Our Getting Off To A Good Start Guide is a collection of tips and advice for new or returning students who want to start the year as best they can. Originally a print guide, it is now a series of interlinked blog posts that you can bookmark and return to at any point and resume reading. Living online, the guide is constantly updated. This section is a few final words about enjoying your time at uni.
Final recommendation 🟢
I’ve spent a lot of time in this guide focused on how to get things right, what you could do, how to address problems etc. Let’s face it, I’ve been very serious 🤨 [if you are interested I’ve summarised the main recommendations from the guide below].
My intentions are good. I want you to have a fun and rewarding time whilst you are here. In the process, I run the risk of making it seem like university life is harder than it is.
As I said in the introduction, most students have a great time at university and past students remember their time fondly. There is nothing quite like the experience of being at university and it shapes you and your future in many beneficial ways.
Thus, whilst being at university is a time for hard work, it is equally a time for excitement, meeting new people, trying new things. Embrace as many of the fun and challenging activities as you can.
Remember that if you run into troubles, support is close at hand – https://students.flinders.edu.au/support/
Otherwise, enjoy your time here. It will be a blast!
Section reflection 🤔
Having reached the end of the guide, have your feelings about study changed at all? Feel free to sound out in the comments below.
Sections of the guide (if you want to revisit them)📘
- Know your way around
- Getting off to a good start with your studies
- Know what is involved in being a successful student
- Allocate an appropriate amount of time to your studies
- Use evidence-based study techniques
- Use available services for study tips, writing and assignments
- Tackle procrastination directly
- Know your advocates
- Get off to a good start by looking after yourself
- Engage in self-care
- Ensure any known health or mental health conditions are being well managed
- Try not to isolate yourself
- Familiarise yourself with the support environment
- Further reading
- Final words
Summary of main recommendations from the guide (this time with little oranges)
🍊Early in the year, grab a diary and set up a schedule that includes your actual contact hours (time when you need to be at university or attending online lectures), as well as additional study time to meet the required amount (i.e. 36 hours total for a full-time degree, 18 for a ½ time etc etc). Then and only then, can you start allocating the remaining time to other aspects of your life. Don’t worry though – a full-time study load still gives you time for other stuff.
🍊Teach yourself evidence-based study strategies by familiarising yourself with our resource ‘Evidence-Based study, writing and exam preparation tips’. This is a document in which I have been collecting evidence-based effective study and writing strategies. It covers quite a bit.
🍊If you struggle with procrastination, consider getting hold of our ‘Put Off Procrastinating’ workbook. It guides you through the process of understand how your beliefs might be shaping your avoidance. You might also find our small-group procrastination-busting program called Studyology helpful. It teaches you therapy techniques for tackling avoidance.
🍊Visit the FUSA website, have a look around, and sign-up to receive their email updates. Alternatively, follow them on one of their social media channels – Facebook or Instagram. To find the stuff specifically on academic advocacy click here.
🍊Access and read our ‘Self-care Mega Guide”. Some of the advice in there repeats what is in this document, but there are a whole lot of other strategies worth considering as well.
🍊If you have an existing and ongoing health/ mental health condition that you believe will impact your ability to do your studies, contact Disability Services to see whether some additional supports might be available to you. Visit their website and/or contact them via email (email@example.com) if you have questions or wish to make an appointment.
🍊Find at least one avenue for social connection during your time at university: a friend or friends that you attend lectures with, a study group, a club that you join, a professional development program that you attend.
🍊Bookmark this guide in your browser of choice so you can refer back to it if you are going through a tough time. It is a good jumping point to the many supports that are available.