We’ve summed up the most important changes to keep in mind, and help to give you a bit of a head start on this next chapter of your life.
The first major difference to school is that your institution is not going to call your parents to chase up homework and assignments not yet completed, or hand out detentions if you miss one class. Staying on top of your assessment will be completely up to you to manage, but it does take some pressure off knowing your ‘rents won’t be in the know on everything you do. That said, there is a lot of help available with any homework or time management troubles you might be having.
Whilst the time you spend in class may vary from course to course, the average student spends around 12 – 20 hours a week at uni or Tafe: this could mean you’re there for 2 or 3 days of the week! Even though you may have to juggle a new part-time job and social commitments, it will feel like a blessing having so much flexibility. You’ll also probably be starting classes closer to March, and finishing in November/early December. Let the relentless gloating in front of younger siblings begin.
In addition to the lack of class hours, gone will be the days of waking up at 6:30am every single morning (at least until you start placement or full time work). Most institutions (yes RMIT!) allow you to customize your timetable to suit your needs, which may include a generous 8-9 hours of shut-eye. Cherish these precious sleep-ins and late starts before they eventually disappear.
Being over 18 is great. You can vote, work, drive, go out to bars and clubs, move out, or travel while still being a full-time student. This also means you’ll probably have a lot more responsibilities with managing costs, and may find yourself having to learn the difficult art of budgeting your life. PSA: RMIT does offers free financial advice to students if you find yourself living off Mi Goreng or the Maccas Loose Change Menu in your first year.
Calling all aspiring globe trotters and wanderers! RMIT offers dozens of different exchanges, internships and study tour programs all across Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania and North and South America. Picture yourself trekking through Vietnam’s rice fields on an exchange, taking a fashion intensive class at LIM College in New York, or immersing yourself in the beauty of Mexico to learn Spanish. FYI these study tours and exchanges all count towards your study, and there’s a lot of loans and scholarships available.
Sure, you might have school sports teams and a few clubs in high school, but you haven’t seen anything yet until you’re at university or TAFE. The Games, Manga and Anime club, Snow Sports club, RMIT Movie Club, Funkadelics club and French club (for lovers of all things French) are just a handful of our favourite RMIT clubs and societies, out of the 50+ clubs you can join to meet a bunch of awesome like-minded people.
Chances are you won’t be going to the same institution as most people from your year level. Whether you’re thinking “thank god” or feeling anxious, you will be meeting hundreds of new people from completely different backgrounds, who don't know anyone either. And this is great, because your uni or Tafe friends might be some of the best you make.