Four young people watch the sunrise over the mountains. They may be contemplating six things about uni life they wish they'd known in high school.

What’s uni life like: six things I wish I knew in high school

By Lucy Pirrie
Bachelor of Communication (Advertising)
Charles Sturt University

Want to know six things about uni life? Well, Charles Sturt University communication student Lucy Pirrie can fill you in. Lucy moved from Sydney to study at Charles Sturt’s Bathurst campus. Despite being nervous, it turns out her big move was the best she ever made! She has been with Charles Sturt for more than a year now and tells us six things she wished she’d known before starting uni to start answering the question: what’s uni life like?

Everyone at high school has an idealistic view of what university is meant to be like. For me, I imagined uni to be like a Hollywood film where people go to college and everyone’s pretty laidback. While it’s nothing like the stresses of studying in Year 12, there were some surprises that have come my way – but they have definitely made me a more independent and hard-working student.

1. You learn how to be self-sufficient

It’s pretty crazy how much you learn to rely on yourself when you attend university. You truly become an adult. Living on campus at Charles Sturt, I learned how to take care of myself; do my own laundry, cook my own meals and clean up after myself. While it could be tiring, it’s a huge accomplishment – learning to do it all on my own.

The best part is, Charles Sturt has such an amazing ResLife team that provide you with all the information you’ll need to get access to the right services. Not only are you blessed with the well-equipped kitchens and free washing machines, but most of the time they provide things like laundry detergent and washing up utensils. A huge life-changer when you get to uni, trust me!

2. You’ll make your own decisions – with a little help!

At some point during your study, you may wonder ‘what am I doing with my life?’ I know I have! The good news is you’ll learn to rely on your own thoughts and follow your gut feeling. And if this means changing degrees, then so be it. The good news? The staff at Charles Sturt, lecturers, subject coordinators and academics are so approachable and reassuring. If you have doubts about your degree they’ll help you work through them.

And along the way there’s plenty of other support. For example, Charles Sturt’s Academic Support team were so helpful to me. They gave me advice on how to reference, tackle assignments and tips to help make uni work less overwhelming.

3. Say yes to opportunities

Get involved in as many extracurricular clubs and sporting teams as you can. You’ll regret it later if you don’t make the most out of your Charles Sturt experience. Participating is a great way to make long-lasting friendships, learn more about yourself and it’s perfect for taking a break from your study.

I joined the Mungals league tag team, which was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done at Charles Sturt. I also joined dorm sports and really put in the effort to get to know my dormies – some of them are now my best friends at Charles Sturt.

4. Remember, you’re never alone

Being at uni and living on campus can sometimes feel like you’re doing it all alone, spending a lot of time studying. But you’re never alone at Charles Sturt. I reached out and made study buddies who lift the workload and make it more enjoyable. There’s always a ResLife coordinator around who is ready to help you. Plus, everyone’s friendly – so reach out and talk to people (and don’t be too shy to ask for help).

You’ll be surprised how many people are feeling just like you! Remember, it’s just as important to have a break, stay active and stay social. For me, I found it so effective doing things like chatting with a friend over a cup of tea or going down town to get outside the uni environment.

5. Stay active and regulate your sleep

A huge thing I wish I knew was how to stay active during busy study and assignment times. Developing effective exercise and sleep patterns is the best way to ensure your productivity. And it helps to keep you in a good mood! Remember to get a good night’s sleep so you can accomplish more the next day.

6. Be yourself

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel pressured by your peers, know that it’s okay to say ‘no’.  No one’s going to judge you. At uni, you’ll meet people from all walks of life – you’ll be challenged, laugh, cry, and make lasting friendships. Decide how you like to have a good time, whether that’s going out, or chilling with friends. Remember, you’ll always find people who share your interests, so just be yourself. Embrace who you are!

Ready for your next move?

Want to fill your week with things you’re passionate about studying? You can at Charles Sturt. Let’s get to work!