Chiara Angelica is a Unimelb Adventures contributor. She is currently studying Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne. You can follow her on Instagram @chiara.angelica
It all started a week ago, when I had an hour to kill on campus. I was waiting for a friend to finish her classes so that we could leave uni together, and I could have done many things in that hour – like catch up on the millions of things I have on my to-do list. But then, my friend proposed the idea of going to her tutorial with her, and in true procrastinator fashion, I couldn’t resist. I’m now a first year biomedicine student with life experience in a science tute, an arts tute, and a commerce tute, and the differences were striking.
But first… How did I pull it off?
There are two main hurdles for sneaking into tutes. The first is managing to get in without being questioned by the tutor. For the Science/Biomed tutes, there isn’t usually an attendance hurdle requirement, so tutors don’t pay much attention to who is present and who isn’t. This made it pretty easy to sneak into them stress-free. The Commerce tute was probably the hardest to do, as attendance forms part of their grade, so the tutor pinned me as an intruder straight away.
“Replacement tute?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied, my friend trying her hardest to control her laughter.
The second hurdle to sneaking into tutes is looking like you have a vague understanding of the content being delivered. I decided to have fun with it, taking vigorous notes on everything the tutor said in commerce and pretending to fill in the task sheet as quick as possible. When the tutor mentioned the assignment that was just released, I loudly whispered to my friend, “just finished it!” just to stir a reaction out of fellow students. It was great to see their panicked faces – I seemed really on top of everything!
While there are of course some similarities, from what I’ve seen, the four courses can really be grouped into three types of tutorials:
I’ve decided to lump these two together because they are pretty much the same. I didn’t notice many differences between science and my usual Biomed tutes. Attendance is not a hurdle, and when it came to signing my name and student number into an iPad, I would just pretend to type some numbers and pass it on to the next person. For most of the activities, we are expected to do it in groups, making it super easy to make friends. As for not knowing the content, most people are really behind anyway, so it’s easy to get away with being an intruder in the class.
For this tute, we had to write our name and student number down on paper, so it was relatively easy for me to get away with not putting anything down. It was way more difficult for me to get away with not knowing info, though, as we were being constantly called on for answers. At one point, I was cornered, but I was in no hurry to expose myself – I said I hadn’t been to the lectures in weeks! (I’ll leave the tutor’s reaction to your imagination.) Here, there is also a bit of group work, so it’s not too difficult to make friends. The hardest part? Sitting in there with a straight face.
This tute was the hardest one to stay serious in, as it was dead silent the entire time and the tables were set up in rows. I hope not all commerce tutes are like that, because it was easily the most awkward one, too. The work was done more individually, and since I had no idea what on earth was going on, I would constantly be asking my friend what to do. This obviously drew lots of attention, and the poor tutor even walked up to the pair of us after every task, asking if I was okay. It would be difficult to make friends in a tute like that since it was completely silent the entire time, even when the tutor left us to do tasks. I guess Commerce jaffies are on top of their work? Lucky people.
So, whilst it was really fun to try out these tutes, I don’t think I’ll be looking to lift my already mountainous contact hours anytime soon, and I hope all those randoms I met are going well! Those of you that gave me the answers are the real MVPs. While I’m sure the whole ordeal raised my heart-rate by 100 bpm trying to get away with this, it was fantastic to see what different courses have to deal with on a week to week basis. The best part, though, was doing it with a friend – it’s so much harder to stay serious, making it infinitely more fun!