Student experience at UTS
Meet Tutti, fourth year Bachelor of Communications and Law student at UTS. In this video she shares what:
- research she did to choose her degree
- information she wished she knew in high school
- transitioning from high school to university was like
- support services are available to students
- the student and social life is like at UTS
Video: Student experience at UTS
Speaker: Tutti Copping, Communication and Law student, UTS
[Music playing] My name is Tutti and I'm in my fourth year of a combined Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Social and Political Science. When I was looking at researching for my current degree, I was very much one of those year 12s who really wanted to know everything. I was really unsure about what I wanted to do so every resource under the sun - I went out, I read, I had a look at. And the main ones for me were actually the course guides from the universities. And I think I remember having a stack of about 30 beside my desk and I just kept reading them and looking through, and tabbing the pages. But I also actually used a lot of the events and the open days. So I didn't make my decision actually until Options Day, which was the last time in the year to go in to all the unis and ask those really hard questions.
The reason I chose my degree at UTS was because I spoke to one of the girls who was studying the same degree and we kind of chatted, we spoke about our high school subjects and I realised that we had the exact ambitions and goals with where we wanted to go. And that's how I kind of worked out that that was the degree I was going to do.
The information I wish I knew in high school was probably a little bit more about the different options that are available. So while I did do a lot of research, I very much stayed in the courses that I kind of knew a bit about and knew I was interested in them, so I didn't expand my field and look at other faculties. So I didn't go “Oh, what is journalism? Would I be interested in that?” I very much stuck to what I thought I would like. I wish I knew that if you get early offers and conditional offers. You don't need to take them straight away.
Because I had a few conditional offers, and my mindset was like “I can… maybe slack off now?” I didn't, which was good in the end. But kind of relying on that can also be a little risky thing to do because you're putting all your eggs in one basket. So I wish I could have that perspective back then and go “No, just keep all your options open and make sure you cover everything you need to.”
At UTS there are so many support services available when you're transitioning into University. I was really worried I was so scared going into uni as I knew from my siblings, and my older friends as well, that uni is a lot different to high school. So I was expecting just kind of his overwhelming experience, but it wasn't like that at all. I remember my first assignment, the tutor sat down. She broke it down with us. She showed us how to, kind of, respond to it gave us really good techniques. And kind of created this environment where if we had any questions, we could always go to her. And obviously we all had a lot of questions, so we were constantly asking her things. And we also have a lot of academic writing support because that changes as well when you go into university. It's not always the same style and the same writing technique that you're using in high school, so it is really beneficial to be able to go in there and just check in and go, “Am I on the right path here?” And one thing I've actually used consistently throughout my degree is the peer service that's available. And that's where students who have done really well in the subject in previous semesters come back and teach it. So they’re able to unpack it with you in a different way, because they've actually gone through what you've experienced as well. So that has been really useful throughout my degree.
The social life at UTS is really unique and something I was really impressed with when I first arrived. So I was the only person from my grade that came to UTS. I was really worried, I just kind of envisioned myself as not making any friends, just going to classes and then going home. And that's not what happened at all. It's almost impossible not to make friends and kind of get involved. Within my first class, I sat next to a girl and we’ve now been best friends, for our entire university classes. We've always had classes together.
There are a lot of clubs and societies you can join whatever degree go into, whether it's forensic science, law communications, there's a student society you can join. They're really cohesive network of people that you're always around, and you can always be a part of. And I think something that is really important to remember is that everyone is in the same boat. And I kind of came into uni with the head space that everyone will already have all these friends and I'll just be alone. And that's not the case at all. Everyone is like, “Oh, I'm not going to make any friends.” So sometimes you’ve just got to take the first step and get out there.
Balancing all those different commitments such as work and study and obviously social events as well, can be a little bit difficult. And it does take time to adjust at university, because obviously it is different to how it is at high school. You don't always have tutors and teachers reminding you of when your assignments are due. But one of the main techniques I used when going into university, was just getting a giant wall planner and just writing everything that’s up for this semester. So I knew I was like “OK, in three weeks I have this assignment worth 20% due. I should start looking at it now”, and just different techniques like that. I think everyone is a little bit different. Everyone’s different with how they want to approach these things. But it's also important to check in with yourself and make sure that you aren't overloading on things. So always making sure that, you know, you can take time out and go and visit your friends and have a social life and do extracurricular things as well. It's not all about the study, and I think that's a really unique thing about UTS is
05:47 that they really make sure that you should have the
05:50 opportunities available. And you should be able to kind of fit
05:53 everything in. So, I know I really wanted to undertake an
05:56 internship and within my communications degree. They
05:58 said “Yeah, you can do that. You can get that practical
06:01 experience and we’ll actually give you credit for it. So it
06:04 will be one of your subjects.” So I was able to continue studying
06:08 and also be able to have that experience and do that
06:11 internship as well. If you are kind of struggling with
06:14 everything and you don't know how to get out or, kind of, you
06:17 can't see a way out. There are those resources available where
06:20 you can go and chat.
06:22 And they’re like “OK, let's just plan everything. Let's see
06:24 where we can go. Let's see where we can get you to where
06:27 you need to be now.” So I think that's really important as well
06:31 and it's really nice to know that you have a University that
06:34 will support you when you're going through times that may
06:36 be a little bit difficult.