Maintaining Your Motivation and Focus
Studying at university is like a marathon. You will need endurance and resilience to help you to get through successfully.
- Remember that education is a very good tool that assists and helps in people’s lives. (First language - Hindi)
- Study in Summer Session if you can, so you can catch up. Take your studies seriously. (First language - Dari Persian)
- Have faith in your ability to work everything out. Say to yourself, ‘I can, so I will’.
- Take baby steps – don’t try to do everything at once. Try not to be too critical of yourself and remember, slow and steady gets you there.
- Start with what you are good at. Build from your strengths to give you confidence to improve your weaker areas.
- Don’t sleep near your phone, use an alarm clock. Phones take up too much time and are extremely distracting.
- Always stay aware and curious. You might not know what you need until you find it. Look for information about programs that might help you – then don’t be shy, apply for it.
- Use the many good services at Western Sydney University. You are a student and are entitled to use all services and resources the University offers.
- Ask questions. Be interested in everything that is going on around you.
Finding Help and Information
You are not alone. Most new students, and even experienced students, have times when they feel unsure, overwhelmed or lonely. There are lots of services and support at Western Sydney University to help you to make social and study connections and to get the assistance you need.
- Be brave – smile and say hello.
- Get to know others in your classes – group work is always easier if you know people beforehand. You can learn a lot from other people.
- Meet with experienced students who speak the same language as you and ask them about the area/s you found difficult to understand.
- Take the time to go to University events. Take in every opportunity you can.
- Establishing friendships takes many small steps. Start with a friendly ‘hello’ and then maybe ask a question about how things work at uni.
- Volunteer – get involved. You have valuable skills, enthusiasm and experience to share.
- Don’t judge by appearances. Be friendly to everyone. If someone is not friendly in return they may just be having a bad day.
- Remember that our differences enrich all our lives.
- Use the official social media sites, like Western Sydney U Facebook and @westernsydneyu on Twitter to keep up to date with what is happening around the uni.
- Find a group with the same interests as you. Western Sydney University has a good range of clubs and societies. You can find these on the student clubs website.
- Help is always available – start with the Library. Lots of resources are available online via the library webpage and online journals.
- Ask questions. Ask your friends and tutors. Never feel too shy to ask questions.
- University is very different from TAFE or private college. Use the resources and services to help you to make the transition. You are not alone, lots of us find it hard.
- Go to the skills workshops to get help with your academic skills and writing.
- Apply for everything that you think might help you. Don’t be shy, if you are a student at Western Sydney University you have permission to use all the resources offered.
- Talk to your Unit Coordinator or Academic Course Advisor. Their contact information is available on the relevant unit or course page of the Handbook.
- Register with CareerHub and start developing the skills you need to find a job while studying and after you graduate.
Balancing your Study and Life
It is very important for you to take care of your health and wellbeing, as well as your studies.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is important – it helps your brain function and improves your mood.
- You can nap in the Library. A short sleep can really help improve your concentration.
- If you’re feeling down, don’t be unhappy for too long. At Western Sydney University you can easily get good advice, help with your difficulties and someone to just listen to how you are feeling. Don’t wait with sad thoughts when you can get help now with the Counselling Service.
- Make friends even if it is just someone you can say hello to or have lunch with.
- Make time for family and friends. Use Skype, text or write letters if you are away from home. You don’t have to write much just to keep in touch.
- Find the student kitchens and microwave ovens on your campus – homemade meals can be cheaper and healthier.
- Apply for work at the University with Jobs on Campus. You can get some extra cash, valuable experience and it looks good on your résumé.
- Carefully plan your finances – get advice from the Student Welfare Service. If you have money problems get help and good advice quickly. Don’t be embarrassed – get help before the problems get too big.