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Russ

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New Student? Read this.
« on: January 08, 2011, 07:59:19 pm »
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Since VCE results have been released and offers and being made during January, there are probably going to be a lot of people wondering certain things over the next few weeks. I wrote this whilst watching Australia get destroyed in the Ashes and it's my (and hopefully others) attempt to answer those questions. It's written specifically for UoM, but if you're thinking of Deakin/Monash/LaTrobe/VU/etc. then it's still worth a read.

First thing, is to congratulate you on your results and wish you the best for university. Second thing is to tell you that Google and the UoM website can answer a lot of questions. The student centres, especially at this time of year, are notorious for taking a LONG time to respond to queries. Thirdly, and most importantly, I'd like to quote a section from the UoM enrolment guide

Quote
It is your responsibility to make sure your subject plan meets your course requirements.

This is true but the bolded bit is more important. You've finished high school and you're adults now. You might have heard that at university, nobody cares - that's not true. It's just that there are thousands of students at UoM and a limited amount of advisors/tutors/lecturers etc. so they're spread across everyone. You're equally responsible for ensuring that you receive the education you're paying for, so be proactive. If you need help, advice or support then you'll get it but you're going to have to go looking for it.

Dates
Semester One start - 28 February
Non teaching period - 22 April to 1 May
Semester One finish - 29 May
Swotvac - 30 May to 3 June
Exams - 6 June to 24 June

Yes the semester is split into 8 weeks and 4 weeks with only 1 week off. Yes it sucks. Get used to it. The non teaching period is not a holiday, you're expected to work over it. You may have mid semester exams/tests on the first week back, so don't go booking holidays just yet (you can also theoretically have work due in the non teaching period, but that's unlikely).

Semester Two start - 25 July
Non teaching period - 19 September to 2 October
Semester Two finish - 30 October
Swotvac - 31 October to 4 November
Exams - 7 November to 25 November

The Melbourne Cup happens to fall on the 1st of November in 2011, so nobody will have an exam on Cup Day (the university doesn't consider it a holiday, you may have an exam on cup day in the future). There's also a 2 week break this time!

Important links
The student portal, which is generally considered to be a slow and buggy mess but it allows access to all the information you'll need.
Student Webmail login, if you don't want to go through the portal. The uni is migrating to GoogleApps so youíll probably get an offer to sign up for that.
The Learning Management System is where you'll get information on your subjects, lecture notes etc.
The Handbook lists all subjects, timetables, assessment etc. It is your bible, use it often and donít go asking questions that can be answered by just reading it.
The Past Exams Collection has all past exams that the faculty has given permission for you to see. Study tool #1
Careers Online is where you go when you want a job/tutor/to tutor etc.

Academic Advice Day - 24 January

The purpose of this day is basically to get you set up for your course. You'll hear from your coordinator, current students and other people who can help you. Student advisors will be available for you to ask questions about whether subject X is needed for major Y etc.
You really should attend, this is your first opportunity to meet the other students in your course - you're going to be seeing them a lot over the next few years, so meet them sooner rather than later. The advice is also pretty good (if a bit general) and you'll start to get a feel for what campus is like. If you canít go itís not a big deal.

Quote from: rustic_metal
Remember to grab a showbag from the SSS (Science Students' Society) too. It has an alternative handbook in it with an awesome uni survival guide (reviews of pubs and coffee places, tips on subject selection, which social events are the best, etc).

O-week

Don't miss this. You'll be assigned groups of about a dozen, who will be joined by a student host (ie a 2nd year or above, usually from your course). There are activities to do, some fun and some...less fun, which will show you the campus and help you get to know people. Be nice to your student host and ask them lots of questions about 1st year so you can get some insider tips on what to do/not to do. There will be literally thousands of first years wandering around with a lost look on their face; if you see one then go up to them and introduce yourself. You run into people you saw six months ago with scary regularity.

There will be a lot of free stuff. Free food, free drinks, free stationary, free red bull etc. Get a bag, put everything you can into it and sort it out later. If you play your cards right, you won't need to buy pens/pencils ever again. Try to get around the whole campus, because I can guarantee you that you'll have tutes (especially for breadth) in places that you've never seen before.

There are a lot of clubs on campus and thus there's a day when they'll all have stands at Union House and showcase themselves. The one piece of advice I can give you is this: don't join every club that looks semi interesting. Ask yourself if you're really going to be attending regular meetings and taking part or if you just like the idea of a club dedicated to chocolate or juggling or llamas.

In terms of joining the student union, I think it's a very good idea. They do a lot of work behind the scenes and need money to keep doing that. The bonuses you get from the membership (access to the Rowden White Library, the members lounge etc.) are nice but probably aren't worth $99 unless you use them regularly.

Quote from: rustic_metal
It's definitely worth it [joining the student union]! Clubs are generally around $2 if you have a union membership and up to $10-15 without it, so you'll save at least $25 just in o-week from joining clubs. You'll also get (unlimited!) free sausages, veggie burgers and drinks (soft drinks, water, beer, cider, etc) every Tuesday at the union bbq, so that's your lunch sorted for 24 days a year (5 weeks worth of uni lunches). Then there's social events, where being a member of the union will get you $10 tickets to cocktail party, rather than $25 (there are dozens of night events like this which are awesome to go to).

Oh and you'll get free easy access to cheap printing and PCs/macs at any time in union house without the hassle of having to run around the uni to find a computer that's connected to a printer. The Rowden White is useless unless you want to sleep (they have beanbags!), but the members lounge is an absolute pain if you aren't a member, since you can't go in to talk to your friends if they're in there (it's right in the middle of union house). And yes, they check cards all the time.

I reckon I made back a few hundred dollars worth of savings, which isn't even counting all the free food and drink you'll get from clubs pretty much every Tuesday through Wednesday (and sometimes Monday and Friday too, but those are usually the dead days).

On that note, if you're looking to get a day off, make it Monday or Friday. When you're creating your timetable, the best times to schedule a break for are Tuesday 12-2 (this is a common break anyway, the uni must have decided to make sure everybody will have at least one chance to see their friends), Wednesday 12-2 (preferably get the entire afternoon off if you can) and Thursday 12-2 (...okay so I just realised these are all 12-2 haha). Wednesday is the day where all the big events occur, so do your best to get the whole afternoon off. Kegs n Sun (SSS - science), Beer n Chips (MUESC - the engies), More Beer events (Including Fort Beer) are just some of them. Also most night events are held on Wednesday, so groups of people tend to meet up a few hours before on South Lawn for pre drinks and to get ready before heading off.

That's all the formal uni stuff. O Week is also a great time for celebrating...something. There are going to be plenty of events happening during O Week, even if none of them are major. Lots of free BBQs for you to meet people at, pub tours of Carlton and introductions to the uni lifestyle. The uni bar is never more busy than during O-week so head over there if you're lost and you can always grab a drink with randoms.
nb, there are quite a few people on here who are student hosts, if you want to know if you got one of us then post your name/course closer to O week.

Bits and Pieces of Advice for Uni

Textbooks - under no circumstances should you ever buy a textbook from the university bookstore without first checking every other store you can think of. They get subsidised by the university/government and still manage to be more expensive than independent retailers. Yes, it's a disgrace. The one exception to this is student readers, which are published by the university and only sold through the bookshop (theoretically at cost price). In general, you don't need to buy textbooks before the subject starts. Often you can wait until the end of the first week to decide whether you should buy it or hold off a bit longer.

A couple of places to try  buying things from are Encompass Books or The Book Depository

Just in case you don't believe me, here's an example:

Book - Jawetz, Melnick, and Adelberg's Medical Microbiology, 25th Edition
Price at The Book Depository - 67.78 with free shipping
Price at Uni Bookstore - $81 with the 10% discount

If you want to buy secondhand, textbookexchange is a decent place to find them, but I can't speak from personal experience.

Lectures - go to all of them. If you don't go, listen on Lectopia and take notes as usual. There's a very big temptation to skip lectures, especially when it's at 9am or when you're on South Lawn in the sun and there's a BBQ. But nothing really makes up for being in the theatre when the lecturer is explaining a concept. You can make do with the recordings but I always find that it takes longer to listen to a recording than it does to actually attend the class.

Often, you'll find that off the cuff comments and statements make their way into multiple choice questions, pay attention. Take notes, whether in a book or on the printed notes is up to you, but make sure you're putting in some sort of effort because it focuses you on the actual content.

Choosing subjects

You need to think ahead a little bit. Take half an hour, write down the majors you would consider and look at the subjects that you have to do for them. Then check their prerequisite subjects. Can you qualify for multiple majors to keep your options open or do you have to exclude some of them? If you're an Arts student the conditions are often a little broader (eg 25 points of first year English subjects) but in Science it's generally a specific subject that you must do.

Studying

If you already know what you plan to do after your degree (apply for job, masters of X, research etc.) then you should check out what the requirements are. Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 70% for Honours? That's your target to aim at. In 1st semester you should get a feel for how difficult it is to get certain grades and you'll get an idea of what effort you need to put in. Obviously it all depends on your particular work habits etc. but the following are a few general pieces of advice that may be useful:

Don't put off work with the rationale that "it's only the first week" or "I have plenty of time". No need to go over the top with study in your first year but at the same time don't ignore your degree.
Research should be done fast. Books won't be in the library a week from the essay due date.
Just because the lecturer didn't explain it, doesn't mean it won't be on the exam. You need to study it yourself.
Making some summary notes at the end of every week is a good idea (or end of every lecture if you're keen).
SWOTVAC is for working not for sleeping/drinking despite what every other student (including me) will tell you

FAQs

Q. I heard the term "JAFFY", what does it mean?
A. Just Another Fucking First Year. Yeah, we hate you guys.

Q. I got an H1/H2A/etc., what does this mean?
A. Uni grades are different. 80+ is an H1, 75-79 is an H2A, 70-74 is an H2B, 65-69 is an H3, 50-64 is a P, <50 is an F. The H stands for Honours, the P for Pass and the F for Fail. Just so you know, all failed assessment is double marked.

Q. My timetable isn't displaying/I can't change subjects or enrol in classes, what do I do?
A. The university adopted a new database system last year (ISIS) and it's universally considered to be a joke. Wait it out or contact your student centre (be prepared to wait).

Q. What is my "study plan"?
A. When it works, it's a record of all the subjects you've done, when you did them and your results. It also shows what subjects you need to complete in the future and any you've already pre-selected

Q. I don't like my tutor and he/she doesn't like me, help!
A. Change tutes or deal with it. If you tutor is going to be marking your work (eg final essay) then I strongly suggest you change tutes (takes 30 seconds via the study plan but is probably a worse timeslot). If you don't like your final mark itís really hard to get it remarked.

Q. I emailed my lecturer at 10.30am about the assignment and it's now 2pm and it's due in 3 hours, WHY HASN'T HE REPLIED?
A. Lecturers get a lot of mail, 50+ messages a day that need to be replied to. Also, don't leave assignments to the last day.

Q. This is really hard and I don't know whether I'll be able to pass. Everyone else seems so much better than me.
A. You got the marks to get in here, you'll get the marks to pass. Every first year has these confidence freak outs at some point during the year. Passing at uni is not hard and you can always build better marks later.

Q. What's this "Prosh Week" thing I keep hearing about?
A. It's a week during second semester where students form teams to compete in challenges (Iron Gut, Scavenger Hunt etc.). There is a lot of alcohol, nudity and general silliness and it's a generally enjoyable week. Stay away from South Lawn if you don't want to see people doing crazy things.

Q. Why isn't uni like the hollywood representation with no work, easy women and epic parties?
A. Deal with it.

And finally, have fun. You're in the real world, so make the most of it. The lecturers have a sense of humour and are more than willing to be "normal", as evidenced by this exam paper, which is probably my favourite thing from my time at uni.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 10:14:52 am by Russ »

mikee65

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 08:56:15 pm »
0
Extremely informative and comprehensible, thanks Russ

Choclit

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 09:36:34 pm »
0
Thanks for this Russ! :)
The handbook link doesn't seem to work.

vexx

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 09:38:14 pm »
0
Thanks for this Russ! :)
The handbook link doesn't seem to work.

Look here (think the problem was needed https):
https://handbook.unimelb.edu.au/faces/htdocs/user/search/SimpleSearch.jsp

2010 VCE: psychology | english language | methods cas | further | chemistry | physical ed | uni chemistry || ATAR: 97.40 ||

2011: BSc @ UoM

Y1: biology of cells&organisms | music psychology | biological psychology | secret life of language | creative writing
    || genetics&the evolution of life | biochemistry&molecular biology | techniques of molecular science -.- | mind,brain&behaviour 2

20XX: MEDICINE

Ghost!

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2011, 10:01:28 pm »
0
Thank you so much for this Russ, incredibly helpful.
2011 - English, English Language, Philosophy, Indonesian SL, Outdoor and Environmental Studies.

ďWe are all alone, born alone, die alone, we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely -- at least, not all the time -- but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.Ē
― Hunter S. Thompson

werdna

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2011, 10:15:28 pm »
0
Uni sounds like heaps of fun.. thanks Russ!  ;)

GO MONASH!!
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98.40_for_sure

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 10:24:29 pm »
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Should have gone to UoM... ffffffffu--
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mikee65

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2011, 10:24:51 pm »
0
Should have gone to UoM... ffffffffu--
muhaha

vexx

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2011, 11:00:29 pm »
0
Should have gone to UoM... ffffffffu--

you still can... do eeeet - so much better then monash xD
2010 VCE: psychology | english language | methods cas | further | chemistry | physical ed | uni chemistry || ATAR: 97.40 ||

2011: BSc @ UoM

Y1: biology of cells&organisms | music psychology | biological psychology | secret life of language | creative writing
    || genetics&the evolution of life | biochemistry&molecular biology | techniques of molecular science -.- | mind,brain&behaviour 2

20XX: MEDICINE

mikee65

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 11:07:29 pm »
0
Why is UoM considered 'better'?

rustic_metal

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 11:27:34 pm »
+1
Academic Advice Day - 24 January

The purpose of this day is basically to get you set up for your course. You'll hear from your coordinator, current students and other people who can help you. Student advisors will be available for you to ask questions about whether subject X is needed for major Y etc.
You really should attend, this is your first opportunity to meet the other students in your course - you're going to be seeing them a lot over the next few years, so meet them sooner rather than later. The advice is also pretty good (if a bit general) and you'll start to get a feel for what campus is like. If you canít go itís not a big deal.

Remember to grab a showbag from the SSS (Science Students' Society) too. It has an alternative handbook in it with an awesome uni survival guide (reviews of pubs and coffee places, tips on subject selection, which social events are the best, etc).

In terms of joining the student union, I think it's a very good idea. They do a lot of work behind the scenes and need money to keep doing that. The bonuses you get from the membership (access to the Rowden White Library, the members lounge etc.) are nice but probably aren't worth $99 unless you use them regularly.

It's definitely worth it! Clubs are generally around $2 if you have a union membership and up to $10-15 without it, so you'll save at least $25 just in o-week from joining clubs. You'll also get (unlimited!) free sausages, veggie burgers and drinks (soft drinks, water, beer, cider, etc) every Tuesday at the union bbq, so that's your lunch sorted for 24 days a year (5 weeks worth of uni lunches). Then there's social events, where being a member of the union will get you $10 tickets to cocktail party, rather than $25 (there are dozens of night events like this which are awesome to go to).

Oh and you'll get free easy access to cheap printing and PCs/macs at any time in union house without the hassle of having to run around the uni to find a computer that's connected to a printer. The Rowden White is useless unless you want to sleep (they have beanbags!), but the members lounge is an absolute pain if you aren't a member, since you can't go in to talk to your friends if they're in there (it's right in the middle of union house). And yes, they check cards all the time.

I reckon I made back a few hundred dollars worth of savings, which isn't even counting all the free food and drink you'll get from clubs pretty much every Tuesday through Wednesday (and sometimes Monday and Friday too, but those are usually the dead days).

On that note, if you're looking to get a day off, make it Monday or Friday. When you're creating your timetable, the best times to schedule a break for are Tuesday 12-2 (this is a common break anyway, the uni must have decided to make sure everybody will have at least one chance to see their friends), Wednesday 12-2 (preferably get the entire afternoon off if you can) and Thursday 12-2 (...okay so I just realised these are all 12-2 haha). Wednesday is the day where all the big events occur, so do your best to get the whole afternoon off. Kegs n Sun (SSS - science), Beer n Chips (MUESC - the engies), More Beer events (Including Fort Beer) are just some of them. Also most night events are held on Wednesday, so groups of people tend to meet up a few hours before on South Lawn for pre drinks and to get ready before heading off.

There are a lot of clubs on campus and thus there's a day when they'll all have stands at Union House and showcase themselves. The one piece of advice I can give you is this: don't join every club that looks semi interesting. Ask yourself if you're really going to be attending regular meetings and taking part or if you just like the idea of a club dedicated to chocolate or juggling or llamas.


Fuck yeah, juggling club! I used to go to that after uni on a Thursday, since it's in North Court and it's a convenient buffer between classes and Thursday night Pugg's. Haven't been since semester 1, though. :P

Has anybody actually seen FOUL this year? I think they might have shut down. They won prosh a couple of times a few years ago...

If you'd like I can write a guide to student societies, pub nights, balls, cruises, prosh week and other social events for you to tack onto the end of your post.


vexx

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 11:31:17 pm »
0
Why is UoM considered 'better'?

i personally only like melbs so much more because of it being so much prettier (yes i am someone who feels more comfortable and happier in a more attractive/lively environment) and in a good & convenient location.xD
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 11:34:03 pm by vexx »
2010 VCE: psychology | english language | methods cas | further | chemistry | physical ed | uni chemistry || ATAR: 97.40 ||

2011: BSc @ UoM

Y1: biology of cells&organisms | music psychology | biological psychology | secret life of language | creative writing
    || genetics&the evolution of life | biochemistry&molecular biology | techniques of molecular science -.- | mind,brain&behaviour 2

20XX: MEDICINE

rustic_metal

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2011, 11:33:11 pm »
+1
Why is UoM considered 'better'?

Because we're better than everyone else and our opinion is correct.

Edmund

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2011, 12:11:33 am »
+1
Add these links to first post please ;D

Past exam papers for the earlier generation subjects can be found here - the digital repo
http://dtl.unimelb.edu.au/

Also, a cheap printing shop can be found under the Arts Centre (you have to go round to the back of the building). Alternatively, go to Scotts printing that's along Swanston Street.

Careers, Employment, Volunteering and Campus jobs
http://careersonline.unimelb.edu.au/Identity/LDAP/Wayf.aspx?ReturnUrl=/Default.chpx

Quote
Q. I don't like my tutor and he/she doesn't like me, help!
A. Change tutes or deal with it. If you tutor is going to be marking your work (eg final essay) then I strongly suggest you change tutes (takes 30 seconds via the study plan but is probably a worse timeslot). If you don't like your final mark itís really hard to get it remarked.
If you really have to get something remarked, go to your tutor first. If your tutor doesn't make things better, go to the head tutor and if the matter isn't resolved then see the coordinator. I got bumped up 2 grades going through this process so it was worth it.

/offtopic
How to use 'the secret passageway'. :)
2007-2008 VCE ATAR 90.15
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2012-2015 DDS (Unimelb)

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Whatlol

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Re: New Student? Read this.
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 12:25:35 am »
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Wow this is great, thanks
failed uni