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May 24, 2011 / uniexpectations

First impressions don’t always last

Many of us spent the first few weeks of university dazed and confused, grappling with new terminology, the somewhat obscure locations of lecture theatres and the relative freedom from school bells and accountability- at least that’s how I remember it!

We have heard from many students who tell us that feeling overwhelmed is a common theme…..

“University life for me was very overwhelming in the first couple of weeks and got quite stressful with moving to Adelaide, making new friends and actually concentrating at uni. I must say I didn’t think it would be this hard and it is pretty full on”

“Absolutely daunting! Being a mature aged student I was unsure about how I was going to adjust to studying again. Could I use my life experience to a full advantage or would it disadvantage me? Where could I find support if I needed to and doing most of my degree external- would I cope!”

Three words to describe the first semester…. “Scary, stressful and rewarding”

But the good news is that for many students, the stage fright starts to diminish and the light starts to shine at the end of the tunnel. Students who have made it beyond their first semester have shared these tips for success with us when asked – What was important for making your university experience successful?

 “Understanding that the key to being successful is only dependent on the amount of work you are prepared to put in. You do not have to be the smartest person to complete a degree but you do need to be committed and put in the effort”

“Balancing my other commitments such as work and sport with study. Finding enough time to relax. Starting on assignments early.”

“Making sure I was organised with bus routines so that I was not late for lectures. Being diligent in my studies and handing assignments in on time. Asking questions about things that I was not sure about”

“Having a support network that I could rely on for both academic purposes and also personal issues that may happen in my time outside of university”

“Having good independent time management skills, knowing how to research properly (e.g use databases) and having friends and social groups are all important for making my university experience successful.”

“The open days helped me a lot, as did orientation week. I think that these days gave me a more realistic idea of what would be expected from me at university”

 We would love to hear your impressions of those first few scary days and how you survived- leave us a comment below or email us on:


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