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 deals with learning your way around campus and online.
The modern university experience involves both physical and digital spaces.
If you are attending a campus (or multiple campuses) for lectures and tutorials, make sure to visit those campuses before the university year starts so you know where your lecture rooms and classes are held. Orientation is a great time for this as you might be on campus to take advantage of all the orientation activities. For example, I remember during my orientation making my way around the campus to find the locations of my first lectures, so that I wasn’t searching for them at the last minute.
Familiarise yourself with the campuses you’ll be attending at this link – https://www.flinders.edu.au/campus
Start here: https://students.flinders.edu.au/ – Once logged in, this site provides a comprehensive overview of the various things you need to know as a Flinders student. From here you can learn about all the other digital spaces you’ll use during your time as a student. Set aside time to read as much of that site as you can.
In terms of getting to know how a university works, good skills to develop, common barriers that students experience and what support services are available to you, the Finding Your Way At Flinders 2023 FLO topic is great. The topic both introduces you to university life, but also gets you familiar with the two learning management systems that contain all your course materials (FLO and Canvas).
Finally, be patient with yourself as you learn your way around. Don’t be afraid to ask someone on campus. In my experience 90%+ of people want to help. The other 10% are probably as lost as you are and would appreciate running into a fellow traveller 😂
A note about emails
Now I am mindful that email can be a pain, and most of us are swimming in excess emails, but I strongly recommend trying to read all the emails you get from Flinders, at least in the first few months 📧 Email is still a dominant communication platform in academia and much of what you might need to know will still be sent via email. It isn’t just information about your specific degree. It will be content about everything else that is happening at Flinders. Maybe set aside a time each day to look through your Flinders emails ⏳
Section reflection 🤔
How are you feeling about being on a campus, after a couple of years of being separated because of COVID? For online students, how are you feeling about interacting with your degree entirely online?
Sections of the guide 📘
- 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