A recipe for settling into student life at ANU

Thomas Larkin on ANU Campus
Tuesday 5 February 2019

by Thomas Larkin (Final year Engineering (R&D) and Arts student)

With the better part of my 23 years having been spent in our nation's capital city, some may say that I’m technically more qualified as a tour guide than as an engineer. Without further ado, I present a step-by-step guide with all the ingredients for settling into ANU Canberra*.

*This applies to both Canberra locals (or ‘townies’ as we are affectionately known) and those students moving here in search of greener pastures. 

Step 1 ‘Familiarise’ – Moving to a new city and beginning study at University can be daunting, so spend a few days getting your bearings. A walk up Mt Ainslie (or the lesser talked about but just as scenic Mt Majura) is a great way to orient yourself in Canberra. Then as a bit of a challenge, see if you can navigate between the three major libraries at ANU (Hancock, Chifley and Menzies). You may even find some hidden gems on campus along the way...  

Step 2 ‘Organise’ - I’ve survived school, surely I have the skills to organise myself for university, right? Wrong. Make sure you’ve spent the time to sort out your life, accommodation, modes of transport and local shopping centres before classes start.  A trip to Officeworks in the hip city suburb of Braddon will sort out all your stationery needs and once the new Kambri redevelopment opens on campus, textbook shopping will be a breeze. Also keep an eye on the ‘ANU Textbook Exchange’ and ‘Free & For Sale’ Facebook groups to grab bargain books, furniture and other university essentials.  

Step 3 ‘Energise’ - ‘Familiarising’ and ‘organising’ will surely make you peckish, and fortunately Canberra is equipped with some of the finest foodie hotspots in Australia. Keep a close eye on the new cafés and hawker style food outlets making their home in Kambri. If brunch is the reason you wake up in the morning, look no further than Lonsdale street in Braddon which offers flavour, value and ‘trendiness’ throughout its many eateries.  

Step 4 ‘Exercise’ - All that eating is probably going to make you want to curl up in a ball and nap, but once you wake from the food coma, start putting some names to places and explore your bush capital surrounds. Lake Burley Griffin should be top of your list of places to run/walk/cycle/skip/frolic around.  

Step 5 ‘Socialise’ - In my experience, ANU is the perfect environment to do two things: earn a degree, and meet like-minded people! Making friends at university is made easy by the many clubs and societies offered on campus. Market Day (held on the Wednesday of O-Week) is where you can get a taste of the plethora of extra-curricular activities offered by the university. Sign up for at least one club, and let shared interests (or shared learning curves) take care of the rest. 

So that’s it, my five step foolproof recipe to starting your exciting new chapter at ANU! If you found this helpful, check out Matilda’s O-Week Survival Guide for tips on how to get the best out of ANU O-Week 2019. 

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing