This story was originally published in the U:Mag Teaching and Learning Special Issue, and is republished here with permission.

For thousands of students, 2017, and the commencement of university, marked a new chapter in their lives. In March, they had their first chance to meet UTS. Here’s what they had to say…

“My first impression of UTS was really positive. I went to an orientation session run by the law faculty and met a lot of people who I still see around and am friends with. I was able to settle in really quickly because the orientation sessions and the inclusiveness of the Law Students’ Society created a strong sense of community for us all – their initiatives and events are designed purely for first- and second-year students to get them involved and excited about their degree.”
India Bennett, Bachelor of Laws Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

“My first engineering lecture really calmed my nerves because it reassured me that I wasn’t going to be thrown into the deep end! Everyone around me was in a very similar situation, which made bonding easy, and with new friends in lectures and tutorials, I was able to stress less. The activities in the Engineering Communication tutorials – like learning how to explore the online UTS Library – were especially helpful in easing me into university and got me excited for the course because they showed me all the possibilities of what I can achieve with my degree.”
Helaina Bayeh, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

“I was excited to start! And my excitement didn’t drop off after that first week. There were so many possibilities within my course and having two majors is really great because I can really find where my interests lie. And the beauty of the course is that there’s so much collaboration and teamwork involved that you don’t need to stress about making heaps of friends in that first week.”
Isabelle Laker, Bachelor of Communication (Media Arts and Production) Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

“My first Self and Society tutorial was a little interesting – it was an interview workshop. The guy sitting next to me interviewed me, then I interviewed a girl on my other side that I had met when I was lost looking for the tutorial room! We all ended up being best friends at uni, and it gave me a bit of confidence in interviewing, even though I thought interviews were more of a journalism thing than sociological! It did make me pretty excited for the year ahead though.”
Josh Green, Bachelor of Communication (Journalism)

“Orientation as a whole gave me the impression that UTS was super big, super modern, and super organised, and I’d say the library tour was the finishing touch to that impression. It went through the printing process, how to borrow, and other things, all whilst showcasing each level and it’s specific noise specifications. At first I found this very intimidating, but it’s been very handy – did you know you can eat inside, and during exams it’s open till 1am?! I was definitely scared that I would never understand my way around, but it is not as big and scary as it appears and, without a doubt, I’ve grown to love UTS.”
Genevieve Green, Bachelor of Communication (Social and Political Science) Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation

“At first I was nervous because I didn’t really know anyone, and I knew uni was going to be very different to high school. However, I was excited because it sort of represented me ‘growing up’. The lectures themselves are good because they’re interactive and I can ask questions whenever I want. And the lecturers always have time after class to talk about the subject too.”
Tom Neville, Bachelor of Property Economics

“During my first week, I signed up to a lot of the clubs and societies which was really good for networking. But one thing I found during that week was that I kept getting lost! It’s pretty exciting to go through that first week – you’re not really sure just how university and classes work, you sort of figure that out along the way. I think I finally stopped getting lost at around week four!”
Izzy Brooker, Bachelor of Business

“I was really surprised because I’d had previous uni experience studying arts and international studies at another university. I was expecting it to be really awkward, because the last time it took a while to warm up to everyone. But it wasn’t like that at all. Everyone came out of their shell and was really friendly. By the end of the first week, we all had heaps of connections to each other, which is important because design is all about collaboration. My biggest advice would be to just be your own person, when you’re not being yourself people pick up on it.”
Gianna Hewitt-Brown, Bachelor of Design in Photography


Zoe Anastassiades Bachelor of Communication (Journalism), Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
Corey Jones-Viegas Bachelor of Communication (Journalism), Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
Stephanie Roberts Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
Annabel Schweikert Bachelor of Communication (Public Communication)

Feature image credit: Jackson Mann.

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