25 Tips for All Newbies at TU Graz

Welcome. Read. Laugh a bit. Shake your head. Make faces. Think. Consider. Discuss.

  1. To be successful in studying is at least as good as good sex; moreover, you can even talk about your successes in public without getting embarrassed.
  2. Start studying right now at the latest. Don’t miss the beginning. Aim to start strong.
  3. Attend every lecture, even if other students tell you that this is not necessary. Keep developing the habit to skip lectures here or there for a later stage when you are already a more experienced student and know what you are doing.
  4. If you do not understand the course material, continue going to the lecture anyway. Pay attention. It helps, trust me.
  5. Find “dedicated” colleagues; very carefully select group members in practicals; avoid non-dedicated ones; they have the tendency to pull you down.
  6. If you are not sure about your chosen degree program: Go to every lecture even more so; you can choose to change to some other degree program by the end of the study year.
  7. Read the suggested course material. And more. Immediately.
  8. If the teacher does not seem to suggest any reading material: Take notes of keywords and find your own material to these key words. Everything is explained on the web. You just have to find an explanation which fits your needs. And millions of students had the same problems of understanding before you.
  9. Start immediately with the practicals. Don’t start with the actual practical questions, but rather start trying out more simpler examples. I am 60+ and still start most things from scratch. I know why.
  10. If you find it hard to start to do something: Get through this phase early; It will get easier as soon as you are through and are in the flow.
  11. Stop playing your computer games until you have your new situation under control. Getting through the semester with a good flow is more fun than playing computer games.
  12. Don’t listen to your student colleagues when they talk about how bad things are at the university.
  13. Don’t listen to elder student colleagues — their comments are colored by their missing successes.
  14. Don’t believe other students who say that some study material is trivial and you do not have to attend the course.
  15. Once you feel comfortable with the pace you have acquired in your daily life style as a student you will figure out that you are far ahead compared to many others.
  16. Try out to talk to a teacher. It is best early in the course. Take the courage and ask a question. After the lecture maybe. I am sure that you have many questions. See what happens. In the long run you need to learn to talk to teachers anyway, so why not start early. Take this challenge as a kind of private adventure.
  17. Learning is not a 100-meter sprint. Train to start running and keep running steadily. 8 hours a day plus minus 2. 5 days a week. 45 weeks a year. After 3 years you have finished your Bachelor degree. Trust me.
  18. Get a calendar: This is your most important tool. With calendar I do not mean the TUGrazOnline calendar. I mean a calendar, in which you enter your commitments yourself.
  19. If you were good in school: Be careful — university is different.
  20. If you were bad in school: Trust your abilities, work hard, and you will succeed.
  21. For your first exams: Learn more than you think that you need to learn. If you succeed during your first exams, you get a huge boost and your increased selfesteem gets you going a long way.
  22. If you fail in one of your exams: There is no problem to fall, as long as you get up again.
  23. Keep breathing and eat healthy; then you don’t have to start smoking.
  24. If you already are a smoker: Never complain that you do not have enough money. And never stand in front of the door smoking where all non-smokers need to pass by. They don’t like you and then they avoid you. You might miss a good opportunity to meet a dedicated colleague.
  25. Keep away from alcohol from Monday morning to Friday evening. You are allowed to drink one alcoholic drink on Saturday. This is no joke. Let others try out alcohol – just watch them how they behave – and see how most of them lose in the long run. I have seen all too many of them in my life.

A remark for all the elder students out there reading this: If you want to add a remark here, be positive. This announcement is for first semester students only. I will not publish your sour comments.

By the way: I wonder how many elder students would agree that it would have helped to start strong in the first semester. And I wonder how many elder students lost a year by missing the first wave.


9 thoughts on “25 Tips for All Newbies at TU Graz

  1. Felix Egger

    26.) Look carefully at your courses. Join groups that have times you like. I have seen too many students that have overlapping and/or early courses and didn´t finish because of that.

  2. 0xFF

    27.) Get yourself acquainted with the most important methods of communication among students and teachers: learn how to use newsgroups, and join news.tugraz.at – there are often ads for cheap appartments near the TU campus, and all kinds of stuff others are trying to sell or even give away for free. also join your lecture newsgroups – you can always ask questions there if you do not understand something.
    28.) Try and establish “learning groups”, especially for lectures such as the feared Analysis T1/2 – it really helps in the long run. 😉

    good luck to all first semesters, and a hearty welcome!

  3. Srdan Letina

    29.) When registering for classes and lectures keep in mind that gaps between them mean a lot. Choose either short or long pauses. Those moderate ones are not so good, as you often do not have enough time to eat, go shortly home, or even do something requiring a certain level of concentration, while you will stay a whole day long at the Uni…

    30.) I you are kinda shy, please do socialize. Start small, saying hello before the lecture to the people sitting around you, then try introducing yourself and starting a small talk. Do not be shy or reserved, you will miss out so much.

  4. stefan

    31.) Dont forget: you still have a life. Friends, Family & you are allowed to be more important than exams and exercises.

    32.) Look beyond the rim of your teacup. Don’t be a “Fachtrottel”.

    33.) From time to time, take a step back and look at what you are doing from different perspectives. Think about the consequences of your doing in the scientific community for our society and our world

    34.) Stay tuned for the new GADI! 😉

  5. Matthias

    35) Try to complete all lectures in the semester they are suggested in. Don’t try to persuade yourself that you’ll have more time next semester or next year. You won’t! You will end up with a stack of lectures from the first couple of semesters that slow you down at the end.

    36) Choose free subjects based on your interest not on the number of ECTS you receive (e.g. think twice about choosing Brandschutz). Think about enrolling at the Uni Graz as well, they offer many interesting lectures and a lot of their lecturers are great to listen to.

    37) If you study Computer Science or Software Engineering ‘Betriebssysteme’ is not as difficult as a lot of people will tell you (see 13.). Don’t do it the easy way (read as: don’t cheat…) and go to Klagenfurt. You’re enrolled at the TU Graz and you’ll receive a degree from TU Graz so do all the courses at TU Graz.

    38) Stay informed. If you don’t do so already read a newspaper (‘Österreich’ or your Facebook-Feed are not considered a real newspaper) daily. Read more than the Technology and/or Sport section and try to understand what’s going on in the world (beyond bits, bytes and Java vs. C++), form an opinion and keep an open mind about opinions that differ from your own.

  6. timhell

    39. Your life as a student is what you want it to be: Make it a job and define success by how fast you get your degree. Or make it about all the things you learn. Or go for new experiences, broadening your view of the world. Whatever you choose is fine, but do make a conscious decision.

    40. Find something or someone you love, you will never again be so flexible with your time. But select wisely, not everyone or everything is worth your dedication.

    41. Find a group of students who do something interesting. Be it applying something you should have learned (Racing teams, robocup etc) or broadening your student’s life (HochschülerInnenschaft, IAESTE etc).

    42. If you’re looking for the answer, read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    43. Learn to appreciate diversity of people and opinions:

    2b. Breath in, look around with open eyes and let this new world become your own. Don’t immediately focus too much on any subject or any single aspect of your new life!

    12b. Don’t just listen to your student colleagues when they talk about how bad things are at the university, ask them why they don’t do anything about it. Then do something about it.

    13b. Don’t just listen to teachers, question everything they say — their comments might be colored by their missing successes.

    17b. Stay home, just because, it’s something you won’t be able to do later in life.

    25b. Choose your drugs wisely. IAIK for example has chosen coffee.

    35b. Make your own plans. Go ahead and create an individual curriculum if no other one satisfies your interests.

  7. Jake

    Very helpful list, most of them are a “no-brainer” though, but the truth is that we often tend to forget the obvious foundations and college is a constant relearning of the foundations, so it’s always helpful to take a look at a list like this and fine-tune your daily actions accordingly.

  8. Pingback: About avoiding plagiarism & respecting copyright | kc posch, iaik, graz univ of technology

  9. Pingback: The Art of Drawing Attention | kc posch, iaik, graz univ of technology

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