Samara | Second Year Stories

Why UTS:Law?

I honestly didn’t consider UTS as an option for university until I was in Sydney going to Uni Info days and my mum suggested we pop by to see what it was like. Out of every university I visited that weekend, the students and staff were the most helpful at UTS, and overall the atmosphere just felt right. I was able to speak to a student who was studying what I wanted to study, and she gave me great advice, telling me the pros and cons of Law/IS here versus other universities, and that conversation is actually what convinced me to choose UTS. Even if you’ve already picked your degree, I definitely recommend talking to an older student who’s doing the same thing as you, to hear what their experience is like and what advice they’d give. A good opportunity for this is the LSS Buddy Program, where first years are partnered up with an older student who can give you advice, notes, a friendly face to grab coffee with, etc. I made a great friend out of it- it’s definitely worth it!

What does an average day at uni look like for you?

Living on campus meant that I got to sleep in longer, and my commute to uni was simply a quick walk down the goods line to the Law Building. I still somehow managed to be late to quite a few classes, (but there’s always going to be that one person who walks in one hour late to every class, so don’t feel too nervous about walking into a class that started 10 minutes ago). I was really lucky that I got to walk home in between classes for lunch or to study, which I often did. At the end of the day, someone in my building would always be up for a game of pool or drinks on the rooftop.

What was one (positive) unexpected experience you had in your first year?

One of the best decisions I made last year was to go on First Year Law Camp. I debated whether or not to go because I didn’t know anyone and was feeling quite stingy about paying for the ticket, but trust me- it’s 100% worth it. Whilst ‘Law Camp’ can sound a bit boring, it’s actually filled with fun activities,  ridiculous pranks, and is a great setting to get to know the people you’re going into uni with. I met some of my best friends there. It was great to have friends throughout my first year who did law as well, so that we could bounce ideas off each-other, complain about the same things, and catch up after classes. Plus, after the camp, I always had at least one person to talk to/sit with in each of my classes.

What was one challenge you faced in your first year? How did you overcome it?

A challenge that I faced last year was keeping on top of the large workload. Whilst I enjoy doing law, it is a lot of work, and there are a LOT of textbook readings etc. It was easy to find myself falling behind and just procrastinating too much. So I tried studying at the Uts library so that i’d have less distractions, studying with someone else so that I was held accountable, and writing up a schedule of what subjects I had to do throughout the week, rather than leaving it all to the last minute. Also, I was told by another student to buy the textbook ‘Criminal Law Elements’ by Penny Croft when doing Criminal Law, it’s basically a condensed version of the Crim-law textbook with just the important information. You’re welcome.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone just starting their first year?

It can be pretty daunting starting uni, especially if you don’t know anyone. You just have to remember that every person there is in the same boat as you, and are probably also feeling a little nervous, and want to make friends. Don’t be scared to say hi, and strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class or in the elevator. Once I started to do that, my whole university experience became better. I would also advise against scheduling a lecture as your first class of the day, because it is way too tempting to skip it for a few more hours of sleep and “watch the video later” (you won’t).