Surviving your first week of college

by frank-stuart

Your first week will be full of energy, new faces, fun, facts, friendship, and important tips to get you started. You may be full of nerves and at times overwhelmed, but here are some great tips that will help make your first week a breeze. Take a deep breath and launch yourself into your new career.


  • Asks lots of questions – it’s a great icebreaker.
  • Join societies – you will network with peers in the second and third year of your degree that will be wonderful mentors and friends. You can even be an advocate for your own degree program!
  • Join the Uni Games team – some of my best ‘tertiary memories’ were had at Uni Games – you won’t be disappointed!
  • Meet the Library staff and attend Library training – Library staff are committed and highly knowledgeable individuals. They will be a valuable resource for you throughout your tertiary years.
  • Lifelong friends and fun – Believe me, the friends you meet in this phase of your life will become your lifelong friends and even your future work colleagues. There are rewarding social times ahead too.


  • Be early each day, ensuring that you have packed your materials such as note pads, iPads, pens, etc. You will also need sports shoes and appropriate attire for practical classes.
  • You will be issued with a Timetable and assigned into a Tutorial Group, which will determine your weekly schedule, and the peers you will have the majority of your classes with.
  • Unit outlines will be issued in each new class and these contain key materials regarding assigned texts, readings, assessment tasks (average 3 per unit), due dates of all assessments, a weekly overview, semester dates, Lecturer and Tutor contact details and their office locations.
  • Create a timetable that works for you either through Outlook, I-calendar, MS excel or Word. Place a hard copy in your folder, wallet or books and keep an electronic copy on your phone.
  • Familiarise yourself with text books and reading lists for each unit.
  • Attend every lecture and tutorial, sit towards the front of the lecture rooms, be willing to share ideas in tutorials, and contribute to your learning and development.
  • Be Organised! Take notes in each session and then file your study notes and handouts in a folder with dividers for each subject. Summarise these notes and start your assessment tasks early. Don’t get caught out and try to pull an ‘all-nighter’. There is no way you will be able to produce the standard of work required for tertiary education in a few hours!


  • Learn where classrooms and common rooms are located, and ensure you know where to start the day each morning. Your group will then move together from room to room, so you can share the journey around your campus each day.
  • Parking space may be limited or situated in set parking stations. Find a parking space that is convenient. For example, you should not be leaving lectures in order to move your car during your study days.
  • Study support services and student support services are essential tools for success. Meet the key staff and find their offices and meeting rooms. Again, don’t be shy, the more help you receive, the greater your success can be.
  • Finally, learn where social programs and jobs are posted. These will be online such as your institution’s website and Facebook pages, but you may find vital information on notice boards, monitors located around your campus, computer screen savers in PC labs, common areas, and even in restrooms! This access to information completes the tertiary experience and ensures you have all aspects of your study-life covered.

At ACPE, Student Services gives students ongoing support to help ease the transition into college life. Mentor programs link you with key academic staff and student leaders who will help answer any questions you may have. All you really have to do is ask!

Visit the ACPE website for more information >

By Angelee Boyd – Associate Dean (Student Services) at ACPE

Angelee commenced at ACPE in 2002 and in 2007 and was appointed Associate Dean (Student Services). She has held Course Convenor roles for the Bachelor of Education and the BHM (Sport) degrees and managed the Elite Athlete Program. Angelee is currently on leave in the USA with her family for 2012 and is still developing and leading online units for ACPE. She will graduate with her PhD in July 2012.


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