Starting uni with support

ASSC intern, Stephanie Brock, shares tips on using support to get off to a great start at uni.

It’s the start of the university year and you might be feeling a lot of things – nervous, excited, overwhelmed and maybe even a combination of all three. Starting university can be overwhelming at times. You don’t know which building is which, what classroom you’re meant to go to and what textbook you need for each subject. Take comfort in the fact that you’re not experiencing this confusion alone. It’s a cliché, but every first-year student is in the same boat.

So, let’s talk about how to set yourself up for academic success so you can smash out your first semester at La Trobe.

First things first, download the Subject Learning Guide for each of your subjects from the LMS. Each guide will have rough due dates for assessments, what textbook you need and what readings are required of you. It will give you a good roadmap for what to expect throughout the semester.

Now, let’s talk about lectures and tutorials. Your lectures are where you learn your content and your tutorials are where you go through this content. Use the first few weeks to figure out how you learn content best. Whether you like to hand write or type your notes, develop a system that works for you! Also remember that your lecturers and teachers are here to help you and they want you to do well. Email your teachers if you don’t understand the content or set up a time to have a consultation with them.

Another thing that might seem overwhelming – referencing. The library has an awesome Academic Referencing Tool you can access to make sure you are citing all your sources correctly! If you’re still having issues, you can contact the library staff on the live chat function of the La Trobe Library website

Now, this still might all seem a little daunting. But never fear, La Trobe is here to help you. The Peer Mentor Program at La Trobe sets up experienced students with new students to provide them with support on navigating uni life, assignments and referencing. To attend an online meetup in Weeks 2, 4 and 7, see the Peer Mentor LMS page (self enrol) for schedules and zoom info!

La Trobe’s Learning Hub also provides awesome resources to help students achieve academic success. You can book in zoom or phone appointments with advisors on weekdays between 9am and 6pm! Have a hectic schedule and don’t know when you could set up an appointment time? No worries – drop into a zoom session between 12pm-2pm or 4pm-6pm Monday-Friday whenever you’re free!

Take advantage of the Learning Hub’s incredible resources and sign up for La Trobe’s #How2Uni sessions which are running throughout March. These sessions provide awesome advice on time management, overcoming procrastination and writing assignments!

All in all, the best piece of advice I could give for anyone starting uni, is to do work that your future self will thank you for. Sure, writing out summary notes for an hour or so might seem pretty annoying right now. But are you going to thank yourself for it in Week 12 when you’ve got multiple final assignments due and exams around the corner? You bet you’ll be thanking yourself for getting those notes done earlier on!

I hope this article provided you with some helpful tips and tricks for achieving academic success this semester! Check out these resources now!

Good luck!