, but few know that you can also print coversheets from a computer in your designated faculty office. This is handy if you are ever faced with some coversheet chaos at home or in the library. Make sure you always staple your work with no plastic sleeves. Lecturers hate that shit.

9. LAPTOP VS. PEN AND PAPER

A growing number of students are choosing to bring their laptops to university as a tool for study. The Forum Theatre in C5C has individual powerpoints for each seat. Meanwhile you can find tables with powerpoints in the W6A and E7B courtyards, or outside the Campus Hub.

On the other hand, what if your unit has a surprise pop quiz or are required to complete written activities that need to be handed in? Throwing some pens and paper in your bag is definitely handy in these situations where you suddenly need to do some writing the old school way.

Follow these nine simple tips, you’ll be on your way to surviving your time here at Macquarie University!

by Todd Newton

[box_dark]Editors’ Bonus tip:
If you’re struggling to find your classroom, this little trick might help.
C = Central
W= West
E = East
X = extra far
Y = why did I even bother coming in today?
Good luck! [/box_dark]