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Thread: A Guide to University for First Years

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    Retired OzKo's Avatar
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    A Guide to University for First Years

    If you have completed your secondary studies, it is likely that you have considered continuing your education at university. The transition between high school and university can be a challenging transition for some students so hopefully this guide helps you pick up the know-how to start your uni career at ease.


    Attendance
    Attendance at university is NOT compulsory unless specified. Lectures rarely have attendance marked and in cases where this does happen, usually they are only for the lecturer to take note who is attending (e.g. they may take the extra effort to help students which have been attending). With lectures, you tend to have the flexibility of going to a different timeslot considering that capacity typically opens up after the first few weeks. It i fairly common to see lecture attendance drop by at least 25% by the end of the first few weeks. If you opt for this route, make sure to check if the course content mirrors what you missed in your original timeslot.

    Many students find that attending tutorials are more helpful than attending lectures so if you find yourself in a situation where you have to pick between attending either of the two, the tutorial is the safest bet. Some tutorials have compulsory attendance and in those situations, attendance is strongly advised. In these instances, it is critical that you check how tutorial attendance affects your final mark. Failing to attend these tutorials may lead to penalties so make sure to read the fine print. Also, you may find yourself in a situation where you have exams in either a lecture or a tutorial. It is important that you attend the lecture or tutorial which is on your timetable even if you have chosen to attend other timeslots in previous weeks in these cases.

    Average hours for my degree?
    The average number of contact hours you have will depend on the degree, and subjects, you are completing. Typically, subjects that require lab or practical classes (such as science/med/agriculture/pharmacy) will have more contact hours than those who don’t (arts/law/commerce). You will need to check your individual timetable, but for those completing a full workload without labs can expect 12-15 contact hours a week, and those with labs, anywhere from 16-30.

    Often for students who have low contact hours, there is an expectation that they will be doing consistent reading outside classes e.g. an English student might only have 12 contact hours a week, but is expected to read a novel and several essays a week outside class which may take several hours. Also watch out for particular labs/tutes which run only on specific weeks. More often than not, you’ll get a timetable which looks absolutely horrendous but when you read closely, you’ll find that some scheduled classes only run on specific weeks.

    Bags/Food/Clothes
    It is likely that your university campus will be larger than the high school you attended. As a result, the odds that you will have to walk fair distances is relatively high. If you’re looking for a bag, try and pick one which provides strong support for long distances but also take into consideration what you will be bringing to uni. Many people get away with bringing a pen and paper to uni and in that case, you could almost use anything (or nothing at all). If you’re thinking of bringing textbooks and your laptop, then maybe a bag with two straps would be suitable. Just remember that the bag you choose to use should be fit for purpose.

    Most university campuses have a great range of foods and drinks accessible to suit your tastes and in the rare instance that this isn’t the case, it is more than likely there will be options near the university which cater for the student market (so you get that value!). It is common for students to have access to discounts if they are part of a student union (e.g. Access at USYD and Arc at UNSW). If this is the case for you, take advantage of these discounts as the money saved can add up by the end of your membership. If you don’t feel like buying food, then bringing some from home is perfectly fine. Just keep in mind, eating food in lectures and tutorials is not good etiquette (drinks are usually acceptable) unless it doesn’t give off a smell or makes a lot of noise when you eat.

    In terms of what you wear to university, no-one really cares about looking stylish at university. Obviously it’s great to look presentable but the moment you start dressing up like you’re going to go clubbing, you’ve crossed the line. No-one cares if you’re wearing an outfit worth $50 or $5000. Other people have better things to worry about. If you want to look good, then anything smart casual should be the limit. Common sense trumps in this regard.

    Bridging courses
    Bridging courses are offered before semester 1 starts, and are for students who don’t feel they have all the required knowledge to start a subject e.g. a subject may require a minimum of Adv. Maths from the HSC as required knowledge before starting a subject, and you completed General Maths. In this case, the bridging course would teach you enough so you can enter the course with equivalent knowledge to everyone else.

    Bridging courses tend to need to be paid upfront and will in no way be recorded on your academic transcript. Anyone can enrol in them, and they may be beneficial for students who took a gap year before starting university, to refresh on important points. Each university will offer a different selection of bridging courses before semester 1 starts and you should check required knowledge for semester 1 subjects before deciding whether a bridging course is right for you.

    Census Dates - What are they?
    Each semester, your financial liability is determined by the courses you are enrolled in at the time of the census date. This is different each semester, so check specific dates with your university, but it generally happens at the end of the fourth week of classes. You are able to unenroll from a subject before this date without incurring a financial liability for it. If you choose to drop a subject after the census date, you will still need to pay for it. In the case that something happens and your ability to finish a subject is significantly impaired, you can apply to HECS to have the financial liability for that subject removed, but this requires getting a Discontinue Not Fail grade from the university, along with substantial evidence that you were unable to complete the course, but were only made aware after the census date. This requires a lot of paperwork and your university should be able to give your more information.

    Clubs and Societies
    Uni is also a great time to develop your social life outside class. Many universities have clubs and societies for their students that accommodate a huge variety of interests and are available for any students to join (nb: there may be a joining fee). Some of these are heavily advertised by the university, others may slip under the radar, and take a bit of seeking out. If you have an interest in something, do a bit of searching or ask around and you should find something or someone that shares that interest. Keep in mind that joining a club or society is a great way to meet new people at uni considering you have something in common with everyone else. This is a good option if you feel that you’re finding it difficult to break the ice.
    You can also start your own clubs, but it is recommended that you try some of the existing clubs first, to get a feel of how the uni runs things.

    Course outlines
    These are incredibly important. In them, you will find information about assessments, course content, course requirements, syllabus outcomes, contact details of lecturers and tutors and marking criteria. These should be your first port of call when looking to address any administrative queries you have with the unit. You may find that updates to the course outline may be made during semester and in that case, either consult the most recent set of lecture slides (lecturers tend to dispense information either at the beginning or end of a lecture) or check to see if the outline has been re-uploaded with the new information added.
    You can usually find these online under your specific subjects, or in course readers.

    Degrees vs Majors
    A degree is the overall area of study you are completing. This could be something like a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce etc. You may see contractions of them, such as B. Sci, B. A., B. Comm, but they mean the same thing as the full version. A major is the subject area within your degree that you specialise in. For example, you may be completing a Science degree, but focussing on Psychology as your major, which would make it Bachelor of Science (Psychology), or B. Sci (Psych) in contracted form. Depending on the requirements for a major (this varies from uni to uni), you may be able to complete two majors within a single degree.

    Some people complete a double degree, and have a different major in each degree. This can get confusing but in the case that someone completes a double degree in Science and Commerce, with majors in psychology and finance, it would look like Bachelor of Science (Psychology)/Bachelor of Commerce (Finance), or B. Sci (Psych)/B. Comm (Fin). Just a word of advice, always have a look at what majors are offered in your degree. In the end, a prospective employer will not so much look at the degree you completed but rather the majors you completed in that degree. For example, if you compare a double major in marketing and HR against a double major in accounting and finance, both of those students will graduate with a B. Comm but one is theoretically more useful in a particular field. Also if you don’t get into your favoured degree, see if there’s another degree which runs the same major/s you want to complete.

    HECS or Upfront
    It’s simple economics: it’s cheaper if you pay now. However, given the large cost that university degrees incur, a majority of students find it much easier to use HECS, and pay it back later. There is no preferred method, and it really comes down to what your individual financial situation is. A tax file number (TFN) is required if you choose to opt for the HECS option so make sure you have this arranged prior to enrolment. This saves you the hassle of having to obtain one before the census date.

    In-class vs Online Lectures
    Once again, this comes down to personal preference, but there are far more advantages to attending a lecture in person than listening to it online. In person you can ask questions, see any copyright content that may be removed from lectures slides posted online, and meet other people in your course. Listening online means that you’re prone to missing out if there are problems with the recordings, can’t engage with the lecture (e.g. if a film clip is shown), and can’t hear any questions that are asked by other students. However, if you only have one lecture and it’s recorded, it might be more beneficial for you to stay at home studying, or work instead. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of saying you’ll listen to them later, and never doing it, so be warned. You’ll find that attending university lessens the distractions when listening to a lecture so if you’re the kind of person who has difficulties maintaining concentration at home, then the approach we recommend is to attend lectures in person, and listen online as revision.

    Lecture Times
    The de facto standard across all universities is to begin lectures five minutes past the scheduled start time and finish 5 minutes before the scheduled end (e.g. start at 12:05 and finish at 12:55). This may be on the hour or on every half hour depending on which university you attend. For most campuses, 10 minutes is sufficient time to make it from one class to another but in some cases this may be impossible. In these cases, feel free to leave class earlier/arrive to class later if you see appropriate; it isn’t rude to do so. Where lectures last for 2 hours or more, it is often standard practice to allow students a break (usually 10 minutes) every hour. Also make sure that you read your timetable carefully and make note of when your lecture/tute/lab starts. There are many instances when a class may start in Week 2 to allow students to properly cover the content in Week 1 so this is necessary.

    Making Friends
    The important thing to remember here is that everyone else is just like you. While some people may have come to uni with a group of friends from high school, for most people, university is a new experience and place to meet new people. While first year classes have huge numbers and can seem intimidating, it’s surprisingly easy to make new friends while at uni, especially in the first few weeks where everyone is new. Asking someone if the seat next to them is free, and following up with a question about what they’re studying is an easy way to get a conversation happening. If they seem cool, see if you have any similar breaks and want to get coffee together after the class. If they’re not cool, no worries, you might not ever see them again!

    While lectures are big, tutorials are much smaller, and give you a chance to see the same people on a more regular basis. Many tutors do icebreaker activities in the first class of semester, which gives you an opportunity to learn a little bit about each other. Embrace these, and use these as an opportunity to get to know people. This is especially important in subjects with group work, as you can scope out likely friends or group members and get to learn a bit more about the people you’re with. Also, if you see people in multiple lectures/tutes, then you could reasonably assume that they are either completing the same degree or major as you. In that case, you’re likely to see them on a regular basis so it would be worthwhile making an effort to get to know them.
    The basic message is to make a bit of an effort. Not everyone will be your bff, but you are likely to find someone with similar interests to you if you try.

    O-Week
    O-Week (Orientation Week) occurs the week before the session starts each semester. At O-Week, the university hosts a number of events, aimed at getting students involved and creating a fun start for the semester ahead. O-Week is a great chance to get a feel of the uni and meet some other people who will be attending. There are also O-Week parties which as a first year, can be some of the biggest you’ve been to. Also keep in mind that many different clubs and societies set up stalls to give new students the opportunity to talk to existing members and sign up. If you’re looking to get involved, make sure you hit up these stalls.

    Plagiarism
    In short, don’t plagiarise. Universities use technology that scans your submitted work and can easily detect if/where you have plagiarised. If you think you’ll just go to Wikipedia and change a few words, chances are someone else in your class will as well and there will end up being similarities between your works, getting both of you caught. If you find useful information (from a legitimate source - Wikipedia doesn’t count), then quote or paraphrase it and put in a reference. Learning to reference is an important part of the university experience, and it’s recommended that you get the hang of it as early as possible; you’ll be doing a lot of it. Plagiarising is a risky move and penalties can go from receiving 0 as your mark for that assessment, to having to face a university panel and needing to explain why you should be allowed to remain in the course. Some unit coordinators may opt for a system like Turnitin when setting up their submission policies for assessments. These systems automate plagiarism checks thus providing markers an easier way to make judgements on 50/50 cases.

    Pre-Requisites, Co-Requisites, and Assumed Knowledge
    Pre-Requisites are what is required in order to complete and undertake a subject. When enrolling in a subject, anything that is marked as a prerequisite must have been completed before you can enroll. E.g. ECON101 must be completed before ECON201.

    Co-requisites are subjects that must be completed concurrently to enrolling in a subject. e.g. You cannot enroll in MARK210 unless you are also enrolled in MARK201.

    Assumed knowledge is the level of understand you are expected to have in order to cope with the academic rigor of the course e.g. STAT120 has an assumed knowledge of Mathematics Advanced. A lot of degrees have done away with demanding students to have completed particular HSC subjects as pre-requisites but more often than not, assumed knowledge is often expected for a degree. If you feel that you don’t have this assumed knowledge, you are able to take a bridging course to compensate for this. Also, make sure you have read the documentation regarding the majors you choose to pursue as some forward planning may be suitable to ensure that you meet the pre-requisites and co-requisities required.

    Referencing
    Referencing is incredibly important so you don’t get accused of plagiarism, which can have academic penalties including receiving a mark of zero for a plagiarised assessment, or more severe repercussions like being placed on an academic warning. You need to reference every time you mention an idea that someone else came up with, even if you’re just paraphrasing. If you use a quote, you must reference that too.

    Each faculty has a different reference system, some prefer in-text referencing, while others prefer footnotes, and you should check with your lecturer/tutor what style they prefer before submitting an assignment. Usually universities have online guides on how to reference using particular styles so find out which guides work best for you but make sure complies with the referencing system set by the unit coordinator. Also, it’s imperative that you check where you are sourcing your information. It is good practice to familiarise yourself with what constitutes a primary/secondary/tertiary source as they allow you to evaluate on the fly whether an assertion is credible enough to cite in an academic paper.

    Textbooks and other course-related publications. Do I need to buy them?
    In first year, many textbooks will include general information that will be covered in lectures. Before you decide whether to buy a textbook or not, go to your first couple of lectures and see what your lecturers recommend. If you want the textbook to clarify issues brought up in lectures, but don’t want to buy it, university libraries stock those used in classes for students to read/borrow. If you do want to buy a copy, it’s worth getting a Co-Op membership because they last for life and end up saving you on new textbooks. There are also sites like bookdepository.com which offer reduced prices (but take 1-2 weeks to ship), or textbookexchange.com where you can get secondhand copies of textbooks. Aggregators such as booko.com can help you find the cheapest prices online. Also, you can also consider sharing textbooks with friends in instances where the cost of a textbook is prohibitive and availability to borrow is non-existent.

    Other course related material like course readers or handbooks are usually essential. The majority of these publications will contain important information about your course that is critical to succeeding in a unit of study. In some cases, these are hard copies of pdfs available online so in these instances, you have a choice when considering to buy.

    What to bring to class?
    Generally, the bare minimum a university student should be taking to class is a pen and paper to write on. In fact, it is certainly not uncommon to find that these are the only things students are bringing to class. Any other specifics are dependent on the classes you are taking. For example, if you have a lab (for a class like biology or chemistry), it is fair to assume that you will be required to bring a lab coat. Despite popular belief, laptops are NOT a necessity at university. In the end, it comes down to personal preference with the general argument being that it allows students to write faster in certain cases. A laptop is certainly not recommended for content which is heavy on maths and other visual content which is not conducive to quick typing. Textbooks may be handy if you want to use it during at tutorial, but with sufficient preparation this shouldn’t be necessary. It is expected that you complete the assigned work for the tutorial before coming to class with the view of discussing the questions or doing further work. Don’t forget to bring a copy of any assigned readings or questions as it will make your life so much easier when you need to follow along.

    What to do between classes
    This is ultimately up to you, but university life offers a lot more options than the school environment. Many people use the time for hanging out with friends, having lunch, going to events held by Clubs and Societies, napping, reading, or heading to the library. In the first few weeks you might want to spend more time hanging out with people/making friends with people in your classes with whom you share breaks, while the library tends to get far more crowded the further along semester goes. Oh and of course, don’t forget the bars. It’s not worth missing out on the shenanigans which happen at uni bars.

    What’s expected of you
    University life is very different to school life, and you have a lot more independence. While it’s clear that independence can be a boon for some students after they finish their HSC, others do tend to struggle without that rigorous structure being in place. If you find that you’re a student who needs that type of guidance, it is worthwhile scheduling studies and self-enforcing them.
    Apart from compulsory tutorial attendance (in some cases), and sitting the final exam, there are no particular expectations. Some students can find this challenging at first because they need to be self-motivated to attend classes and complete the work. No-one’s going to be keeping you accountable if you feel like slacking off, and there can be a great temptation to enjoy the party life of university in the first few weeks. Also keep in mind that in many cases, you are expected to read outside of the material you are given for class. Relying exclusively on lecture slides and the textbook(s) can be dangerous as there are instances where you are expected to apply the theory you have learned and use outside examples.

    Learning in university is a much more self-automated process than in high school. You are required to keep on top of your schedule and make sure you understand all the content and when assignments are due. You are expected to do your own research and not solely rely on what your lecturers and tutors tell you.

    Some students find it very beneficial to create a schedule at the start of the session, listing when all the assignments are due, and what is roughly required for them. Time management is especially important in university, so get into the habit early.
    Everyone needs to reach a balance between uni life, social life, and work life (if you choose to get a job), but this balance will be different for everyone. But there are people out there to help you.

    If you’re confused about the expectations of your subject, or what’s required to achieve a Pass/Credit/Distinction/High Distinction, you’re best off speaking to either your tutor or lecturer because these are the people who will be marking your work.
    Your university is equipped with a number of support services to help you; academically, financially, socially and in health. The number of services is dependent on the university, but typically includes academic welfare, doctors, medical staff, psychologists, among others. For a full list, please consult your individual university website. If you’re finding it difficult to manage the balance between uni life and non-uni life, there are counselling services at each of the large universities that run seminars for students on such issues in the first weeks of each semester.

    Past students also tend to be a great help considering that they have gone through the same course as you, thus they may be able to give you some tips on how to achieve that work-life balance.

    Last edited by OzKo; 8 Nov 2013 at 11:12 AM.

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    hwpo13 Makematics's Avatar
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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    thanks OzKo!

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Thanks. Great info here!

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Do you want to time travel and post this on the 7/11/12?

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by OzKo View Post

    What’s expected of you
    University life is very different to school life, and you have a lot more independence. While it’s clear that independence can be a boon for some students after they finish their HSC, others do tend to struggle without that rigorous structure being in place. If you find that you’re a student who needs that type of guidance, it is worthwhile scheduling studies and self-enforcing them.


    What he means is that you should flay/whip yourselves for not doing your scheduled work to make sure you stick to your schedule. It's the only way.

    All jokes aside though, just adding a bit to the part about the penalty of plagiarism mainly for Law students;

    Both of my law tutors have said that being caught plagiarising will also mean the university sends this information to the College of Law, who may take this information into consideration when you go to do your Practical Legal Training and there is a possibility they will not admit you based on your plagiarism. Whether just rhetoric designed to scare students or truth, the message is to not plagiarise because the effects may go further than simply impacting upon your mark for that course/subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crobat View Post
    What he means is that you should flay/whip yourselves for not doing your scheduled work to make sure you stick to your schedule. It's the only way.

    All jokes aside though, just adding a bit to the part about the penalty of plagiarism mainly for Law students;

    Both of my law tutors have said that being caught plagiarising will also mean the university sends this information to the College of Law, who may take this information into consideration when you go to do your Practical Legal Training and there is a possibility they will not admit you based on your plagiarism. Whether just rhetoric designed to scare students or truth, the message is to not plagiarise because the effects may go further than simply impacting upon your mark for that course/subject.
    So true. If you don't stick to the schedule you may get behind in the work.
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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Excellent post Ozko from a graduate. =) Repped.

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    I'm concerned that the amount of work that will have to go into assignments and also the issue of referencing, especially ideas. Won't my whole assignment be like a bunch of references chucked together?
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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by obliviousninja View Post
    I'm concerned that the amount of work that will have to go into assignments and also the issue of referencing, especially ideas. Won't my whole assignment be like a bunch of references chucked together?
    You use other sources to formulate and support your own ideas. What most lecturers look for in essays is the successful integration of multiple sources into your response.
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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by enoilgam View Post
    You use other sources to formulate and support your own ideas. What most lecturers look for in essays is the successful integration of multiple sources into your response.
    But I think my primary concern is the current situation at hand. I'm so nervous about my Co-op interview in 3 weeks. Do you know any bos people who got into Co-op that I can talk to?
    Quote Originally Posted by Melancholia View Post
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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkrider View Post
    I'm worried about the notion that in Uni, using rote learning won't get you that far, but rather have a conceptual understanding of things and apply them to certain situations, which means I might struggle.
    You're only in year 10, your skills should develop over the next few years.
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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkrider View Post
    I'm worried about the notion that in Uni, using rote learning won't get you that far, but rather have a conceptual understanding of things and apply them to certain situations, which means I might struggle.
    Why not instead of rote learn ask questions, why is X so and so? Or how does X relate to Y. It's more interesting that way, dry learning the content may exhaust you out.

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Also, I know many will make a thread of "what bag should I get", "what laptop should I get" etc etc because of excitement but really you won't care about it when you start classes. These things become trivial. Select a bag that will carry your laptop and/or lecture books and buy a laptop within your budget that will achieve it's purpose in class.

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkrider View Post
    I'm worried about the notion that in Uni, using rote learning won't get you that far, but rather have a conceptual understanding of things and apply them to certain situations, which means I might struggle.
    Some subjects are purely rote learning. In one of my engineering electives, you could not just learn a concept and then apply that when the final exam question asks for a specific statistic or a specific location, or asked to describe a method or recall what you did in an assignment etc. (this was pretty much the whole exam) No doubt this happens in very few subjects, but having the ability to rote learn is not necessarily a bad thing.

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by obliviousninja View Post
    But I think my primary concern is the current situation at hand. I'm so nervous about my Co-op interview in 3 weeks. Do you know any bos people who got into Co-op that I can talk to?
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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkrider View Post
    Yeah, but the thing is, there are certain subjects you have to rote learn particularly science as there was so much content to remember in the exam.
    Not science, HSC science. There is a heavy rote learn nature primarily because people want marks more than they would like to have a better understanding of the content. Since markers expect regurgitated info, this leaves many students opting to just summarise/restate whatever they need in the dot point without actually learning it properly.

    Sure, you can rote learn all you like and get good marks in your exam. (That may seem easy for now) If you are looking for pure enjoyment/develop some aptitude, then you should think about concepts more.
    Last edited by SpiralFlex; 7 Nov 2013 at 9:29 PM.

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkrider View Post
    Exactly, which is why I think I'll do well in Biology next year as it's basically memorising the content whereas for Chemistry it's about concepts.
    Mmm, I don't think you understand yet.

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by Omnipotence View Post
    michealjennings
    Anyone else? I think he has been inactive for the past couple of weeks.
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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by obliviousninja View Post
    Anyone else? I think he has been inactive for the past couple of weeks.
    Most of the ones I can think of are inactive at the moment.
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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by obliviousninja View Post
    Anyone else? I think he has been inactive for the past couple of weeks.
    Michaeljennings

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by obliviousninja View Post
    But I think my primary concern is the current situation at hand. I'm so nervous about my Co-op interview in 3 weeks. Do you know any bos people who got into Co-op that I can talk to?
    Know your responses well. Know what the Co-op program is, its structure, sponsor companies etc. (as trivial as this may sound, you don't want to stuff up when this is one of the first questions asked). Know why you want to pursue this area of study - literally tell them that you like Commerce or whatever. Think of a couple of questions to ask the interviewers as well - be decisive. Make them laugh as well - it's more like a conversation than an interview, but still take it seriously.

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    There is usually a mix of rote-learning type subjects and more applying concepts types of subjects in almost every discipline...

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by obliviousninja View Post
    Won't my whole assignment be like a bunch of references chucked together?
    Yes...

    The worse thing ever is when you have a tiny word limit, and you have like 1000 intent citations

    Curse you Faculty of Health science

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkrider View Post
    I know, I know... I'm was just curious.
    That's fine. It's good to ask questions.

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    Re: A First Year's Guide to University

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkrider View Post
    I'm worried about the notion that in Uni, using rote learning won't get you that far, but rather have a conceptual understanding of things and apply them to certain situations, which means I might struggle.
    To be perfectly fair, rote learning isn't meant to get you that far. Someone who has rote-learned their material without understanding it is really of no use to any work environment.

    But I would worry too much yet. Once you hit uni you'll learn to adapt pretty fast just because the lecturers will teach the content to you in a way that forces you to understand why the concept exists in that way (which is a massive help to committing it to memory since you tend to not forget things you actually understand), rather than just tell you it is that way like high school does. The uni will help you through the transition just by the way it operates. Don't fear what you haven't started!

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