Easy Tips To Help You Transition To University

If you are reading this article it is very likely that 1) you are about to transition into university and 2) you’re looking for tips!

Fear not, young Padawans, for I am here to help.Having started my university journey last year I can safely say all the feelings you are currently experiencing are exactly what everyone else is feeling right now.I can also tell you that any feelings of doubt or fear will quickly fade as you realise that university is a really awesome place to be.If I was to give you my top five tips on transitioning to uni they would be the following:

1. Get around it!First mistake you can make going into uni is plunging your head into the books and telling yourself that if you don’t get an ‘A’ on each assignment you will forever fail at life. University is not VCE guys: You can relax (somewhat) and enjoy yourself! It would be a mistake to ignore all the social events, clubs and opportunities that university has to offer. Not only does getting involved allow you to make friends socially, it also allows you to form valuable networks for your working career at the end of your degree.

2. Seek help if you need it.Gone are the days where teachers will pester you for homework and ask if ‘you understand the question’. You have to push yourself. However! ‘Pushing yourself’ does not mean there is no one to help you along the way. Your lecturers and tutorial teachers are available to answer questions, so don’t be afraid to ask. The other great thing about uni is that most have departments dedicated to helping students with assignments and some will even proof your writing.

3. Use your rocks!No, not actual rocks, silly! I mean the people who ground you and people you can rely on for support. It is easy to want to move away from home in pursuit of independence and think you can do it all alone. Everyone deals with change differently and, for some, it can be a little overwhelming at first. Even if you are commuting and still living at home, at uni you no longer have the same familiarity with peers because people at uni are constantly coming and going. If things are getting a little hard – you’re stressed out or just not coping – look to the people who can encourage you and put thing into perspective. So many times after having a stressful day at uni, I would just ring home to mum to get it off my chest.

4. Own a diary. Srs.You think you can go without one? LOL. The single greatest weapon (in a non-literal sense dudes!) you can take into university is a diary. Particularly in the first and last few weeks of semester, you will be overwhelmed with important dates, and without the constant nagging of your teachers, mum and dad, and reminders from peers, it is easy for an assignment to creep up on you. If that happens, you may find yourself pulling frantic all-nighters that will certainly drain your energy and hopes for a decent mark. All -nighters work for some, but not many!

5. Give yourself a break!No one flies into uni knowing what’s up with everything. First-year is about getting your head in the game and no one expects that you’ll immediately know how to play. If your marks aren’t great at the start, don’t beat yourself up. The standards at uni may or may not be different to what you’re used to. Take a deep breath, pick yourself up and keep at it. Remember why you’re at uni and learn from every assignment you do. Persistence in first year is key.

Take Care Of Yourself When The Stress Of School Hits

All too often, we take on more than we can handle.

Trigger warning. This article discusses mental heath and depression.As school starts up again, the stress can be overwhelming for all students. It doesn’t matter how organised you become; it’s not hard for everything to fall apart and for your health to be at risk.You’ll start the first week off well, and then halfway through that same week the first round of homework is handed out. “That’s fine, I can handle it,” you’ll say to yourself, “school is my number one priority.” Yet, it really shouldn’t be. Yeah, you have to do your best in school – for whatever reasons you may have – but your number one priority should be you.Mental health; physical health; emotional health: these are the bases that you will have to cover in order to have a balance between school and life (as much as they cross over at times).What I’m referring to is ‘Self-Care’. In order to reach these three bases, you have to perform tasks that can relax and refresh you without having to worry about everyone around you. Self-care is essentially looking after yourself; pampering yourself; enjoying yourself. It’s all about you. It’s not only enjoyable, it’s also important for your well-being.Self-care helps you detach from the world around you, in order to recharge. In a way, it’s like a level up from a deep breath. It can be applied to everyday life; all you have to do is make time once in a while to let yourself go. It’ll soothe your anxiety, boost your confidence, help you sleep better, and your body and mind will change in the best ways possible.There are many options of self-care out there. There are ones that you can use once in a while, and ones that take up little to no time. Self-care is important, but it’s flexible. You do things to make you happy and healthy. Give some of the following options a try and create your own self-care plan, using it as a guide rather than a rulebook:Eat, Eat, Eat: Seriously, please eat. Sometimes you can get so invested in your work that there’s no time, or you’re so stressed out that you just don’t have an appetite. However, we need food to survive. Have breakfast, lunch and dinner; even if you have to set a reminder, you have to do it. Make them healthy meals too. It can be expensive, but even changing a cup of noodles to a healthy wrap can make such a difference (without burning a hole in your pocket).Drink Water: Water is also needed to live and it’s recommended you take in about two litres a day. Keep a water bottle in your bag or on your desk; it’ll keep reminding you and won’t require so much effort.Go Outside: Going out costs money, yet it doesn’t have to. When’s the last time you went to the park, or the beach, or even a museum? You could go for a walk, write by the water or even take some photos.Sleep: Get your hours! Go to bed earlier and wake up early enough to experience the day. You’ll feel recharged and organised. If you burn yourself out before the day is over, take a quick nap and try again.Reflect: Get to know what you want. Know which friends aren’t good for you. Get to know yourself. Have a think about who you are and what you want. You don’t have to piece together your entire life, though sorting out the bad makes room for the good.TREAT YO’ SELF: Have a bubble bath; get a massage; buy yourself a little something; wear a face mask; do something that makes you happy, no matter how small.Breathe: Get comfortable; breathe in and then breathe out. Counts your breaths to 10 (and start again) and focus on how deep your breaths are. Only focus on your breathing. If you start to think about your worries, focus back on your breathing. (Bonus: It can help you get to sleep, especially during late night blues.)Love a Little: Get in touch with friends and family. Talk to them, confide in them and have fun with them. Start to love life, even if you need help from a professional. Love the world around you and the people in it. Most importantly, love yourself. You’ve made it this far in life and that’s something to be proud of! Accept your flaws, find your strengths and forgive yourself; you’re the only you you’ve got

Solutions When You Chosen The Wrong Degree

Frenchy from Grease wasn’t sure if Beauty School was right for her. But how can the rest of us be sure?

I’d finished my Year 12 exams. Preferences had been submitted and offers accepted. Now, at my new university’s Open Day, I was struck with the realisation that all I knew about my degree was its name. What if I had made the wrong choice? How would I know? What would I do about it?I decided to tackle these questions with the help of a few close friends one Friday night, as we reflected on our first year out of high school. Here’s what Laura, Alex, Mark, Ben, Alastair and Aashna had to say.Tip #1: Don’t get pressured into it.A lot of people influence what we choose to do after high school. Friends, family and even schools themselves will have their opinions. However, universities expect their students to be passionate and dedicated, which is easiest when you are studying for your own reasons. Also, the pressure isn’t always just about the degree itself. Laura knew she wanted to study Occupational Therapy, but felt the pressure of choosing an ‘elite’ university. Her advice to her former self? “Don’t be a snob about the local university, because it’s the same degree and it’s ten minutes away!”Tip #2: Your course should make you excited!Alex thought he knew exactly what he wanted, but a semester in his chosen degree left him with no doubt that he needed to change. “Over time I just found the course less interesting than I should,” he said.“And because I didn’t find it interesting enough, I couldn’t work hard. There was just no passion.”And by the way, being passionate about your chosen degree isn’t as dorky as it sounds. You’ll probably find when you start your classes in Chartered Accountancy, Podiatry or Journalism that you’re surrounded by people who completely get what fascinates you. Your shared passion will actually help you form friendships faster and settle in to the university lifestyle.Tip #3: There’s a difference between a bad class and a bad degree.Unless you are completely blessed, you will at some point have to take a class at university that makes you want to curl up in a ball and sleep through the semester. But have hope!Mark says you should figure out “whether you’re annoyed at the content itself or the way they’re trying to teach it to you.” Sometimes, you just have to grit your teeth and deal with that particularly obnoxious tutor, or that one horrendous assignment.Tip #4: Money matters, but there’s usually a way around any problems.Ben had to find an alternate way to get his dream job, after he found out he would have to pay the course fees up front. “It was practicality really,” he said.”If I did an aviation course at university it would cost me over $100,000, so I did my second choice at uni and chose to do aviation outside of uni. “It’s cheaper and basically better because now I’ve got two things going for me.”Meanwhile, Aashna felt pressured to take the scholarship she was offered for a double degree. What she wished she had known? “Not to be shackled by the scholarship, because it meant that I had to do Business/IT.””If I changed courses they wouldn’t give it to me,” she added. “I don’t mind it, but I just solely based my decision on the financial side of the scholarship.”If you’re especially worried about losing money by changing degrees after your semester has started, look up your university’s census date. In most cases, you can withdraw from a course, change degrees or defer your course at any point before the census date without incurring a financial penalty.If you decide to change degrees after already starting, you can also ask your university about whether you have any eligible credit points from previous classes. This is simply a way of acknowledging any classes you have already taken that can make up part of your new degree, and can save both time and money.Tip #5: Your degree doesn’t have to be the first option.Maybe desk learning isn’t how you learn best. Keep in mind that there are no rules forcing you to go straight from high school to university. Alastair decided to take an apprenticeship first, and then go to university later. “I’m such a practical learner, that I couldn’t just sit down and memorise stuff for hours on end,” he said.“Going to uni is something that I’ll need to do in order to progress, career wise, but as of now I can choose the hands-on route.”You might even find that the extra experience you can gather before going to university will give you a competitive edge.And my personal advice? Tip #6: Keep your perspective.Sure, this field of study might be what you end up doing with the rest of your life. Or it might be what you do for a few years. Or it could just be what you study for the next few months. A degree is not a life-long lock-in contract; it’s meant to be a tool and yes, it’s (mostly) meant to be fun. So enjoy it!

Simple Tips For International Students On Their First Week In Australia

Your first week in a strange, foreign country may leave you feeling like Dorothy when she first landed in Oz – homesick and completely overwhelmed.

However, there is no need to panic. Here are a couple of useful tips to help you with your transition into the Land Down Under.1. Go to your University’s ‘Getting Started’ Sessions.Feeling confused about where to start? Many universities recommend their international students attend a ‘Getting Started’ session before Orientation Week. These sessions fill you in on how to enrol in your classes, getting your ID card, finding your way around the daunting campus and meeting other students. You will come out of the session feeling much more prepared – and who knows, maybe you’ll bump into a new friend who was just as confused as you are.2. Make your new room your home.Whether you’re living in a dorm, with a homestay or at your own apartment, you will be spending a fair bit of time there. So why not turn it into a place that you can call home? Plaster those dull white walls with posters of your favourite band or TV show. Hang fairy lights to cast a warm, golden glow over your bed and pin nostalgic photos of your smiling family and friends on a corkboard. Ta-da! Your bedroom is now a sanctuary of comfort and relaxation.3. Manage your money.Moving to Australia as a university student means you will need to budget your money wisely. Resist the temptation to spend all your cash on “I Heart Australia” T-shirts to send to your friends back home, and invest your money in a savings account. Rack up student discounts, deals and stash away any leftover money in the bank. Also, get a job as soon as you can. Whether it’s at your local Boost Juice or a restaurant specialising in your homeland’s cuisine, it will keep you too busy to dwell on your inevitable homesickness and will earn you a little extra cash on the side!4. Make new friends.As humans, we tend to stick with what’s familiar. Whilst it is comforting to cling onto your old friends, you must leave behind the past in order to discover a new you. Join clubs and societies that interest you and don’t be afraid to talk to people. They are also just starting out at uni and are probably just as lost as you are. If you’re feeling homesick, organise exciting events like ice skating and karaoke with a bunch of friends and tell them to invite people that they know. Nothing brings people closer together than belting out the lyrics to “Someone Like You” by Adele – trust me.5. Visit the places that make Australia beautiful.Embrace the culture of Australia and immerse yourself in the abundance of wonderful activities that your city has to offer. Many lively cities in Australia pride themselves on their array of exhibitions, museums, galleries, rivers and festivals. Sightseeing can be a great way to distract yourself from missing your home too much, as well as learning your way around. Sure, the first week may be a little intimidating, but once you get over your first few days in Australia, you will settle right in. Don’t be afraid to try new things and embrace change! After all, just because Dorothy said there’s no place like home, it doesn’t mean that she didn’t enjoy her adventure in Oz

Weigh Up Your Career Options While Still In High School

As somebody recently thrown into the clutches of Year 12, I know all too well the daunting feeling of having to consider my future.

Not only must we decide on at least a vague idea of a career goal, but we have to figure out the means by which we will get there.Scary, huh?For those of us who have opted to take the university path, here are a few tips to consider which will hopefully make this stressful experience just a tad less stressful.1. Speak to a careers counsellor.I consider myself lucky to attend a school which has a careers counsellor available to talk about my future whenever necessary. If you do too, I would highly advise you to take full advantage of this; their expertise and knowledge will likely be a godsend if you’re totally stuck for direction. Usually making an appointment is as easy as sending a quick email or simply turning up for a chat. I can almost guarantee you’ll come out of there with at least a little more clarity.

2. Attend university open days.Pretty much every year, most Australian universities host an open day. These events, often held during winter, are primarily aimed towards prospective students and contain a goldmine of information about university life. Not only do you have the opportunity to ask staff and students any pressing questions, but you can also explore the campus, attend lectures, learn about clubs and extra-curricular activities and enjoy a bite to eat whilst taking in the atmosphere.

3. Do some self-directed online investigation.Often the most useful information is that which we have sought out ourselves. Take a moment to browse through the websites of universities that appeal to you, and compare the pros and cons of particular courses at each establishment. Asking for advice on forums is another great way to source opinions without even having to leave your bedroom. This way you can get specific answers to your queries from people who have been through exactly what you’re about to face.

4. Ask friends and family for useful contacts.Surprisingly, sometimes the people closest to you can end up assisting you in your data-hunt more than any professional could. If you have an inkling of a realm you’d like to enter, don’t hesitate to ask your aunts, uncles, cousins, friends or even that eccentric old lady from across the road about their experiences, and if they can help you in any way. If you want to be a GP, ask your GP. If you want to be a teacher, ask your teacher. It is highly likely at least one of them will know somebody they can put you in contact with. The fact that you may already know this person might make the process slightly less intimidating and settle your nerves about the future.

5. Look for work experience opportunities.You’ll never know exactly what a job entails until you do it for yourself, which is why work experience is practical for almost all young people. Not only will you get a feel for being employed, you’ll also have something impressive to put down on your résumé. In the beginning it may just entail simple tasks like getting coffees, filing and general tidying, but at the end of the day any work is worthwhile work. Even if you’re unsure of your commitment to the field in question, the experience itself will be paramount in preparing you for the workforce and perhaps directing you along other paths.

6. Ask yourself questions.It seems kind of obvious, but many of us are in such a hurry to decide on our futures that we don’t stop to consider the most blatant questions. Here are some things to ask yourself before setting out on the treacherous quest for employment:What are my greatest strengths?What are my passions?Could I combine these strengths with my passions in order to formulate a worthwhile career?Would I be happy doing this in the long run?If yes, what can I do now to set off on this path?Often a little bit of self-reflection can make all the difference throughout this arduous process and can provide the spark that sets the wheels in motion.