50 things to try in your first Year!
In no particular order:
[ ] Try new foods - Armidale has a wide range of international restaurants - don’t just go to the same place over and over again.
[ ] Make a friend from another culture - Experience a culture other than your own - one of the amazing things about UNE is how diverse our student cohort is - make new friends, enjoy new types of food and experience life from a different perspective.
[ ] Take the “gold coin donation” bus tour from the information centre - Don’t fall in the trap of never stepping foot off campus - this tour gives you an overview of Armidale’s history and is a great way to keep the parents entertained entertained for a couple of hours.
[ ] Speaking of the info centre, don’t get stuck on campus - go explore the rest of what Armidale has to offer. The info centre has brochures on… everything.
[ ] Don’t only make friends from your college. Get to know a wide group of people. Start off by having a coffee catchup with people you meet in lectures.
[ ] Make a fool of yourself at least once - and then get over it. The amount of things you’ll never do if too scared of making a fool of yourself is staggering. Break that habit NOW!
[ ] If you’re going to drink alcohol then learn to drink well. Don’t fall into the trap of just binge drinking. Learn to drink like an adult - catch up for a beer on a Sunday afternoon, enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner, learn to appreciate a nice whiskey.
[ ] Don’t drink goon - see above.
[ ] Drink goon - okay you’re a university student. You’re gonna drink goon at some stage. Just stay away from bins - you don’t want to know the shit that goes in there.
[ ] Learn to say no. This doesn’t just apply to drinking. You’re no longer in high school - learn to be yourself.
[ ] Take photos - not just selfies. You’ll want to capture the memories of your first year.
[ ] Call your FAMILY! Everything is so exciting and you’ll be busy but it’s easy to forget.
[ ] Get a care package. Those packages that arrive from home filled with goodies and love and all things wonderful. Start hinting early.
[ ] Go to a party at another college or in town. Just remember - safety first if you don’t know the people you are partying with be ultra careful about what you’re drinking and where your glass is.
[ ] Have a hallway/block/flat/street party. Get together with your neighbours and eat, drink and be merry at some time other than at a formal dinner where you’re all forced to sit together.
[ ] Go to a UNE Gaming Society Games Night - see the ‘Stro turned into a gamers haven. All the gaming under the sun including computer, console, board and card games.
[ ] Learn how to budget. Welcome to the life of a university student. Learn how to do a personal budget and then stick to it.
[ ] Learn to talk about money without being awkward about it. Most of us are in the same boat. If you can’t afford to catchup for coffee because you have twenty cents till your next pay say so. If your friends can’t understand - they’re shit friends and you should probably get new ones.
[ ] Do things that are free (or very cheap). Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you can’t have a life. Instead of having coffee at a cafe have a BYO coffee break in the park, can’t afford a night out? Have a “cheap” wine tasting evening where everyone has to bring a cheap bottle of wine to try and something to eat. The point is to spend time with your friends not the money you spend.
[ ] Play in the leaves in autumn - Just wait. The weather gets cooler, the leaves change colour and all of a sudden there are big piles of leaves around. Take a break from study and go play in the leaves.
[ ] See Gostwyck chapel when the leaves turn red - it’s a ridiculously picturesque little church near Uralla covered in vines… visit it in Autumn to see the leaves turn red.
[ ] Take part in a snow watch - it does snow in Armidale. Rarely but it does snow. When the snow warnings go out no-one gets much sleep because we’re all sitting up waiting for it to snow… get some hot chocolate and marshmallows and join us.
[ ] It’s snowing in Guyra! When you hear that it’s snowing in Guyra drop everything, grab some friends, a camera and go. It’s a tradition.
[ ] Go explore the pine forest. And no it’s not on campus.
[ ] Give blood - get over your fear of needles and pay it forward.
[ ] Become self sufficient - learn to live within your budget, how to plan meals and how to make decisions for yourself.
[ ] Learn how to ask for help - as much as we’re all for being self sufficient and “grown up” there are times you’ll need help. Ask.
[ ] Buy yourself some kitchen essentials that make eating cheaper in the long run - our personal favourites are a sandwich press and rice cooker.
[ ] Find a favourite study spot (that’s not in your room/house) - a particular spot in the library, your favourite cafe, on a picnic blanket under a tree… stop thinking that you have to be at your desk to study.
[ ] Visit a waterfall. Any waterfall. We’re surrounded by them.
[ ] Make sure that exercise is part of your routine. Join the gym, go for an afternoon walk, play a sport, participate in MBPT.
[ ] Travel or plan to travel. It can be a big trip to celebrate graduation in 3 years or it can be a road trip to see something in Australia. Start planning and budgeting now so you know how many hours you’ll have to work to be able to afford it.
[ ] Go camping at the beach for a midwinter break. Grab some friends, a couple of tents and an esky. Leave early and spend a couple of days at the beach. If it’s coming up to exams take your text books and study at the beach.
[ ] Go walking in the rain - take in the weather and the atmosphere and enjoy the fact that Armidale has rain that doesn’t equate to a monsoon season.
[ ] Do a late night run to Rosie’s (at Black Mountain) for the only all night fried chicken.
[ ] Go on radio! Then get a photo of you at the microphone to prove to your mum that yes, you really were allowed to talk on air. She’ll brag on that for years.
[ ] Join in! Go to student events like Well Fair and Christmas in Winter. Go to the ‘Stro. Join a club or society, learn a new hobby, start volunteering at the local community garden.
[ ] Change up your style - who you were in high school literally doesn’t matter now. Try wearing something you wouldn’t have worn back home. Just don’t take to wearing onesies or your pjs to class. Yes you can do it. Yes it may even be on other to-do lists. Don’t do it. Trust us.
[ ] Dabble in romance - flirt with someone. Go on an actual date (not just meeting up at the ‘stro). Put yourself out there, enjoy yourself - just be safe.
[ ] Don’t be a “that” guy or “that” girl. Don’t be “THAT” person at parties who hits on the super drunk guys or girls. Know the rules about what consent is an make sure you’re not leaving yourself open to a having to explain your actions to the SGU (student grievance unit) or worse… the police.
[ ] Buy your own condoms. Or at least go to Uni4Me to get some free ones. Check out what other birth control options are available.
[ ] Take part in a marathon - whether it’s running, gaming or harry potter. Put aside a solid block of time and do something kinda insane.
[ ] Decorate your room/house, settle in to UNE and make this your home. Treating Armidale like you’re only visiting is the quickest way to loneliness/homesickness we know. You’re here for at least three years - welcome home.
[ ] Enjoy the fact that we do live on a safe campus. Grab some friends go for a midnight stroll on campus. Stargaze from the lawns of Bool. Go ghost hunting.
[ ] Submit something for the Nucleus. A letter to the editor, a news piece, a photo or artwork. Then grab a copy and send it home to Mum.
[ ] Figure out your taste in art. Go to NERAM, check out the artwork in Bool. Decide for yourself what you do and don’t like.
[ ] Say hello to Annabelle. Ask her for a selfie.
[ ] Have a song. A song that whenever you hear it you’re going to think about this year and everything you’ve achieved.
[ ] Keep your eye on the fact that you’re here to start working towards your future. Then if any drama’s happen in your friendship groups, if you get bummed about your finances or if you get homesick - remember that.
[ ] Write a bucket list - don’t just include travel or fun goals but include your career and study goals. Then work at it.
[ ] MAKE A SCHEDULE. CHECK YOUR STUDENT EMAILS. GO TO CLASS. DO THE READINGS. GET ASSIGNMENTS IN ON TIME. STUDY FOR EXAMS EARLY. BREATHE. RELAX. REPEAT.