What you’re not told when starting uni – Tip #2
Tip #2: There are HEAPS of people
I mean heaps. HEAPS. Universities are the world’s largest educational institutions, and even a typical small university is much, much bigger than a large school. Most of us who’ve graduated from a typical school on Earth have no idea what it’s like to be part of such a large campus population. While we’re all told the statistics when we start university, the practical consequences of being one of so many students don’t sink in until you’ve been in this situation for a while.
One of the first things you’ll notice are the massive queues, usually outside essential services which everyone needs to use – getting a student card, buying your books, enrolling in subjects. Here at the University of Melbourne, there are more than 50,000 students. That’s 50,000 people who need to do those same basic obligations that are common to all students. If you’ve ever waited in a queue for several hours, you might realise that avoiding peak times – “the rush” – can save you a lot of time and stress.
This also applies to using libraries. It can be easy to be fooled by a large, majestic library that has 50 copies of every book that you need. However, if there are 200 people in your class, 50 copies doesn’t seem like that much. Most people are going to miss out – and that’s why you need to get there early and beat the crowd. This applies to all kinds of things at university with limited supply and massive demand. It could mean applying for a scholarship months in advance, or it could be as simple as waking up early for a morning coffee.
Another result of having heaps (HEAPS) of people in one place means that all kinds of views and interests are represented, and it’s possibly the easiest place in the world to find people who share your interests. For example, if you love ukuleles (if you do, please know that I’m totally not judging you), but only one in every 100 people is interested in ukuleles, it sounds like it might be hard to meet someone who shares your passion. Yet, in a university of 50,000 students, that would make 500 people who love ukuleles. So a Ukulele Appreciation Club could have 500 members – 500 people who could play ukuleles together. (Still not judging.)