Uni tips and tricks: for all of you first years

Ah, autumn. The season of change, with your cool weather, jumpers for days and the reminder that Easter is right around the corner. And a new year of ...

Ah, autumn. The season of change, with your cool weather, jumpers for days and the reminder that Easter is right around the corner. And a new year of university to be kicked off.

Students can finally sign our campus names on the WSU rants page rather than ‘Zoom Campus’. But if you enjoyed the forced online learning, you do you. Those who have a cat or needy pets understand the pain, and therefore, online does not work for us.

But back to the topic at hand – the point of this article is to welcome the first-years or students who have transferred from other schools to Western Sydney. And what better way to welcome them than to teach them how to cheat the system?

Yes, that is right! You can cheat, although not academically, at uni.

But how, you might ask? This article will guide the new children into saving what little money they have (cause let us face it, we’re ALL poor), and making the most out of their new academic life.

Campus Life: Photo taken by Tileah Dobson

Free breakfast

The student council offers free breakfast for students throughout the semester on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. You can grab some toast, cereal or cheese toasties between 08:30 am – 10:30 am. However, their locations differ for each campus.

Hawkesbury campus

Chatwells L2 Café (Building L2)
Piccolo me – Building K4 (Stable Square)

Kingswood campus
Piccolo Me – Building T, Campus Library
Three Cows – Building O, Food Hub

Campbelltown campus

Jamaica Blue (Building 2)

Bankstown campus
Chartwells Coffee Shop – Building 1
Oliver Brown – Building 1

Parramatta South
Chartwells Bakehouse (Building ER)
Chartwells Boilerhouse (Building EKB)
Oliver Brown (Building EG)
Piccolo Me (Building EA)

Academic Café (Ground floor of the campus)

Parramatta City
Chambers Coffee Shop (1PSQ)
Piccolo me (1PSQ)

If you have any questions regarding this freebie, you can contact the student experience officer, Larissa Baker through her email.
Note: Free breakfast is not available during mid semester break (April 27-29)

Student Parking

For those who prefer to drive to school, there is student parking available. They run from the 1st December each year and are available to be purchased in early January. The prices vary depending on which permit you purchase:

  • Pay and Display one-day parking permit at Parramatta South – $9
  • All other campuses – $7
  • Half Year General Yellow parking permit
    student – $47
  • Annual General Yellow parking permit
    student – $94

Now, if you want to save coins where you can, you’d be better off not purchasing a permit and not driving to campus if you can. Despite paying the permit, you’re not guaranteed a parking spot. This then makes you question why to bother in the first place, then you get mad at yourself, and the uni and life in general.

It’s a sad spiral down to madness. And it’s your first year, and you have the rest of your degree to become madder than the hatter. But fret not, there is another solution:

Shuttle buses/student opal cards

The uni offers free shuttle buses for students who travel via public transport. You can track where the bus schedule is, the route it takes and how long until it arrives through the Shuttle Tracker on the Western Sydney Uni app.

Yes, it may take a little longer to get to school if you take the shuttle bus but think of the money you’ll save! And you can meet new people whilst you wait for the bus to arrive.

Apply for a student concession card and opal card for reduced rates.

However, please note that at the moment, wearing a facemask on shuttle buses is mandatory. Since we can’t exactly maintain social distancing on them, be a pal and cover it up.

Western Sydney Uni App: Photo by Tileah Dobson

Western Sydney University’s App

If you have a smartphone device, download the free Western Sydney Uni app. This little thing can make it easier to find all necessary information. From the shuttle bus, to clubs, directories and even check your student email. It’s convenient and most importantly: free.


In your first year, online textbooks are free. Save your money and don’t buy any of them. After your first year, then you can try and borrow the textbooks from the library or download Adobe Digital, a free software, that enables to you download the textbook for free. Catch is, it’s only available for 24 hours and then gets deleted. But you can download it again afterwards.

Or, if you do want to buy the textbook, by a second hand one from https://studentvip.com.au/wsu/textbooks. They buy textbooks from graduating students or students who don’t need them anymore and sell it cheaper. A great way to commercially support one and another while not letting your wallet cry too much.


A great little hub that offers a variety of services. From checking in on your mental health, joining clubs, assisting online students and updating you on all upcoming events at the university. Take advantage of this service, you won’t be disappointed.

Queer room

A safe place established by the Queer Collective for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or other sex/gender identities. A great place to make friends in this inclusive environment and there is one located on every campus.




Parramatta South

Parramatta City

Penrith (Kingswood)

Women’s room

The women’s room is maintained by the Women’s Collective, and provides a safe space for all the ladies to use as a study room, breastfeeding, meetings or women’s events. There is a women’s room on every campus. The lovely ladies at the Women’s Collective also engage in events to support those who have experienced violence – sexual, mental, physical or emotional in nature. Also, free pads – because who says no to that kind of freebie?

2.G.08 (via 2.G.12)



Parramatta (South)

Parramatta (City)

Penrith (Kingswood)


Another free app for you. University life can be overwhelming and often leave you feeling like you’re drowning or overwhelmed. Especially if you’re moving from being the big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a very large (and often confusing) pond. Never sacrifice your mental health for a grade. Yes, you’re at university to get a degree and open your career path. But at the end of the day, you still need to look out for the most important thing in life: Yourself.

TalkCAMPUS is a 24/7 app that allows students to chat with each under anominity. It’s a great way to vent to someone who’s been in your shoes and support fellow students. It’s even avaible in 25 languages for our international students.

Student Discounts

What comes with the title of a student, are the discounts. Find whatever discount you can and use it. Spotify offers student discounts, UNiDAYS offers exclusive deals for students, as does a variety of food outlets. Don’t be afraid to ask if there is one.

These are all of the tips and tricks that many of us wish we knew in our first year at school. So this is us from 2nd year and above passing down our nuggets of wisdom to you, the fresh batch of students. Welcome to Western Sydney University!