University freshers' guide to navigating campus

uni freshers
uni freshers

Starting university can be rather daunting, it's a new chapter in this big-ol' different place that's nothing like high school. It doesn't have to be as scary as it seems though. The sooner you familiarise yourself with the facilities at campus, the easier your life will be. Don't be afraid to ask people, or even do some exploring of your own.

1. All your classes, tut rooms and lecture halls

No need to run around like a headless chicken and perpetuate the lost-first-year narrative. Use your spare time to locate all of your lecture halls and tut rooms so that when you do eventually have the class, you won’t waste your time looking for it.

Your peer facilitator at university orientation should show you where everything is, but some rooms can be really hidden, so locate!

2. Cafeteria

You’ll most likely know exactly where this is but familiarise yourself with the different cafés and eateries at campus, since there will probably be more than one. It’s good to know this, especially if you have certain dietary preferences or needs.

3. Toilets

This may seem like a pretty obvious or strange one, but it’s good to know where all the bathrooms at campus are located so that you don’t end up looking for one far and wide when there’s probably one really close to wherever you are.

4. Student admin

It’s probably not some place you’re going to want to be but it’s important that you know where it is in case you need to sort out any admin. Don’t take all the student admin horror stories you hear to heart though, they’re not that bad.

5. Faculty admin

Besides the main student admin, each faculty has their own administrative area where they deal with student issues. If you’re having an issue with your courses, such as wanting to change modules, your results or anything of the sort, this is the place to go.

6. Library 

Not only is it good to know where the library is, you need to know where it's okay for you to sit and do your work. Certain areas are permissible to certain students and others aren’t. For example, there are certain places in the library areas allocated for honours or masters students only.

Even though it’s a library, you’ll find that certain places are a whole lot quieter than others. Find a good spot to do some self-study or work on assignments and a different spot for group work or group study.

7. Printing shops and spots

You’re probably going to need to do some printing at campus. Different campuses have different payment methods: some use printing cards while others use cash, so find out which one yours uses and get printing away.

8. Parking

If you’re going to be driving in to campus, it’s good to locate a good parking spot that’s central to your classes. This may be a bit of a schlep, since campuses are notorious for being bad with parking. At some campuses, there are also certain parking allocations for undergraduate students, postgraduate students and above and lecturers and staff, etc. 

9. Public transport stops

If you’re making use of public transport to travel to and from campus, know where all the stops are. Perhaps there’s a more convenient stop or route for you that you weren’t aware of. 

10. Lift clubs

This is more of a campus tip than something you should locate, but lift clubs are a convenient travel method. Make sure you travel with people who have similar lecture times to you to avoid having to wait long after class or make your lift club wait for you. If you’re driving in to campus, it will save you petrol money and if you’re travelling by public transport, you’ll have the convenience and safety of being fetched and dropped off at home with a lift club.

11. Career counsellors 

If you have any concerns about your career or module choices or are thinking of changing your study course, try consulting a career counsellor at campus first. They are free and you can only gain by seeing one.

12. Campus doctor

If you’re feeling under the weather, the campus doctor is there to help. They may not be free, so find out before going for a consultation.

13. Lecturers’ office

If you have any queries or need clarification on your work, book appointments with your lecturers for consultations. They offer one-on-one assistance and it could greatly benefit you.

14. Writing/academic development centers 

Most universities have special academic assistance to help you with essay writing or provide you with some guidance for your work, yet it's so underrated. Be sure to make use of it! 

15. Computer labs

If you're not in the mood to lug a laptop around campus, don't have one to bring along or have some unforeseen last-minute editing to take care of, there are computer labs available for you to use. 

16. Campus security

For any security issues or suspicious behaviour that needs reporting, make sure you know where to go. 

17. Relaxation spots

While university is definitely about getting an education, it can become quite overwhelming and stressful at times. Find a nice quiet spot to relax and find some peace in your free time, your mental health is super important.

Are there any other places you can think of that should be added to the list? Let us know by emailing us at and we could publish your comments. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

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