A Guide to Starting Uni

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Source: Giphy


Starting uni is definitely an exciting adventure, but it can be confusing at first! Here are some tips to help you get started.


Attend orientation camps and events – and it doesn’t matter if you go alone!

The best time to make friends at uni is right at the start. I went to an orientation camp in my first year, and it was there that I made close friends that I still have now, going into my fourth year. You don’t have to have a group of friends to go with – these camps and events are all about making friends, and everyone is so nice. It is super reassuring to see a familiar face on campus on your first day when you might be really nervous! I have made most of my friends at uni through orientation, clubs and volunteering, rather than in classes.


Find out where your classes are before the first day

You will probably stop by uni to collect your student card anyway, so make the most of your time on campus and do a ‘trial run’ of finding your classes. As an example – my first ever uni class was on the biology floor of the psychology building – and the class was French! The app ‘Lost on Campus’ is a lifesaver when it comes to finding your way around.


Financial Aid

Uni comes with a lot of expenses, so make sure to visit the Financial Aid website, which has many resources and opportunities for financial assistance.


Read ahead

One thing I noticed when I started uni was that there was a heavy workload and so many ideas were new to me. It is best to start the year feeling somewhat familiar with what you will be learning, as there will be other things you have to sort out when you first start such as transport, accommodation, social events and finding where things are, so you don’t want to fall behind. Gradually you will see classes on the LMS become ‘available’ on the LMS, which means that you can browse through and take note of when assessments are, as well as have a read through any readings that are available. On this point too…


Get organised early

If you have to buy textbooks, it is good to do so before O-Week / Week 1, because there are really long lines at these times. You could go when you go to collect your student card and find your way to your tutorial rooms and lectures. It is also good to check out the university subject handbook and plan your timetable before class registration (hint: there are a lot of uni parties on Thursday nights, so you might not want to schedule too many classes for Friday if possible!). You can find out when registration opens for your subjects here. Make sure to be set up early to get the classes you want – the tutorials either side of lectures fill up SUPER quickly, so make sure you have a Plan B. You can schedule lectures back to back, because they start 5 minutes after the time on the timetable, and finish 5 minutes earlier (so, a 9:00am – 10:00am lecture is really 9:05am – 9:55am). Tutorials (tutes) usually go for the full hour.


Set up your laptop and get free Microsoft Office!

More details here.


Get ready for those sweet STUDENT DISCOUNTS!

Make sure you sign up for UNiDAYS and Student Edge.


Make a Student Connect appointment

I found my Student Connect appointment super helpful when starting uni, as they advised me how to plan my time (I had two jobs) and I felt more confident about starting my university journey afterwards. You can learn more here.


Familiarise yourself with at least one library

In my first year, I was so intimidated by the library that I didn’t go in there for about the first eight weeks of semester… and I feel like my life would have been a LOT easier if I had known my way around the library from Week 1. You can have a look around yourself before uni starts, or go on a library tour. I also recommend familiarising yourself with ‘Discovery search’ which will be very helpful for assessments. Basically, you use this search to find academic journal articles, which you will use to support arguments in essays, and for research. You should also sign into your university account with Google Scholar (instructions here, just click on ‘Google Scholar preferences’) so that you can access articles you find on Google Scholar. This is important because you want to be able to access complete texts, which you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise unless you paid for them.


Join at least one club

This is a great way to meet people. I joined a whole bunch in first year and then I could choose my favourites to continue attending (I wish I could have attended everything, but there are only so many hours in a day unfortunately!). Here is a list of clubs you could join.

If you have Facebook, make sure to ‘like’ the Facebook pages of clubs and societies to be updated on events and ticket sales. Remember with extremely popular events, people start lining up for tickets earlier than the advertised time.


Join a mentoring program

When I was in first year I participated in a mentoring program run by the Faculty of Arts and also one run by the Student Union (UMSU). I found these programs great for making connections and learning tips from older students. I even joined as a volunteer in the UMSU program in my second year.


Buy a planner

Another thing you will need for uni is a planner! Now is a good time to buy them as many are on sale. You will have a lot to plan, from work, to club meetings, to events, and most importantly, assessment due dates (which come up sooner than you expect)! Typo have some super cool ones, and there is a Typo store at Melbourne Central station.


Plan your transport route

It is good to know exactly what train / bus / tram you will need to catch, and how long it will take, to avoid any unnecessary stress or lateness on your first day of uni. Here are some helpful transport tips:

  • Pretty much every tram going along Swanston St takes you to uni. You can get on at both Flinders Street and Melbourne Central if you need to get the train first
  • There is a ‘Melbourne University’ tram stop, but you can also alight one stop earlier, at Lincoln Square – which might be quicker, depending on where your class is
  • If your train passes through North Melbourne, you’re in luck! Read about the 401 bus that goes from North Melbourne to uni (and vice versa)


Wishing you the best of luck for university! :) You’ve got this!





The best places to chill out at uni

It’s important to take a break during the business of SWOTVAC and exams, so the team have prepared a list of our favourite places to chill out at Unimelb!

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Source: Giphy

The lawn next to the Sidney Myer Asia Centre

Photography: Bella Barker

The water here is so calming, and there are two cafes close by (Cafe Resource attached to the ERC and Shanti Bagwan Cafe in the Alice Hoy building).


Queen of Hearts Cafe (Located in the HUB, Southbank Campus)

It has couches, a student lounge area, nice seating, table tennis and a foosball table! To get the equipment you’ll have to ask the baristas to lend you table tennis equipment and the foosball ball! They also have great playlists playing in the background (i.e. 90s hits <3 ).

Women’s Room

There are couches, blankets, bean bags, heat packs, you name it! All the necessities that keep you going. It feels homey pretty much!

Levels 2 and 3 of Arts West

Level 2 has beanbags. Enough said.

Arts West
Photography: Alain Nguyen

On Level 3, there’s a comfy corner that looks like a bed, and feels like a bed.

Concrete Lawns

OK, maybe not on the actual concrete, but there’s a nice stretch of grass nearby, as well as some benches along the edge  –  making Concrete Lawns a great place to chill out on a studt break (and if you’re studying again next semester, when you have a break between your classes!).

An old favourite – South Lawn!

The perfect place to relax on a warm day, with a good view of the clock tower / Old Arts.

Photography: Bella Barker


Rowden White Library

The classic, the one and only, the Rowden White Library. What else can you say about this magical place, other than it has tons of free stuff to borrow, as well as the legendary beanbag room where you’ll find couples hogging up space, Game of Thrones Screening and snores?

Outdoor study area

Located in between the Sidney Myer Asia Centre and the Eastern Resource Centre, this study space is so tranquil! Perfect for enjoying nice weather with a change of study environment.

outdoor area
Photography: Bella Barker
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Photography: Bella Barker

University Oval

Combine some fresh air with sunshine and exercise (exercise optional). There’s usually a few people kicking a footy around, or simply enjoy one of the most open spaces this close to the city.


Buy a beer or a coffee (or don’t). You’re mostly just there for chats under the tree.

Photography: Chris Ebbs


System Garden – Tucked in behind Babel and Botany Buildings

Great spot to enjoy some sunshine and sit on the grass surrounded by some beautiful garden beds. Like South Lawn, an ‘oldy but a goody’! It’s a relaxing spot to sit down and enjoy your lunch, or to read.

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Photography: Nicole Ng



The big steps outside the MSD (opposite Castro’s Kiosk)

An awesome spot for some sun and a lunch break, before heading back into the MSD for some study.


Our last favourite place to chill out isn’t on campus, but it’s only a short walk away…



Photography: Bella Barker

Just kidding.


All the best for SWOTVAC, everyone!

The Unimelb Adventures team

Getting involved at university and padding your resumé


Aidan is an Italian Honours student at the University of Melbourne and one of our sub-editors at Unimelb Adventures. When he’s not studying (ie. struggling to write his thesis) in the Bailieu library, you’ll find him taking photographs around Melbourne or attempting to learn another foreign language.


“So….. What are your plans for after university?”.

Source: ShareGif

Whilst it’s tempting to try and avoid answering the question and joke about “staying at university for the rest of your life”, at some point you’re going to have to start thinking about the future and start applying for those jobs and internships.

The next problem that you have to face is how to turn those 3+ years of essay writing, group assignment nightmares, and mid-semester breakdowns into some kind of professional-sounding experience. This is particularly difficult as satisfying the selection criteria for job applications when graduation day finally rolls around, or even during university when you’re applying for internships, does not usually involve “pulling all-nighters before assignments before nights are due” and “pub crawls”.

Satisfying all the criteria for jobs is particularly difficult as the demands of university, including its social aspects, don’t really leave you with the best opportunity to go out and get the experience required for your dream position.


Source: Quickmeme

Even if you have worked throughout your university degree, sometimes your extensive experience as a barista and your exceptional latte art skills aren’t going to be the best opening line of your application. The solution? Getting involved around campus.

Not only is getting involved a great way to pad your resume; it’s a great opportunity to make friends, learn new skills and follow your passions. As someone who is currently applying for a series of graduate programs and jobs, I’ve found myself drawing on some of these university experiences and extracurricular activities in order to satisfy some of the essential criteria for certain applications. Even with limited time after my study and part-time work (have to pay rent somehow), I’ve managed to find a few key extracurricular activities to help prepare me for life in the big world.


How I feel paying rent (Source: Quickmeme)

Some of these include: being a committee member for the Italian Social Club, a sub-editor/writer for Unimelb Adventures, and a Model UN delegate with the Melbourne International Relations Society. Whilst these are my personal examples, there are a myriad of groups you can get involved in a wide-range of roles and responsibilities you can undertake in order to prepare you for the professional world.


 Some of the things prospective employers are looking for

  • Teamwork
  • Strong oral and written communication
  • Achieves results
  • Working under pressure
  • Organisational Skills
  • Time management
  • Analytical mindset
  • Leadership Skills

Above are some of the most common criteria that employers look for. Now you may think that you can use just your university studies for the majority of these skills, and this may be true for some of them.  However, it is also great to have some experience outside of just your university studies to draw upon when you’re applying for jobs and internships, and extracurricular activities are perfect! For example, my experience as a Model UN delegate involved debating other students – ie. ‘strong’ oral communication skills – and experience analysing and researching international issues. I also spoke about my experience as a committee member for the Italian Social Club and how that helped develop skills relating to time management, organisation and teamwork as I worked with other committee members to organise and run events for the club, whilst balancing other commitments. Even my short time with Unimelb Adventures has come in handy as I speak about ‘meeting strict deadlines’ related to coordinating with writers to edit articles in preparation for publishing.

Whilst it’s important to try and put your best foot forward, it’s also a good idea not to over-exaggerate your role and experience when applying for your jobs. Whilst it may be tempting to say you pioneered a project that stopped climate change, or that you speak 7 languages, if you are lucky enough to progress to the interview round, you are likely to be further questioned on this experience. So be honest, you’d be surprised what kind of skills you develop through these experiences and how you can use them to your advantage.


Source; DubaiMemes
As there are so many extracurricular activities you can be involved in around campus, it’s also important to make sure that they are the ones you are going to enjoy the most. Whilst it may be tempting to choose only the ones that will stand out your resume, or to employ a cutthroat Frank Underwood-esque approach in your rise to become President (of that society), my advice it to also follow your passions, and it may even help your studies!

For example, my role as a committee member of the Italian Social Club is driven by my love of the Italian language, culture, food, a passion that I wish to share with others. It also ties back to my studies and family history, and it gives me even more opportunities to speak Italian!

Interested in getting involved? Check out this list of all the official clubs and societies on campus or read Alain Nguyen’s blogpost about more opportunities.

For more tips on applying for jobs and internships, check out the Unimelb Careers page for more advice from seasoned professionals

All the best for your applications!

How to Get Involved at Uni

Alain Nguyen is a second year student who spends too much time at Uni and has called it home. When he’s not at Uni, he’s a wannabe photographer and is still trying to get his Ps.

So you’re sitting down having a coffee and you have a five hour gap until your next lecture. You wonder to yourself, ‘How do I kill time without studying?’ as is the life of a university student. There are many opportunities for you to get involved with Uni and boost that resume of yours for when you go out into the real world to look for a job.

Clubs and Societies

This one is probably no stranger to anyone. There are over 200 clubs at the University of Melbourne that run a variety of academic, cultural and social events to suit everyone’s needs. Many events will give you free food for your troubles and you’ll never go hungry! From clubs that appreciate dogs to volunteering groups, there is surely something for everyone.


If you want to take a step further and be behind the scenes running operations, you can always run for a position at an annual general meeting (AGM) or special general meeting (SGM). Alternatively, just email the club and see if they have anything available.

The University of Melbourne Student Union

The Student Union (UMSU) not only offers cheap movie tickets and free BBQs, but also has many programs that you can get involved with: Host Program, VCE Summer School, Destination Melbourne and the Union House Theatre, to name just a few. Departments also host their own collectives, so it’s worth emailing the office bearers for more info. The student magazine, Farrago, also welcomes writers pitching their work or ideas to them. Finally, if it’s something you would consider, you can even run for student politics in September.


The University

UniMelb is a large place and there are many paid and unpaid opportunities available to students. One of the most popular is Open Day, where current students inform prospective students and their parents about what life at the University is like. There are also faculty specific programs such as demonstrators in the Faculty of Science. Careers Online is a great resource. The UniMelb-only directory lists opportunities from internships to volunteering placements. It even has a calendar for events that can help you find a career, such as resume boosting and how to network. Also, a program called Students@Work provides on-campus opportunities. If you’re at the point where you’re doing a postgraduate degree, you can even apply to be a tutor!


Beyond the University

Melbourne is a big city! There are many places to volunteer or work. You just have to look!

– Alain

Campus Hacks to Catch ‘Em All!

Ruby is a third year student studying a Bachelor of Science (Biotech) and a Diploma of Languages (Japanese), but is currently considering a professional career as a Pokémon Master.

When I wake up, I hit the gym. Instinct takes over and off I go.

Yeah, I’m that kind of person.

You see, I wanna be the very best, like no-one ever was.

To catch them is my real test, to train them is my cause.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you would have heard about the world’s latest craze: Pokémon GO. It’s been estimated that the app has been downloaded over 75 million times since its release on July 9th.

If you’re tired of just catching Pidgeys and haven’t yet dropped out of uni to kickstart your new career as a Pokémon Master (believe me, I was tempted!), you probably want to know one important thing: Where are the best spots on campus to catch them all?

I’ve been playing during breaks, lunch, tutorials and lectures, so I think I have a pretty good idea.

Best campus catches

Uni is a great place for catching Pokémon. With PokéStops around every corner and Lures on many of them, finding that Ponyta you’ve been hunting down or that Scyther everyone seems to have shouldn’t been too difficult. Some of my best catches have been on campus. So far, I’ve managed to haul in a:

  • Slowbro (South Lawn)
  • Kabutops (Doug McDonell building)
  • Vaporeon (Monash Road)
  • Hitmonlee (outside Castro’s)
  • Bulbasaur (North Court)
  • Ponyta (Baillieu Library)
  • Gastly (Baillieu Library)

As well as some pretty strong Exeggcute, Eevee, Koffing and Jigglypuff.


Frequent Lures

The most consistent PokéStops with Lures seem to be:

  • on North Court,
  • at the Asia Centre/Swanston Street tram stop,
  • around the Brownless Biomedical library,
  • across at the Law/Medical buildings,
  • and outside the Baillieu Library/South Lawn.

If a rare Pokémon appears on your map, it’s probably best to head to one of these places.


Best coffee (Poké)stops

While the stop is recharging, you can too!

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Ten tips for catching Pokémon

  1. Look for people on their phones, especially groups or those with battery packs!
  2. If you have friends in your classes who play, get a group together and consider organising Lures during lectures/tutes where you can reach PokéStops.
  3. Strangely enough, Pokémon often appear where you have a weak GPS signal, or when your phone is confused as to where exactly you are. (I can attest to this, as the Doug McDonell building has very low GPS signal and this is where I caught my Kabutops!)
  4. Pay attention to rustling grass – a Pokémon is nearby!
  5. Notice the colour of the circle change as you change Poké Balls. If it’s red, you may need to upgrade to a higher Poké Ball type, such as a Great or Ultra Ball.
  6. Try out campus at different times of day to maximise the variety of Pokémon you catch.
  7. If you run out of Poké Balls and your bag is full, discard less useful items such as Revives, Potions or Razz Berries.
  8. Plan your route to class – obviously, take the one with the most PokéStops!
  9. Don’t risk running out of battery on a rare Pokémon, make sure you turn on battery saver mode and bring a battery pack (or three!).
  10. PokéVision: see what’s in the area, what’s likely to spawn, and how long it will be there. Note though that Pokémon you see when you’re using a Lure or Incense are not shown on PokéVision, because those Pokémon are unique to your map.

Source: Ruby Schofield

OK now, this has been fun, guys, but I’ve been inside far too long. Time for me to head back out and clock up some kms!

 – Ruby

Need a new study spot? A guide to the Lenton Parr Music Library

Located on the first floor of the HUB Building at the VCA campus (Southbank), music students like myself enjoy using the Lenton Parr Library! I am super hyped to be telling you guys about this library, as this is the first time it’s being featured on the blog.

You can enter the library via the first floor of the HUB Building (VCA Campus)

Here are ten reasons why Lenton Parr is one of my favourite libraries at the University of Melbourne, and why I recommend it as a study spot.

1.It’s quiet, and peaceful

It is way more peaceful than the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library in the Eastern Resource Centre (Level 2), and I just love this. There are windows to see the scenery, comfy seats, and power cords. It’s such a chilled area, small and quiet. I feel it’s a special little gem to me, as a music student. According to the gossip around VCA and at the Con (Melbourne Conservatorium of Music), Lennon Parr will be expanded in the near future, and combined with the Louise Hanson-Dyer section of the ERC!

Scenery + comfy seats + nice tables = ooh!

2. Specialised music librarians…

… that are always there!

I know the ERC has music librarians, but often there are only general librarians working at the front desk. Whenever I go to the ERC to find a music resource, I’ve found that asking a general librarian may be a longer process, as they may have to email a music librarian for clarification.  Of course, they are more than happy to find any resource for you, regardless of what they specialise or are trained in. We, as music students, always have patience with them. But it is helpful to know that there are specialised music librarians at Lenton Parr when you need a resource, such as a score, quickly.

3.Somebody borrowed what you need at Louise Hanson-Dyer? You can go to Lenton Parr!

Even though it takes about half an hour by tram (just alight at ‘Arts Precinct’), the trip will be worth it when you find an extra copy of a resource. Heck, no one even goes there, so there’s always an extra copy… unless somebody borrowed it in desperate need at Lenton Parr. Booo!

4.Avaliable seats to study

Again, it’s VCA. If I was at Parkville and I couldn’t find a seat at any library or study space,  I would definitely go to Lenton Parr to study. Again, it takes half an hour to go there, but there’s always a free seat – a treasured rarity during SWOTVAC! There are also study rooms you can book! All of the rooms are media rooms, but two of them have a table and seats as well for studying.

5. Media rooms

When I was at VCA trying to find a working power cord last week, I discovered that two of the study/media rooms had bean bags, TV, DVD players and nice couches. I was AMAZED by this at Lenton Parr. You can book one of these media rooms using the booking system. Remember to book in advance to avoid missing out.

6. Additional resources

It can be a little annoying if a resource you need is at another campus. But when you get it, it’s so satisfying, and it’s a little special when you finally get your hands on it. One time, I had to go to VCA to check out a specific music theory book that my Aural Studies 1 tutor told me to borrow. When I borrowed and had a read of it, it was amazing and easy to read. Truly worth the trip from Parkville to Southbank!

7. Listening Rooms

There’s a room that is dedicated to listening to vinyl records, or CDs, and no one even goes there. I think it is pretty cool that they have these things, especially for Fine Arts students.

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The ‘Listening Rooms’ are really helpful for Fine Arts students.

8. Additional magazines, CDs, vinyl records, and fine arts resources

When I was looking out for extra resources for one of my music history subjects, there were fine arts resources at Lenton Parr that looked interesting to read. I wished I could have read them, but I had to focus on my research. There were also magazines, DVDs, loads of CDs and vinyl records that were cool to check out.

much resource
Never short on resources.

9.Academic support

There are also iTute (individual tutorial) services catered towards music and fine arts students. These are also iTutes at the Parkville campus, which I’ve heard are superb – but just letting you know that they are also offered at the VCA!

I haven’t had an iTute service yet, mainly because I was hesitant to use it all at once (a maximum of four appointments per semester). Silly first year thinking! This year, I’m willing to use them when I write my research essay, which is worth most of my total mark in Music History 2: 19th Century Music and Ideas.

So many cool things to check out, especially for music students.

10. Small library = super win when needing help

Compared to a huge library with multiple floors, you can easily get help at the front desk, since there aren’t usually many people around. The staff can help you in a tick, whether you need help finding a DVD, scores, or anything! Also, the coding system for finding scores could get a little complicated. So having their help that is reliable, easy to ask for and readily available, makes your life easier!

A quiet and peaceful library!

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I recommend checking out the Lenton Parr library as a study space the pre-exam period!




Health Services @ Unimelb

Are you having struggling to bounce back after a nasty break-up? Is that cold you caught during O-Week refusing to go away? Or perhaps you are worried about that night of unprotected sex?

There are many things that can go awry when it comes to our health, especially in our frantic University lives. That is why we have put together a comprehensive compilation of physical, mental and sexual health services available right here in the University of Melbourne – just for you!

Physical Health

University of Melbourne Health Service

Source: http://healthsciences.unimelb.edu.au
The University’s Health Service is located on Cardigan Street (across from Argyle Square) in an unassuming green building, but do not underestimate its importance – it is your number one go-to stop for daily health care issues. Be it obtaining a medical certificate, getting crutches for a fractured ankle or doing blood tests, this place will help you with (almost) anything you need!

Worried about the fees? Do not worry – students with Medicare or Overseas Student Healthcare Coverage (OSHC) will be bulk-billed to their insurance company. This essentially means that your treatment will be free! (Do take note that for immunisations, the appointment is bulk-billed, but you will have to cover the cost of the injection).

To make an appointment, you can either call 03 8344 6904 or make an online booking here. Also, remember to bring your student card and insurance card to your appointment!

P.S: If you require after hours services, arrangements can be made with the National Home Doctor Service (once again, free of charge for Medicare or OSHC card holders). Simply call 03 9429 5677 to make an appointment.


138-146 Cardigan Street

Carlton VIC 3053

(You can go from the Lincoln Square tram stop)

Opening Hours:

8.45am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday


03 8344 6904


Melbourne Dental Clinic

Image credit: http://www.studyco.com/upload/images/dentallab.jpg

Dental health issues are usually few and far between for us adults, but wisdom teeth and cavities are still annoying problems that we all need help with. When they strike, simply head over to Melbourne Dental Clinic. Fun fact: Your ‘dentists’ are actually final year students and their supervisors, but rest assured that you will still be given quality service!

Do note that unlike the University’s health service, treatment here is not free. However, all University of Melbourne staff, students and alumni receive a 5% discount!


723 Swanston Street

Carlton Vic 3010

Opening Hours:

8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday


03 9035 8402


Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy Clinic

Image credit: http://www.sport.unimelb.edu.au/images/MUFitnessCentres.jpg

If there’s one thing that every UniMelb student has done, it has got to be checking out hunks and hotties in the gym through the big glass windows.

However, not many students know about the Melbourne University Sports Centre which is right next door. Even fewer students know that within its doors is a sports clinic that offers assistance on sports injuries and bodily pains. With many experienced physiotherapists at your service, you’ll be diagnosed and on the road to recovery in no time!

You can make an appointment in person at the clinic, online via this website or by calling 03 8344 4948.


Melbourne University Sports Centre, Building 103

Tin Alley (Gate 1 Entrance),The University of Melbourne

Parkville VIC 3010

Opening Hours:

Mon – Thurs – 7.00am – 10.30pm

Friday – 7.00am – 9.00pm

Sat & Sun – 9.00am – 5.30pm


03 8344 4948


University of Melbourne EyeCare


Are you having difficulty reading what’s on the slides in your lectures, or did you recently break your glasses during a wild night out?

Well, you will be happy to know that the University also has an eye care clinic! Assessments are free of charge and glasses are sold at discounted prices. Just like the Dental Clinic, you will be treated by optometry students – this can mean a longer appointment time.



2/800 Swanston Street (Opposite Gate 3)

Carlton, VIC 3053

Opening Hours:

Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5.30pm (During Semester)

Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm (During Non-Teaching Periods)


03 9035 6666


Mental Health

Counselling and Psychological Services


Too often, we are so caught up with our hectic lives that we fail to pay attention to what’s going on inside. If you have not been feeling in the best mental condition recently and it doesn’t seem to be getting better, perhaps consider seeking professional help at University of Melbourne CAPS (Counselling and Psychological Services).


You can make an appointment at the reception desk (they are located within the Health Service building) or by calling them at 03 8344 6927.


This is a highly popular service throughout the semester, and especially close to exam periods, so expect a waiting time! If you are seeking immediate help, there are two 30 minute consultation slots at 2pm and 2.30pm every day that do not require prior booking.


These appointments are also free for university students!

If you would like more information in regards to mental health and uni, read Aisling’s post here.



138-146 Cardigan Street

Carlton VIC 3053

(You can go from the Lincoln Square tram stop)

Opening Hours:

8.45am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday


03 8344 6927


Tip Sheets and Self-Help

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If you are struggling with emotional/mental issues but do not wish to visit a counsellor, fret not. Besides the millions of self-help articles on the interwebz, The University has its very own collection of self-help tip sheets and resources.

Simply click here or here to access them. Furthermore, if you know someone who is dealing with a problem listed in these sites, send them the link. A little gesture goes a long way!


Ask Counselling Blog


Perhaps the most personal yet the most hidden service is the Ask Counselling blog, on which anonymously submitted questions are regularly answered by CAPS staff.

When I first discovered this blog, I spent way too much time reading through all the queries and responses. Even though I was supposed to be doing work, that hour of scrolling provided me with answers to problems I struggled with and problems that I will encounter in the future.

So have a read, and you may just find the answers that you are looking for!


Sexual Health

University of Melbourne Health Service



Sexuality is a part of many university student’s lives, and it always pays off to be extra cautious with any intimate activities. Besides the plethora of other services available, the University’s Health Service offers advice on contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as treatment if necessary.

To make an appointment, you can either call 03 8344 6904 or make an online booking here. Also, remember to bring your student card and insurance card to your appointment!



138-146 Cardigan Street

Carlton VIC 3053

(You can go from the Lincoln Square tram stop)

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Just Like This: In Which Uni is Just Like Alice in Wonderland

Caitlin is a third year Arts student, majoring in Creative Writing and English & Theatre Studies. “Just Like This” is a fortnightly column where she compares university to things that aren’t university.


“I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand? Or Australia? … And what an ignorant little girl she’ll think me for asking! No, it’ll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written down somewhere.”
– Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


In the weeks leading up to O Week, I developed a habit of peering through the glass next to the Baillieu library every couple of days. Why were there no books in the Co-op? When would they get here? How was I supposed to beat the sweaty book-buying O Week rush if there were no books on the shelves before O Week?

I could very easily have asked one of the other people milling around campus, I guess; but sometimes I get these little attacks of social anxiety that make me scared to interact with other human beings. So, I continued my fruitless glass-gazing ritual until, during O Week, someone told me that the Co-op had moved.

A little lesson: I know it’s now week three already, but just in case there are any other socially awkward noobs looking through the old Co-op window: Try the corner of Swanston and Grattan.

‘And what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?’


So it goes without saying (although I’m still going to say it) that I didn’t beat the sweaty rush.

Co-op shopping during O Week is like descending a Rabbit Hole, only there are no magic drinks and no cakes and no stressed out marsupials – there is only sweat and desperation and stressed out homo sapiens.

I don’t know if this is just me, but coming back at a later and less busy time ceases to be an option once I’m down that Rabbit Hole. My brain just becomes convinced: I have to wrestle the throng of bodies until I emerge, delirious but triumphant, with my stack of readers. It’s do-or-have-breakdown.

What I find most bewildering, though, is the expectation that even after having suffered in such a way, we are actually expected to read all the words we just bought. What? No! Why? I spent my holidays reading Where is the Green Sheep? and Green Eggs and Ham. I am not ready for Homi Bhabha and the Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse.

A little lesson:  If you see me at the Co-op in future 40 degree O Weeks, do not attempt contact. I will be having a breakdown. Also – be extra nice to the people working at the Co-op during O Week! They know it’s hectic and it is not their fault – it’s your fault. You’re the goose who came to the Co-op during O Week.

‘I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?’ she said aloud. ‘I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth.’


‘I wonder how many pages I’ve read by this time?’ I wondered as I stared out the library window for the fifteenth time in as many minutes. ‘I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the reading.’

A little lesson: One page of an academic book is roughly equivalent to infinite readings of Where is the Green Sheep? in terms of required brainpower.

And here Alice began to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way, “Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?” and sometimes, “do bats eat cats?” for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either question, it didn’t matter which way she put it.


Is mimicry the metonymy of presence or is presence the basis of mimicry?

If the observer becomes the observed, who is doing the observing?

If I close my eyes and place my forehead upon page 22, can I then be said to have read page 22?

A little lesson: Sometimes it’s okay to ease yourself into week one. Sometimes self-care dictates that sleeping on the desk is more important than finishing that super dense Bhabha reading. Right? …Anyone?

…and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing-desks, which wa
sn’t much.


A little lesson: It is, however, difficult to fill silences in tutes if you haven’t finished the super dense Bhabha reading.

This bottle was not marked “poison”, so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pineapple, roast turkey, toffy, and hot buttered toast), she very soon finished it off.


In my experience, the first few weeks of a uni year are always a bit of a whirlwind. Students are often starting the academic year while also moving into new places, starting part time jobs, listening to copious amounts of Centrelink hold music, taking poodles for walks, etc. It can be an exciting time but also pretty stressful.

At the end of my first fortnight, in an attempt to de-stress, I went out to a café with a favourite small friend of mine. My coffee came, and so did my friend’s cake – and finding it very nice, he neglected his fork and face-planted into the bright pink icing*, and very soon finished it off.

*He is two.

A significant lesson: When you’re stressed, have a coffee/catch up with a friend/face plant into a slice of cake. Or, to quote a Hare I know: “Take some more tea.”

– Caitlin



All images are drawings that appeared with the first edition of Alice in Wonderland, and are by John Tenniel.



VCE to Uni: The Social Transition

Lucienne has just completed her first year at the University of Melbourne. In this three-part ‘VCE to Uni’ series, she reflects on her experience of university life and shares her tips. Read on for some great advice in terms of settling in and getting involved!

The biggest social change that occurs in first year is that you are no longer in the same classes as the people you went to high school with for years. This means that most of you will be stepping into a new environment and thus may not know anyone. Although this can be daunting, the university provides various ways for you to get to know people in your course and across other faculties.


social feature

At the beginning of each semester, there is an Orientation Week. This is when all the newbies have a chance to meet each other at various events and also mix with the returning students. Different clubs run different events and everything is voluntary. There is a huge range of activities on offer that include everything from pub nights to Luna Park outings, so there is something for everyone. Throughout O-Week, you will also have the chance to become familiar with social clubs on campus, the music groups and the sporting teams.

For more details on what O-Week entails, visit: the orientation website and the the student union (UMSU) website (The site will be uploaded with some information on O-WEEK closer to the beginning of Semester 1, 2016). Speaking of UMSU…

UMSU – The Student Union

social 2

UMSU run programs across campus (including O-WEEK and Destination Melbourne to name a couple), social events (such as trivia nights, comedy nights, gigs and cocktail parties), assist with student services (legal, health, counselling) and much more! The student union is always looking for volunteers and participants so if you are struggling on how to be a part of the university, UMSU is a great place to start.


social 3

At the beginning of the year, many of the major clubs on campus host camps so that students can meet new people and settle into university life with ease. As these camps are designed for you to make friends, they are the perfect way to get to know people before classes start. I attended Arts Camp in 2015 and I believe this has what really helped me settle into university as I immediately had something in common with 100 other students. Camp activities are all team-building and aim to encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zones and meet new people. As most of the camps are held before classes start, it is a great way to make friends in your lectures, tutes and faculty. If you are interested in attending any of the camps, the information is released in O-WEEK and on the club Facebook pages.


social 4

Although I was not a part of college, many of my friends were, and they believe it’s a great way to step out of your comfort zone, build a network of friends and also explore co-curricular activities. Colleges encourage you to get involved with their music groups, sporting teams, theatre productions – this way you are able to explore areas you may not have previously had an interest in. Also, colleges run extra tute groups for your subjects, so if you need extra academic assistance, this can be very beneficial. Although most colleges focus on residential students (students who live at the college), there are also some colleges that offer places for non-residential students so that they can be a part of college life without actually living there.

If this is something you are interested in doing for your first year – there are applications and interviews that are done the year before so make sure you are well informed.

Thinking of applying for a college? For more information on Colleges, visit the college website and check out sub-editor Jacky’s post for some tips on nailing the application process here.


social 5

If I could offer one tip, it would be to get involved with the clubs on campus! This is a great way to meet like-minded people with similar interests. The biggest clubs on campus are UMSU (the student union) and the faculty societies, which include SSS (Science Students Society), M-ASS (Arts Students Society), ENVI (Environments Students Society), CSS (Commerce Students Society) and BSS (Biomedicine Students Society). If you are looking to make a start at getting to know people, I would highly recommend becoming members of these clubs at the beginning of the year. Many of the events they hold draw big crowds of university students (such as paint parties, foam parties, trivias, balls). This can give you a great start in terms of getting to know people from different faculties. Also, search the clubs on Facebook and like their page for information on any upcoming events, and to view the photos afterwards.

Although there are other larger clubs, the university also has specialised clubs which also run a variety of events throughout the semester. The smaller clubs provide a way for people with more specific interests to bond, participate and be amongst like-minded people. There are drama clubs, music clubs, debating clubs, sporting teams, religious clubs, social clubs and much more. My recommendation would be to have a look at the UMSU clubs list and the Melbourne University Sport web page to see which clubs/sporting teams interest you, as they are all always looking for new members. The clubs are all very welcoming, so go ahead and join as many as you want!


social 6

Another big social event where it can be easy to make friends is in Week 9, Semester 2: Prosh Week! Prosh Week is where a variety of big and small teams of students compete in a variety of challenges. This includes everything from a pub crawl to billy cart racing and a 24-hour scavenger hunt. I participated in Prosh this year and I found it incredibly exciting and fun so I would highly recommend getting involved. As hundreds of people participate, you are bound to make friends, work on your team-work skills and get to know people of all different year levels and classes. Nothing is compulsory, and if you do not feel comfortable getting involved with the teams – you can always just watch the crazy events taking place.

Although university can be a big change for many of us, if you choose to get involved with the social side of university, it can really enrich your entire experience. My first year would not have been as great as it was without my new friends, so I highly encourage having an open mind and putting yourself out there so you can create positive memories for yourselves.  

Settling in as an international student

Leanne L. is a first year student in Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and Linguistics. She also hopes to get the hang of technology in this lifetime.

The end of semester is nearing, and most students should be settled in by now. However, it is understandable that it may take a little longer for us international students. So if you’re not fully settled yet, have no fear! This post will hopefully help you make sense of your confused feelings, plus give a few tips to help you ease into studying in Melbourne.

Continue reading Settling in as an international student

Week 4: Happenings at unimelb

Time is flying so fast, everything is becoming a blur!

As we head into Week 5 of uni, we’re going to revisit some events that happened over last week.

With the help with our contributors, and curated by yours truly (Daphane here, hello!), here were some events that happened in Week 4:

Continue reading Week 4: Happenings at unimelb

Volunteering opportunities: Where to Look

If you have just started university and want to find out what all this ‘volunteering’ stuff is about, or you are already a seasoned volunteer and want to expand your repertoire, than this post is for you!

Continue reading Volunteering opportunities: Where to Look

Secure laptop & phone charging

If you need a place to charge your laptop/phone/other electrical items – did you know there are secure charging lockers around campus you can use?

Secure laptop/phone charger lockers are great because you can leave your things to charge, go away to do something else, and come back to it later.

There are 2 places I’m aware of that have these secure laptop/phone charging lockers:

1) Arts West foyer

EDIT: Arts West is under construction. Who knows when the construction will be completed.

You can find these lockers at the ground floor of Arts West foyer, near the bathrooms/study area/M-ASS office.


How on earth do these lockers work?

Follow the instructions located above the lockers.

There is one powerpoint and 2 USB ports inside the lockers. And you can also use multiple lockers if you want. I’ve never ever seen the Arts West lockers full.

2) Union House

The secure laptop/phone charging lockers are located on the ground floor of Union House, between the info desk and the Uni Store.

You’ll need to go to the info desk with ID and a $20 deposit to get a key to the locker. (You’ll get the $20 back when you return the key).


If you lose your key, not only will you lose your $20 deposit, you will be charge an addition $80 for a lock replacement.


More info: http://archive.union.unimelb.edu.au/laptop-charge

How secure are these ‘secure’ laptop/phone charging lockers?

I’ve never used these lockers before, mainly because I have great separation anxiety with my phone and laptop…so I can’t answer that question!

I think I’d feel more comfortable leaving my stuff at the Union House lockers because there are staff at the info desk who will be able to keep an eye on the lockers while I’m away. But I’m quite notorious for losing things, so I’m not too keen on paying the lock replacement fee if I were to lose the locker key.

So yes, these lockers exist. Charge all the things!

– Daphane


Looking for a quiet place to unwind?

If you’re looking for a quiet, cosy place to unwind – try the Environments and Design Student Lounge.

This area is tucked away on the ground floor of the Baldwin Spencer building, and is easily missed by many. I stumbled across this lounge by accident! I was trying to find an alternate entrance to my lecture theatre.

Continue reading Looking for a quiet place to unwind?