A University Survival Guide From Someone who Works at a University Help Desk

Don't let the thought of uni bring you down.

A University Survival Guide From Someone who Works at a University Help Desk

As the start of the new university year approaches, my days are increasingly filled up with students calling and asking questions in preparation for their first week of classes. It’s a nerve-wracking time of year for students, as they transition from the stability and routine of high school to the opportunities and independence of university. I have done my first week of university three times, and I have helped countless students with their own first week. Here’s some tips to get you through.

Get there early

Whatever amount of time you’ve given yourself to get to class, give yourself more. There’s nothing worse than walking into a new class late. Plus, getting to class early gives you the opportunity to mingle with classmates outside the room, which is a great way to make friends.

Access a map

Familiarise yourself with campus. University campuses are often large and spread out, especially when compared with most high schools. It can be confusing and overwhelming, and it will often take a lot longer to get to class than you expect. Lost on Campus will be a big help with this.

Check your timetable and student portal

Check the most updated version of your timetable and student portal so that you’re aware of any changes. There could be timetable changes, class cancellations, or instructions on what to prepare for class.


You get out of university what you put in it. Engage with your classes, your tutors and your peers. Make friends and make sure your tutor knows who you are by participating in class discussion. You’ll learn more and it’ll be easier to get help when you need it.

If in doubt, ask

All universities will have phone lines you can call if you have questions prior to your first week. It’s someone’s job to help you if you need it, so don’t be afraid to call and check things or ask silly questions.