External resources to assist you with various difficulties.
Topical self-help resources:
Connecting at University
Feeling overwhelmed and isolated can be a common experience at University. As a new student there are a lot of new faces and so much to remember and take in. As a returning student there may be increases in workload and the need to re-connect or make new friends. Connecting with students, services, and the community can help you adjust to life at University.
Tips on connecting at University
- Make it a priority to build relationships: speak to a new student every day in your first few weeks and actively look for opportunities to have a conversation.
- Don't be too hard on yourself. Remember making friends can take time.
- Join some of the many clubs, societies, or study groups.
- Check out the events happening on campus, you might even get some free food!
- Connecting to LTU social medial channels is a great way to stay informed.
- Finding a job will not only help with financial stress, but will assist you to connect with fellow students and the community.
- Check out volunteering opportunities. Not only will volunteering connect you with fellow students and the community, it is a great asset for your resume! See the Resources section below for opportunities.
- Check out the Learning Hub for assignments, maths, and research help.
- Reach out to Counselling Services if you are feeling isolated, or the Chaplaincy Staff are always keen for a chat
Connecting at La Trobe
There are a range of opportunities to connect with students, services, and the community at LTU.
- La Trobe Student Unions and Associations student-run clubs and societies. You can even start your own club!
- Connect to the various MyLa Trobe channels for student updates and news.
- LTU provides Wellbeing Services to help various health and wellbeing needs. Services include: counselling chaplaincy, and Speak Up .
- LTU has a vibrant LGBTIQA+ community with dedicated queer counsellors, queer social support groups, many other services and supports
- A variety of Learning Support and Programs are provided by LTU to help you achieve academic success at University
- La Trobe Sport connect students and the community through sport clubs, facilities, and academic courses.
- Indigenous Student Services
- LTU International Student Services and student-led groups
Staying healthy at University
There is so much more to being a university student than exams and classes. The same goes for staying healthy - it is more than eating an apple a day. Staying healthy at University requires a holistic approach. The Wellbeing Wheel is a great illustration of the different components that can impact your health while at university.
Pacing yourself and building resilience
The ability to pace yourself and to build resilience are important factors in academic success and personal health. Pacing yourself involves consistency in studying and finding a balance between your study, work, and social life. Building resilience will help develop this consistency and balance by bouncing back when something does not go to plan.
How to pace yourself at University
- Implement time management skills to help pace yourself throughout the semester
- Make (and stick to) a study plan!
- Identify your priorities. Write down important assessment due dates, exams, social events, and work commitments.
- Don’t put things off – complete small tasks as soon as possible
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – whether it is academic or emotional support.
- Make time for things that make you happy
- Set realistic expectations
How to build resilience
- Learn to accept challenges and staying positive
- Accept and manage your emotions - Don’t repress it, express it!
- Being flexible and improvise when things don't go according to plan
- Keep things in perspective – think about the big picture, don’t sweat the small stuff
- Learn from experience. Think about how you coped in the past and use the successful strategies in the future
- Be proactive. Make a plan and take action
- Get enough sleep and stay connected with friends and family
- Better Health: Tertiary studies - time management
- Reach out:
- UNSW: Growth Mindset
- ANU: KEYS TO RESILIENCE: An Exploration into Student Resilience Approaches and Needs
- Oxford University: Managing your workload
Staying safe online
There are many safety issues that can arise from using the internet. Knowing how to stay safe online is an important skill to learn, along with knowing where to seek help if you are experiencing abuse online.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner provides comprehensive information on issues that can be experienced online and tips on how to manage these issue.
- Cyber Abuse: Online behavior that is threatening, intimidating, harassing, or humiliating to a person. This includes trolling, cyberbullying, technology based abuse, and cyber racism and online hate speech.
- Cyberbullying: This form of bullying uses technology to inflict hurt on a person or group. This can be through emails, messages, texts, images, and videos that abuse, exclude, and humiliate.
- Image based abuse (IBA): IBA occurs when a sexual or intimate picture is forwarded without consent and includes the threat of sharing a picture. This form of abuse is often mistakenly referred to as ‘revenge porn’ but sometimes the act is not motivated by revenge or restricted to porn
Quick tips on how to stay safe online:
- Think before you post on social media. Avoid posting anything offensive or damaging to your reputation
- Remember anyone can save images or screenshot posts
- Update your privacy settings and passwords regularly
- Keep your personal details private, including your address, email, and phone number
- Turn off location services on your device, and avoid checking into places you visit
- Report online abuse or harm to the website or provider
- Seek advice from Speak Up about online safety and reporting abuse or online safety concerns
- Office of the eSafety Commissioner
- Helpful websites: Links for external support organisations that can help you stay safe online
- Complaints and Reporting: Learn how to report cyberbullying and lodge a complaint with the eSafety Commissioner
- eSafety Women: resources to help women manage online and technological abuse and risks
- eSafety Information: resources on issues, apps, games, and social networks
- Stay Smart Online: advice on how to protect yourself online and up to date information on the latest threats
- Think U Know
- ACORN - Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network: National cybercrime reporting channel
Making time for the things you love
Making time for the things you love while meeting assessment demands is an important skill to learn while studying. Focusing entirely on assessments can lead to you becoming overwhelmed and burnt out. Alternatively, spending too much time on leisure activities can lead to increased levels of stress when assessments are due. Creating a balance can be achieved through a thoughtful and planned approach.
Tips for creating balance
- Actively participate in activities that make you happy. Eg. Listen to music, play a sport, watch a movie
- Identify and write down what you value highly in your life. Anything that doesn’t make the list, avoid during the semester. This will minimise the risk of procrastinating.
- Manage your time effectively by planning your day and week to ensure you have balance.
Tips for meeting assessment demands
- Start assessments early: make a do list and schedule a plan of attack
- Get help with planning, referencing, structure and word limits – Peer Learning Advisors are a good first contact point
- Break big tasks into manageable chunks
- Make a start, even if it is small - putting things off or leaving tasks to last minute only makes things worse.
- Remember when you complete a difficult task or part of an assignment congratulate or treat yourself
- If you are struggling talk to a close friend, an academic, or one of the many services on offer including Counselling Services
Stress is a common experience for university students. While feeling stressed is not always a bad thing, being able to identify stress and learn effective methods to manage symptoms is important. Stress can manifest from a variety of situations and is completely unique, for each person. Some people feel stressed by deadlines, other by social situations. It varies. Knowing what causes stress for you is an important first step in learning how to manage the impact.
Signs and symptoms
- Stress can manifest in a variety of unique ways. These can change depending on the person, and the situation.
- Initial physical signs can include an increased heart rate, breathing, and muscle tension.
- Ongoing stress can manifest into psychical and psychological signs such as anxiety, irritability, headaches, trouble sleep or concentrating, and feeling tired.
Quick tips on managing topic
- Do some relaxation exercises such as Yoga or Mindfulness practices
- Create a ‘To do List’ and break down each step into manageable tasks with realistic timeframes.
- Focus on your wellbeing. Ensure you get enough sleep and exercise regularly.
- Keep on top of your thinking – keep positive!
- Find some time to enjoy yourself – draw, read, music – whatever makes you happy.
- Talk to a close friend or reach out to Counselling Services if it’s getting too
- La Trobe University : Counselling Services Mindfulness CD & resources
- Reach Out:
- Black Dog Institute: Mindfulness in everyday life
- Beyond Blue:
- The desk: free online program aimed at providing Australian tertiary students with strategies and skills for success and wellbeing during their time at university or TAFE
- NY Times: How to Be Better at Stress
- ReachOut Breathe: ReachOut Breathe helps you reduce the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety by slowing down your breathing and your heart rate with your iPhone or Apple Watch.
- Black Dog Institute: Snapshot
- A free mobile app designed for Australian adults to check and monitor their mental health and wellbeing status.
Staying on track and looking after your mental health
Staying on track and looking after your mental health