Belong - Personal Journey
We know the first few weeks can be like a roller coaster ride.
Everyone moves through a range of emotions as they adapt. One minute, you might feel scared, confused or overwhelmed then the next excited by the challenge. You'll probably be inspired by new people and ideas and proud of your own progress. And it's normal to feel tired or bored and to self doubt at times.
Common concerns include finding your way around, getting to know people, information overload, juggling study with the rest of your life and managing finances.
Hang in there!! Gradually, you'll settle into new routines, be clearer about what you're doing and feel more like yourself. Before you know it, you'll be able to find your way around and have your favourite spaces. You'll be more familiar with uni systems, culture and people. Then you'll be turning your mind to study.
Your attitude towards uni matters. If you feel like you're surviving and thriving it's easier to focus on studying. Feeling "good" means thinking "good."
Emotional lows and highs can divert your attention. Sometimes students are distracted by worries about failing. Remember you're here to learn. It's ok to make mistakes or fail tasks occasionally.
Some of your reactions will be linked to the academic cycle. Check this out next.
You might like to plot your own emotional journey over the semester. If you keep track of your emotions then you can re-balance and concentrate on learning new skills and topics.
Plot your emotional journey at point 4 in your travel diary.
If you're feeling tired, lost, low or stressed for several weeks, seek help early. It's resourceful as a student to access the services here for you. Check out Student Support Services. Don't hesitate to contact the Counselling Service. You're welcome to drop in or phone to make an appointment.
Some students will be delighted with their courses. Others might question their choice or find the workload too heavy. You can change your degree program or drop a course if you wish. Some of you will be thinking seriously about leaving uni. If you want to leave, that's no problem. Seek advice about all your options. Talk to academic and HUBS staff. Seriously thinking of leaving uni - click here for information.
"It was a big adventure, a lot of fun. Just go with the flow."
"Think of everyone who does uni. If they can do it so can you."
"When I looked at all the assignments due, I really freaked out. I thought, maybe I shouldn't be at uni. I spoke to one of my tutors about leaving. She suggested I drop my workload for first semester."
"Dropping one course made my work/life balance manageable."
"So much to get used to but I get there in the end with some help."
Student Tip: Deal with the initial stress
"One step at a time. You can only do what you can do."
"Don't stress. There are people who can help. Computers suck! That's life."
"Take it as it comes. Ask students if you have problems."
"You might not like it at first and if you don't, figure out ways to make it better. After being at uni for a week or two you'll be more used to it."
Don't be put off by the amount of work or the fact you don't know anyone. Each week you will learn something new and meet a new person and it does get easier."
Don't panic! Stop, breathe, think."
"Remember to eat and sleep. Join the gym."