Now I know that some University Open Days have already come and gone, but there are plenty that are still to come. University Open Days are awesome, and if you want to go to university, you had better be prepared to know what you've got in store for the next 3-5 years. After all, you are paying for it.

Testing your transit

Travelling to a university is probably a different experience compared to travelling to your high school. For some people, travelling to university can be a 2 hour ordeal, and to some you might just need to walk across the road.

However you get to university, this is good practice if you ever decide to go to that particular university. You don't want to end up on your first day, 3 hours late for your lecture because you ended up being in the middle of nowhere.

Whether it takes you 2 minutes or 2 hours, it's good to know beforehand. So try to take the transit method you will actually use when commuting to university.

Travelling to university can be a 2 hour ordeal...

Travelling to university can be a 2 hour ordeal...

Know your back ups

Everyone seems to want to go to the open days for the 'top' universities, but many people seem to skip the lesser known ones. This is a bad move. Ideally you would want to go to all the universities that you have placed on your preference list in VTAC (or other state equivalent), so you know what you may be getting yourself into.

Other universities might even have better facilities than the 'best' ones, so it's best to keep that in mind. Furthermore, if you don’t get into your top preference, then you will know that the next university on your list would be a university you don't mind going to.

Know the facilities

This is possibly the most obvious reason to go to Open Days. You need to know if the next three to five years will be spent at a university with facilities that meet your standards. For example, you don't want to go to university for an Information Technology degree if their computers are 10 years old.

Apart from the equipment, there're factors such as how nice the buildings are, how fast the internet is, and if you have accessibility issues - to make sure they have the right facilities.

Know the facilities.

Know the facilities.

Learn things you cannot find on the internet

There are some things that you really must experience, things that cannot be found on the internet. The culture and feel of the place may be different to everyone so you should visit to understand how the campus is structured, both academically and socially.

If you ever take a guided tour, you will probably have a university student guiding you who will give you firsthand experience of the university itself.

Other things like knowing how far it takes to walk from one building to another (let me tell you, it takes a really long time just to walk from one place to another on some campuses), the foods available on campus, etc. may also be important to you.

As a reason to socialise

Having a group of friends to go to these open days is also an opportunity to have fun and relax, to get away from year 12 even if just for a day. There are many events that are available on Open Days, with interactive displays and what not.

And really, who doesn't want a day off from year 12?

Open Days can be a fun and relaxing place to socialise.

Open Days can be a fun and relaxing place to socialise.

You can find the dates for all the university Open Days for 2016 here.

- Mark

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