From your first mid-terms -- TO -- The end of your first year
(pwew)

So you're starting to wear off that noobie feel.  Good on ya!  So what else do you want to make sure you don't miss now that you're in amongst it with UQ life and assessments?  

Here are our Top 3 Most Important Things to do in your 1st Year in HASS at UQ!

1. Get to Doing!

The ground you lay in your first year will help you make the most of your second and third.  If you would like to be a student leader in later years then start today by joining clubs, sports teams, etc.  Participate now, so you can help lead things in the future!

Beyond clubs and societies and student events/initiatives, get volunteering and interning at Uni or other places!  Start stacking up those experiences.  Volunteering is one of the best ways to build your employabiliy and make new friends while you're at it.

One of the most common things we hear from student leaders in their final year of Uni is that they wish they had started getting involved sooner.  1st and 2nd semester of your first year is a great time to participate so that you can look to take on some responsibility in the future.  Even being an active member of a student club can give your significant employability skills and open all kinds of doors for you that you might not expect!

2. Be Well!

Seriously, eating well and being physically active is one of the most underestimated yet most important strategies for uni students. 

While good nutrition seems to contradict the honoured student traditions of sausage-roll breakfasts and 2-minute noodle dinners, it makes a big difference for your ability to focus, be present, study, and stay healthy  when the stress of assessments start to pile on. 

Physical exercise is also a big one people often forget about, especially if you’re coming from High School where students tend to be much more physically active!  Physical activity helps you bet a balanced sleep, helps you focus and has shown to make a big difference to productivity (which goes a long way toward time management).

3. Make sure you're in the right 'place'.

Once you’ve had a semester under your belt and have been through a few rounds of assessments, a set of finals, and gotten your results, it’s a great idea to take some time to take stalk. 

How is it going?  Does what you’re studying feel like a good fit for you?

Sometimes we have a hunch early on that it isn’t quite the right fit.  Now we’re not talking about ‘I was a bit TOOO social this semester and didn’t get the grades I wanted’ or ‘ack, I’m struggling to adjust to all this freedom’, or 'I feel out of place because I haven't found my peeps yet.'  All of those things will come with time and a little effort (and we can help if you need it).

No, we’re more talking about those misgivings in the back of your mind that… 'this sounded like a good thing to study on the outside, but it doesn't really align with my values/skills/desires/what I want to do with my life' or 'I know my parents/guidence counselors/mentors said this is a good paying career... but I kinda don't relate to it or anyone I've met around it.' 

If you’ve got a growing feeling about this stuff, please please PLEASE take some time to consider it carefully.   Certainly, go ahead with your next semester if you want to be sure, but don’t wait too long to decide to make a change.  Maybe see if you can incorporate some electives from a subject you think might tap into your passion more. 

1 in 5 Uni students will change major or even degrees at some point, and that ratio is increasing.  So you’re far from alone if you’re having misgivings.  Just make sure you try things out early – take electives in other areas, go to a few lectures with your friends from other areas, talk to people who's opinions and advice you resepect and who you feel 'get you'. 

Certainly NEVER be afraid to make a change if you think you need to.  Finding out you DON’T want to do something is just as valuable as finding out you DO want to do something.  And the sooner you make a switch the less time you’ll have to make up later. 

Feel free to reach out if you are thinking you may be in the wrong place.  There is ZERO shame!

It's your life - you do you!