Much like anything in life, if someone told me what my university experience would be like, in detail, I would have eye-rolled so hard that my eyes would have fallen out of my head. You see, every single person has a different experience at university. Even if there is someone studying the exact same thing as you, unit for unit, you will both get different experiences out of university. The old adage, 'you get out what you put in', is extremely on point. For example, I have completely changed my ideas on what my future career will look like, the role I am working towards and what industry I want to work in including the location I wanted to live in and that is completely okay. I started off doing a single degree and after one semester knew that that was not what I wanted to do, so I ended up enrolling in a double major. My previous goals were to move overseas to somewhere exotic and be a foreign correspondent and boy oh boy have they changed.
Like most people studying within the creative industries faculty, I undertook an internship as part of my degree. During my internship I worked for a company in an industry I literally NEVER thought I would work in. After completing my internship, I started working! And now, I'm doing all sorts of cool things, like hosting RAW Brisbane (Yep, that's me on stage pretending I know how to interview people!).
My top five tips for getting the most out of your time at university:
1. Make sure you learn what each unit entails and if you don’t find a unit particularly interesting or in alignment with what you want to do, swap it. Obviously, some units are compulsory so you do not have that option but definitely elect to do subjects that interest you. This will ensure that you maintain your interest in learning and succeeding (hopefully?) throughout the duration of the semester.
2. Network. Even if communications are not your strongest skill, I am afraid to say, you need to work on them. By being able to walk into a room, keep eye contact and have a conversation with people, you are asserting yourself. You are making yourself a known person not only within your chosen field but also you are getting comfortable with your surroundings. By successfully doing this who knows what doors you will open. Will you meet you a potential work experience supervisor? Will you meet your future employer? Will this person put you in contact with a person at your dream job? Networking literally sets you up for life. No joke.
3. Ensure you know how to prioritise your time. If you don’t know how; learn. Planning your time effectively and efficiently will be your best friend at university (not just university TBH). Print off your timetable. Colour code your units. Plan out your university time, work time and your free time. Without sounding too cliché - failing to plan IS planning to fail. You need to ensure that you are prepared for what is coming up and ensure you have all of your bases covered. Let's be real, there is nothing worse than the busy assignment period looming and you having NO clue how to complete a task. Without planning, the only person you are affecting is yourself – or your group if it is group work. Just a heads up – don't be that person. No-one likes that person.
4. Join a club that is in alignment with your interests and goals. Not only at QUT, but at most universities you will find HUNDREDS of groups. These groups range from academic to sports to social groups. Make yourself known within these groups and also make friends within these groups. Again, this is a form of networking, not primarily within the professional sense but you will meet likeminded people.
5. Last but DEFINITELY not least, make the most of the facilities available to you. There are MULTIPLE facilities that are offered from HiQ (legit help with anything), assignment help, counselling services, mentorships, internships, to work experience. All of these facilities are in place to assist you with the transition from study to ‘life after university’. Make the most of them and utilise them to their full potential.
University is ALL about what you make of it. You need to take full advantages of the opportunities that are presented to you. If there is anything you get out of your degree, other than a very expensive piece of paper, it is life experience. Make your uni years the best of your life; learn, grow and immerse yourself in experiences.