My VCE to university transition experience

Typical Jaffies taking pictures in front of welcome banner...oh wait, that's me in that picture. Oops!

Typical Jaffies taking pictures in front of welcome banner…oh wait, that’s me in that picture. Oops!

For those who haven’t met me, there is something you should know. I absolutely LOVED uni in my first year, and still love it to this very day! I must say, that I’ve been pretty lucky to have had such an awesome transition into uni! In fact – lucky enough to get into Melbourne Uni in the first place!

I remember nervously waiting for my ATAR score to be released, and even more nervous when I was waiting for my offer letter to arrive! I knew I worked hard throughout my VCE, but there was also that bit of self-doubt at the back of my mind. But, I ripped open my offer letter and success – I got into Melbourne! I was literally bouncing off the walls, hugging strangers on the street, dancing in the supermarket happy!! And of course, being me – I instantly updated my education status on Facebook to say that I’m officially a Melbourne Uni student! Hard work definitely pays off, and it was the most rewarding feeling!

I loved my time in high school. I went to Elwood College which is a co-ed state school located in the south-east area, and at the time it was a underrepresented school. To give you a sense of what kind of person I was in high school, picture this! I was the person who was always involved in everything – I was a house captain, SRC leader, part of the school’s orchestra, in school musicals etc.

Yes, I was THAT person.

And I studied English, Biology, Japanese, Chemistry, Psychology and Maths Methods. Fun…well, not really. I loved school very much, and I enjoyed the sense of security and family-ness at school, so I wasn’t too sure how I was going to cope when I left Elwood!

But as much as I loved high school, uni was just THAT much better! Going to uni was everything that I expected….but not at the same time. Are you confused? Well…I am too haha.

So continuing on! I was super super happy I got into Melbourne, and then it hit me…I knew NO ONE who was going to Melbourne with me, I don’t know where ANYTHING is, I don’t know ANYTHING about ANYTHING!

WHAT DO I DO!?

But then, an email from the Transition and Orientation team popped up in my inbox. Destination Melbourne program….meet new friends….fun activities…SOLD! For those who don’t know what this program is, please read my previous post! Applying for DM, was by far one of the best things I’ve done. I also went to the science o’camp, which I was at first a bit hesitant due to the reputation of such camps. But I went anyway, and had no regrets! If you’re reading this, go to ALL THE CAMPS! You will make a ton of friends, and awesome memories to look back on.

University is so different to high school in so many ways (no brainer, I know). Uni has so much to offer – both academically and socially.

I love the independence and freedom. It’s so liberating to be able to choose the subjects you want to do, to be able to pick your own timetable, to have that choice whether you want to attend class or not etc. I love meeting like-minded people and meeting people who share the same philosophies/passions as you!

And the social events! The BBQs, clubs, parties, pub crawls etc. All so good! We’re lucky to be at a university with such a strong social drinking culture!

The size of the campus and the number of people on campus was daunting at first. Without my trusty map of the university, I may still be lost trying to get from Sidney Myer to Redmond Barry! And people, people EVERYWHERE! You get in their way, and you WILL get trampled on.

But now? I thrive off the size of the campus and the crowds of people! Think about this, there are SO MANY secret spots around uni where you take time out and chill with your friends. And the crowds? The vast number of people on campus creates such a lively buzz to the place!

Beware: once you start making friends at uni – you’ll find that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get from point A to B in time without having to stop a gazillion times to say hi to people!

But my transition into uni also had it’s down sides (unfortunately, it can’t all be good!).

I remember the frustration and helplessness when it came to enrolling, and doing all that administration stuff. I had no clue what I was doing, let alone if I was doing it right!

I’ve completed that enrolment step, why isn’t it turning green? What the hell does level 1/2/3 mean? What is this study plan, and why are there so many blocks? What is this HECs thing and how does it work? Why isn’t 13 MELB answering my phone calls? Why can’t I get in the portal to do my timetable?  I JUST WANT TO STUDY AT MELBOURNE UNI! WHY!! *Waves fist in the air angrily*

I remember at one stage, I thought – “Boy, completing my VCE is easier than enrolling into uni!”

And after that thought, I was thinking – “Wouldn’t it be handy if someone wrote a blog or something to help explain everything!” So, after a year of sitting on that thought and after getting really annoyed at seeing the SAME questions pop up on facebook 24/7, this blog was born! Another motivation for me to continue with this blog is that – I’ve first hand experienced what it’s like to be a first year and I know how difficult and challenging this period of change may be to you!

Another thing that was challenging for me with my transition to uni, is that – I really missed that strong sense of support within your school community. In my case, I heavily relied on my teachers to get me through tough times at school. They were my life line and they always had my back 1000%. And at uni, I didn’t know who to turn to for help!

Confession: I am a perfectionist, I cannot deny that! I always want to do my best, and put my best work forward. So with that, comes with it’s downfall!

But I found Academic Skills – which was really handy! (Will post more about this at a later stage). They helped me academically, but emotionally and all that welfare stuff? That, I wasn’t sure about. And I only JUST discovered not long ago that we have a thing called – Counselling and Psychological Services on campus!

So there’s PLENTY of services and support out there for you! You just don’t know about them yet! So that’s another aim of my blog – to build awareness of the types of services available on campus! :)

But overall – my transition from VCE to uni?

It was awesome!

Anyhoo – you should all be very proud of getting into Melbourne Uni! People would kill to be in your shoes, and to be able to study at such a prestigious university.

I’ve got SOOOOO many ideas for future posts! I will be putting together some tips for your first day at uni, best/secret spots on campus, things to look out for during o-week…THE LIST GOES ON! But one must sleep, eat, and go to work!

Till tomorrow afternoon Jaffies!

p.s – don’t forget to subscribe/bookmark/share this blog if you have enjoyed my posts so far! Plenty more to come :)

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