Welcome students of 2021!


Just a quick shout out to all students starting or returning to Flinders for 2021. 🎆🥳🎇

Welcome!! On behalf of the Health, Counselling and Disability Team, it is wonderful to have you all here (those on campus, but also those online 💻 as well)

I was on the Bedford Park campus earlier this week and it was wonderful to see all the life and energy brought here by new and returning students.

I’ve not had much to do with orientation activities thus far, but I am working on stuff that we will be releasing during Wellbeing week of orientation and I am very excited to show it to you.

Well, not just me, but the project team. I have to remain tight-lipped for the time being though.

For new students, these weeks are a total overload. If you are feeling like information is coming at you at 1 million miles per hour 🚅, take comfort in the knowledge that the feeling of overload will settle. You’ll work out where you need to go for lectures and tutes. You’ll find your way around FLO. You’ll meet a couple of new people that you can stand awkwardly next to whilst taking in the immensity of the orientation period. If you are a predominantly online student, you’ll start developing some routines and schedules to fit your study around the rest of your life.

One of the good things about university (I think) is that there aren’t any more cool groups, or in-crowds. A university community is so diverse that you can bring your own type of weird or awkward or strange and find a way to fit in somewhere. I was a happy antisocial introvert for the first 3 years of university and then an awkward but kind student for the next couple and I finished my time as a mildly confident project-obsessed psychologist. This is a time of life where you get to craft V1.0 of your adult self (if you are returning as a mature-age student, you might be working on V2.0 or above).

The point I am trying to make (awkwardly it seems) is that it is OK to just take a deep breath, let all the new settle in and then slowly start building your academic year. The formula for university isn’t as complex as we might make it seem.

  • Start with a focus on your topics and assignments and exams. Get some study momentum and find a way to balance it with the rest of your life. Draw on study supports if needed.
  • If that is as far as you get, then cool. That is all that is needed to get your degree and kick start the next phase of your life.
  • But if you have a bit of room after getting some study momentum and the rest of your life in balance, you can expand your sampling of the university experience. Clubs, events, study groups, volunteering, Horizon awards, careers. There are many things to sample. You don’t have to, but they are there if you feel the room to explore. Just nibble off a little bit each time.


OK, it isn’t really that simple, but it isn’t far off.

In the process of trying to create for you the best university experience possible, myself, along with many other staff will throw stuff at you we think you’ll like and will help. We’ll tell you to do this program and that program and read this and look at this etc. It is well intentioned but might end up being a bit overwhelming 😵

In fact, it can leave people feeling like they have to do all these programs, events, experiences in order to have the ‘right’ university experience.

But it is best to think of them as opportunities, not necessities.

At the simplest level, you are here to get training in a field of your interest 👩‍🎓👨‍🎓 and then use that knowledge in some way in the next phase of your life. It is perfectly good to have a lean, efficient university experience. As good as having a jam-packed, action filled one.

You can decide, and you certainly don’t need to make those decisions all in these first couple of weeks.

So sit back, enjoy the festivities and I look forward to meeting at least a few of you this year.

Take Care


Posted in
Random Gareth Pontifications

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