Lachlan Hanrahan, left, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of International Studies degree, got in touch with MyMQ to tell us what he loved about his time as a student and to share his tips with newbies on how best to enjoy campus life. Here is his story.
Starting university can be daunting, full of unknowns and uncertainties. There are new teachers to meet, new friends to make, and a new campus to navigate. It can all be a little overwhelming. But, embracing the new experiences and diving right into campus life is really the only way to go.
I travelled a long distance to get to Macquarie University (I’m from the Central Coast), but once here I really enjoyed studying and hanging out on campus. Macquarie is known as a ‘parkland campus’ for its rolling green lawns, towering trees, bushland and variety of native wildlife. If you get here early enough on a cool morning, there’s a light mist over the lake, still and reflective like a mirror. As the sun gets higher in the sky, the water turns into a brilliant blue and, then, when the sun sets, the water surface looks like molten gold. In November, there is an amazing contrast created when the bright purple blooms of the jacaranda trees sway in the background.
The size of the campus allows you to find your own spot, perhaps on the field in the sun, or under a tree from where you can watch ducklings paddle on the lake. But be warned, the best spots are in high demand, especially during exam periods. So, make sure to find your spot early in the semester so you know where to make a beeline to each day.
Often in high school we’re told that in university we have to figure things out ourselves; that teachers won’t be available outside of class to help. This couldn’t be further from the truth at Macquarie. It has many incredible, knowledgeable and helpful teachers. Whether you’re struggling to meet the deadline of an assignment or need a concept explained further, all you need do is ask. I found the staff at Macquarie will do their utmost to help, so don’t be shy.
Perhaps you’re looking for a quick snack between classes, or are meeting your mates for a big lunch? As most students like to try different types of food, Macquarie doesn’t disappoint. When you enter the Campus Common there’s plenty to choose from – sushi, kebabs, burgers and vegetarian goodies. There are also numerous food trucks serving different food options each day, but the smell of wood-fired pizza wafting through the Common is what always enticed me. Make sure to get in just before midday to avoid the big rush.
Did you know that Macquarie has extensive tunnels running beneath Wally’s Walk which were built to carry services such as electricity, water and gas, and are apparently large enough to cycle through? Or that there are some 130 original sculptures by Australian and International sculptors dotted across the campus?
There are plenty more things to discover at Macquarie, but I’ll leave that up to you to find out. For me, whether wandering around campus or uncovering hidden treasures, it’s been one of the best experiences of my life.
My tip to any new student would be to get involved in uni life as soon as you can and to take advantage of anything and everything that comes your way. I completed my degree last year and the time has passed so quickly – so get into it!