Guide to surviving university life

MOVING from Orange to university in a metropolitan area is exciting but it can also pose a lot of problems for parents and students. 

One problem, for example, is what do you do when you are broke and need to go to a doctor in a city you have only lived in for two weeks?

The answer can be found in an online university survival guide made for and produced by Orange university students and their parents. 

Charles Sturt University Bathurst students Rebecca Tomkins and Edwina Kerrigan worked on the guide with the Country Education Foundation in Orange. Ms Tomkins  said most of the information was sourced from her friends who went to Orange High School and had moved to city universities. 

The County Education Foundation is a national, not-for-profit organisation that establishes and supports rural students with their transition from high school into further education, training or jobs.

“One thing I thing I didn’t know was to pick your tutorials straight away otherwise you end up with bad ones like on a Friday morning at 8am,” Ms Tomkins said. 

She said friends complained of not knowing where the nearest bulk-billing doctor practised, how to get discounts on transport, or even that there were discounts on transport, not knowing where to find cheap textbooks and low-fee bank accounts. 

Country Education Foundation chief executive officer Sarah Taylor said parents often had concerns about whether their son or daughter would be safe when they moved out of home to go to the city.

“A lot of the information in there I think will give parents a degree of comfort,” she said.

Information includes where to find and how to access support services, as well as advice on how to handle your child not calling you for a day or two.

Ms Tomkins said some of the simple things tended to be overlooked when students are in a panic packing for university, such as how to use a washing machine.

“Like, what is the difference between front and top-loader washing powder?” she said. 

“Some of the boys at uni were lucky I was there at washing time- I’d say, ‘No, you can’t do that’, and they had no idea why.”

Go to cef.org.au to find the guide. 

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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