Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) student Vicky shares what her first year at university was like.
"I remember when I was about to start uni, I was really excited about the design component of the degree, but I was also worried that I hadn’t really done subjects that were related to Urban Planning in high school. But the first year is really broad, and they started off with the basics, so it wasn’t too hard to catch up. The friendly lecturers and tutors were really helpful.
"The hardest part of adjusting to uni was the amount of freedom that I had. I really had to learn about time management and self-motivation. Nobody pushes you; you just have to do it yourself. It was quite stressful, but it makes it a lot easier when you have friends alongside you, going through the same things.
"The biggest challenge for me was the group work. At first, it was really scary just putting myself out there as I’m naturally quite shy. However, the range of group projects in first year have taught me how to work with different kinds of people in different tasks.
"In an Urban Planning career you work with different people across different disciplines, so the group work skills I gained in first year have been very valuable to me. This year has really helped me become more confident. I learned to work with others’ ideas, utilise everybody’s strengths, and make up for our weaknesses with each other’s strengths.
"Because our cohort is so small, we ended up becoming close very quickly. And it was really nice to head into a lecture and know everyone there. I think that’s something that’s really special about our course.
"The highlight for my first year was the UniGuide Programme. We had two second year students as guides for Orientation day. Even beyond the first couple of weeks, they continued to help us all throughout the year. They inspired me to sign up to be a UniGuide next year! I really hope I can do the same for the new students.
"I’m really excited about next year because we’ll be doing transport planning and infrastructure which I’m really interested in. I came from Taipei, Taiwan, which is a really developed city; when I go back there on holiday I start noticing a difference in the city layout and the street scape. Here in Auckland it’s still developing and I really want to make it a better community and a better place for the future.
"My advice for new students is to not stress too much, like I did! First year is really an introduction to Urban Planning. You definitely have to work hard, but it’s also really important to make friends and get the most out of your student experience."