Pulp is a student publication based at the University of Sydney.

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When you’re a small fish in the USYD sea.

When you’re a small fish in the USYD sea.


Much like the uncanny Hogwarts looking quadrangle, my time at the University of Sydney has been a bit of a daydream. This chapter of my life, beginning university, has always seemed too far away to think about. It is difficult to comprehend how the past few months of applying, being accepted and enrolling in courses have blurred together.

Now that we are here, how do I feel?

Excited? Of course. Nervous? Absolutely. Uncertain? Certainly.

During OWeek I walked down Eastern Avenue, soaking in the diverse campus and sceneries of Sydney. Sure, you could sense us freshers were immensely excited for the year ahead.

But amidst all the thrill there was an underlying apprehension; a thousand buzzing questions of how we were going to cope with no teachers chasing us up and whether we have made the right degree choices.

Side note: do we bring a pencil case?

If there’s anything I’ve gathered through the enrolment process, it is that university carries a new emphasis on being self-driven and resourceful that I’ve never experienced before. Gone are the days where I could run to my high school careers advisor, spread myself out on the floor and dramatically cry “Do it for me!”.  And while I enjoy this new independence, I’d be lying if I said being treated like an adult doesn’t scare me.

Trying to adapt to a new learning type in an environment of so many ‘firsts’  is especially concerning. For example, how do I get to classes that are on opposite ends of campus when I only have five minutes between tutorials? How do I become self-sufficient quickly? And if I find myself struggling to stay afloat, where are the best places are to seek advice or assistance?

In a magical land where even a Disney Appreciation society exists, I can’t imagine there would ever be a shortage of things to do. However, this is both exciting and overpowering; are there enough hours in the day?

Between lectures, assignments, part time jobs and social life, I worry that no amount of Kikki.K stationery will save me from inevitable disorganisation. With so many opportunities at my fingertips, I find myself questioning what will have to suffer. Is there a secret to time management that will allow me to maintain grades and a social life while still having more than three dollars in my bank account?

There is so much to be excited about. Yet the challenge of balancing home and university, being late to lectures and running across campus, and making time for both friends and studies, is nerve-wracking.

With this in mind, here is my question to you, the student body of Sydney University: how do I, and all the other first years, make our time here the best it can be?

Oh, and I’d like a definitive answer on the whole ‘bringing a pencil case in’ thing please.

Sincerely, Little Fish.

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