Below are some strategies you can use to deal with the issues you will face as a student and to help make your university experience a positive and successful one.
- Develop a small group of trusted friends to share your issues and concerns with.
- Make as many industry connections as you can to your future area of professional interest.
- Begin to set short and long term goals for motivation. The Self Understanding 1 Career Module has some tips on how to begin personal goal setting.
- Your short term goals might be to get a certain mark in the next assignment.
- Your long term goals might include completing your degree and getting a specific type of job.
Vary Your Techniques
- If you are struggling to get on top of an issue, it probably means the strategy or strategies you are using are old and inappropriate for the task. Be flexible and open, by trying a different strategy until one is effective.
- Research workshops and seminars provided by UOW to learn alternative ways of learning. Check out the First Year at UOW website for some information and advice.
- See if there is a PASS tutorial supporting your subject.
- Self-management is about coping with stress, dealing with conflicts and developing personal confidence and self-esteem.
- Keep a good balance in your life of your sporting, artistic, social and physical interests etc. If you drop any of these your brain and body will become unbalanced and this will lead to a greater risk of anxiety and apathy etc.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle by having a nutritious diet, sufficient relaxation and sleep, regular exercise, drinking alcohol at a moderate level and using non-prescription drugs (i.e. cigarettes) at a minimal level, have both emotional and social support/contact and try to minimise stress as much as possible.
- Accept that not all the experiences of studying at university will be positive (e.g. failing an assignment or receiving a grade less than expected). You may need to reappraise and readjust to move forward.
- Seek available help when you feel that you need it.
Using Support Structures & People
- Find out who to ask for help and don't be afraid to ask them!
- Find out where the different services, facilities and offices are on each campus and why they exist. That way you will have an idea on what they can provide and how you can gain the most value from them.
- Make personal contacts with people who can greatly assist with your study, such as your lecturers, unit coordinators or tutors.
- Get to know some of your fellow students well as they can help with your success by providing an opportunity to swap ideas and resources, provide feedback on how you are doing, collect handouts and take notes for you in cases where you cannot make a class or help you understand something in a lecture you were unsure about.
- Seek support from home, as your family/partner can provide you with extra encouragement.
- Get a wall planner from the campus bookshops to timetable significant events and deadlines.
- Draw up a timetable which not only includes your UOW commitments but also all your outside commitments, such as part-time work, sport training, picking kids up from school.
- Put your wall planner/timetable up next to your desk or where you do your work to readily be able to see deadlines and future commitments.
- Plan ahead by spreading your workload over the semester (e.g. completing an assignment a few weeks in advance) in order to avoid becoming overcommitted at specific times of the year.
- Think about how you may increase your motivation, what your strengths are, how you can work on a style that is uniquely you; what satisfies you; can you increase your productivity; what achievements you have made and how you overcome challenges.
- Know what you are competent at and know your values.
Reading, Resources, Writing & Referencing
- Always use the recommended ways of referencing material; work on your existing study strategies as well as trial some new study techniques. Review StartSmart for useful tips on academic research, writing and referencing.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions and concentrate in lectures and tutorials.
- Set yourself a goal of asking at least one question in each tutorial. That way the tutor will get to know you and assume you are keen and interested. This can also help build your confidence level.
- Use UOW's Careers Central to look up 'Graduate Outcomes' data or talk to final year students and industry professionals in your area. All this data should help motivate you as to why you are doing the course you have chosen and where it can lead you.
- Be assertive, rather than be passive and let problems overwhelm you
- See issues as challenges to solve rather than to avoid
- Set small goals and celebrate achieving them
- Seek advice and assistance
You've had quite a bit to think about! Now let's relate what you have learnt about personal transitions, adjustments and possible strategies back to YOU.
Open your Activity Book and complete Activity 1. Here, you will complete a Self-Rating exercise to help you understand which strategies will help you be successful at university, and assess areas you may wish to work on.