Culture //

Thirteen things I didn’t learn until Week 13

Mary Ward knows the score and so should you.


Starting uni is hard. Particularly if you are a socially awkward loner with no street smarts, which, based on the sort of marks you would have needed to get into this joint, you probably are.

But don’t worry. I was once just like you. A kid with a dream, but also a state of total obliviousness that meant I was unaware that City Road turned into King Street for roughly three months.

Here are the things that it took my first-year self all semester to figure out. Ignore at own risk.

1. You will not get through your first semester of uni carrying your books in your arms like an extra on Degrassi. Buy a bag. Preferably one sturdy enough that its straps won’t break, sending your stuff flying across Platform 3 at Redfern Station.

2. The Anderson Stuart Building looks a lot like the Quad, but it isn’t. Check before you Instagram. #Hogwarts #whoops #finiteincantatem

3. You will never see that girl from your first SCLG1001 lecture again. Do not add her on Facebook.

4. Every time you think someone says that they are studying oncology, they are actually saying that they are studying “on college”. Think that “at” is the preposition they should be using in that sentence? Join the club.

5. Blackboard, eLearning and the LMS are the same thing. The different names are used interchangeably solely to stop you from handing in your first assignment on time.

6. You can get takeaway hot chips on campus. Unibros. Wentworth Building. Now, join us in the land of milk and honey.

7. Also on food, you can leave campus to acquire sustenance. Don’t fall into the first year trap of never venturing beyond uni during the day. If travelling leisurely from Eastern Ave: a one-hour break equals King Street, a two-hour break equals Glebe.

8. Old Teachers College is the same as Teachers College. Don’t ask someone where New Teachers College is, little sage. The laughter still haunts me to this day.

9. Public toilets on campus reach their hygienic peak at around 8:50am each morning.

10. The exception to this rule is the Law Building, whose sparkly new toilets are always covered in shit.

11. You can study in any other faculty’s library. No one is going to ID you.

12. If one of your lectures is scheduled in Education LT351, bring gaffa tape to secure whatever you plan on writing notes with to your desk. If ever a lecture has been held in that room without someone’s desk collapsing, sending a MacBook tumbling down two rows of attendees, I would like to see video evidence.

13. The Jane Foss Russell building is attached to the Wentworth building. I actually can’t give you any more guidance than that, because it still takes me a solid 15 minutes of arbitrary stair-climbing to find its entrance.