Staying on Track

Like athletes, most students have those times when they ‘hit the wall’ – that sudden loss of energy or motivation in a long race. Do you ever wonder how other students have made it past the challenges and roadblocks?

Finding Help and Support

  • Do a library tour – it’ll help with navigating the library and how to search for books, journals and other useful resources. The librarians are friendly and very helpful. They can give you a hand with books, journal searches data bases and even referencing.

  • Check out the library website and the relevant library resources for your discipline – main journals, books and databases for your area.
  • Accept constructive criticism. When a tutor marks your work, they are giving you tips on how to improve next time. Read their comments carefully and use them to improve your next assignment.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed by everything. Try having a chat with your lecturer or tutor or you can drop in to see a counsellor or welfare officer. They can offer support and advice and point you in the right direction.

  • Ask for extra feedback from your tutors when your assessments or essays are returned to you. This will give you an opportunity to get some in-depth feedback so you’ll know if you’re on the right track and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

  • Don’t give up! If you’re thinking about dropping out, talk – to your family, friends, Unit Coordinators or a counsellor for advice. There are a range of options available that can make your uni experience easier. Make sure you know all your options before you make your final decision.

  • Be assertive and take the initiative. Ask questions, investigate and follow up with your tutors and lecturers if you’re unsure of information.

Staying Positive

  • Don’t be intimidated by the idea of university study. Remember that you have demonstrated the abilities and qualities needed to get you into university and you will feel more confident with time.

  • Be open minded to different views and cultures. Western Sydney University is diverse and everyone has something unique to offer.

  • Be positive and stay enthusiastic. Be sure of your abilities and opinions and remember that you’ll get more confident over time.
  • Give yourself time to adjust. It may take a few weeks or even months before uni starts to feel comfortable. Don’t feel like you have to hit the ground running and do everything perfectly right from the start. Slowly but surely is the key.

  • Learn from your mistakes and don’t give up if you fail along the way – learning what doesn’t work is just as important as learning what does and it means you can try again with more experience.

  • Start some good habits. It’s easier to get into new habits if you associate them with existing ones. For example, if you normally drink tea or coffee in the morning, use that first cup as the time to write down a to-do list for the day.

  • Don’t sell yourself short because sometimes it’s hard to believe in your own abilities. You can succeed at university, if you couldn’t you wouldn’t be here. Work hard and you’ll achieve good results.

Taking Care of Yourself and Your Wellbeing

  • University is not just about careers, assignments, exams and stress. It’s also about discovering yourself as a person, your place in the world, and about having a great ride along the way.

  • Talk with one of the University’s counsellors. It can really help.
  • Changing even the simplest things can reduce stress. Set realistic goals. Reduce the number of events or commitments in your life, Try relaxation exercises or oil burners with lavender, chamomile or peppermint are for stress relief, relaxation and focus.

  • When you have achieved your goals, reward yourself! Make a list of the activities you can’t fit into your schedule while you’re studying and use the session break to do one or all of them. You may like to go for a massage, see a band, play some sport, take a holiday or organise a night out with your friends.

  • Learn to recognise stress. Signs can include exhaustion, loss or increase of appetite, increase or decrease in sleeping, irritability, an increase in crying or headaches.

  • Stay active. Find out about sporting activities and sporting facilities available on each campus in the ‘On campus services’ section of the services and facilities webpage.

  • Balance your workload and activities so you can get adequate sleep. If you are well rested, you’ll be able to concentrate better and be more productive.

  • Exercise increases your ability to think and it also de-stresses you. If you live close to the uni, get a bike and cycle there. It’ll help you feel fitter, smarter, and better. You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint too.

  • A balanced diet that avoids too much sugar can prevent the foggy brain that comes from sugar crashes.

  • Boost your immune system. Having lots of assignments and readings and staying up late can take a toll on the immune system. This is an important time to look after yourself with good nutrition. A good multivitamin, omega 3 and garlic are all great for the immune system, energy levels and concentration.

  • Get into yoga or Pilates. They’re both great stress relievers for the body and mind and a great way to stay healthy.

  • Keep your supplies well stocked. Keep a bottle of water and a small packet of nuts or dried fruit in your bag at all times as they’re a great energy boost. A tin of tuna makes a great brainboosting snack.