A special guide for high school leavers….
Does it feel like you’ve been at high school forever? You’ve grown accustomed to the rhythms and routines. Hanging out with the same friends. Teachers hounding you to get work done. Eating terrible canteen food.
Knowing that is about to change can be exciting, but also nerve-wracking. Good news, your transition is going to be far less daunting than you may think. You might worry about going somewhere new and making new friends, but that’s the easy part.
What’s the hard part? Being prepared. It’s that simple. If you go in knowing what to expect, the rest will be a walk in the park.
Here’s a few ways to take the tension out of your tertiary transition.
Enjoy the freedom
Your biggest adjustment will be the amount of freedom you have with your studies. You’ll have a flexible schedule. Free time during the day. No teachers on your back. It’s going to be a dream after all those years of routine.
However, embracing this freedom can make it easy to slide into laziness or disorganisation. Which is why it’s vital you…
Plan your time
It’s important to be social, but you need to make sure your social life doesn’t detract from your studies.
Balance your fun with work. Be disciplined. Planning the hours you dedicate to study can go a long way.
Use a calendar, diary or app to help you organise and prioritise. The MyLaTrobe app lets you keep track of your lectures, while giving you up-to-the-minute info on campus events, clubs and societies – you won’t miss a thing.
Find a system that works for you and start planning your timetable from day one.
Meet new people
It’s probably been a while since you’ve had to make new friends. But it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Make the effort to reach out to people. Grab a coffee with someone from your lecture or tute. Get to know people during group activities. Join a student society or club.
Almost everyone in your classes will be in their first year, so they’ll going through the same experience.
Universities have many student services on offer. So, get in touch if you have questions. Whether it’s assistance with course enrolment or public transport, university support staff are there to help.
Also, try talking to people who have been in the same position. This could be older friends or family members. It could be our student ambassadors or Connect Volunteers. Ask them questions about their experience. How did they handle the transition? What advice can they give you?
Visit your university campus
Spend some time getting to know the layout of the campus. Universities are often huge and it can be easy to get lost in your first weeks. It’ll also help make the campus seem less strange and unfamiliar.
Look around the library. See what events are taking place. Check out the food and coffee options. Get a sense of campus life and what it can offer you.
Once you take some of the mystery out of the university experience, it’ll be easier to start getting excited about it.