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Feeling lost?

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Settling into uni life can be hard. How is the acculturation process impacting you? (Word of the day: acculturation!)

Three Curtin students sit on a picnic blanket in front of a large fig tree on Perth campus laughing and talking.

Just kicked off your uni studies at Curtin? Or never quite felt like you get uni life? Then you may have experienced some acculturation issues as you tried to settle in.

A quick internet search will explain that acculturation is the process where you socially, psychologically and culturally assimilate into a different culture, normally the dominant one around you.

Universities are like little microcosms of a big city. They have thousands of students and employees – from all around the world; accommodation; events big and small – from festivals to professional upskilling workshops; various dining options like cafes, food trucks and taverns; sports and recreation facilities; beautiful grounds; and services like supermarkets, health clinics, libraries, daycare centres, prayer and meditation spaces, etc.

Then there is culture. University education as an academic tradition has a distinct culture, then each university has its own campus culture, and then there is your: faculty, your course, and the student culture of that study field – and on and on.

While some people slip into uni life with total ease, delighted to find a new space to be them, to throw off the limits of high school cliques with glee (yes-pun intended!). Others have a very hard time with the shift into adult learning and the culture of university studies.

Some students are also just too busy outside of uni that they never really quite have the time to work out what they could get out of the experience. Which can result in students quietly earning their degrees solo while always feeling on the outside of the uni life experience.

Now if you just want a degree on your CV or post-grad qualifications, then fitting in studies around work or other commitments is a great option. However, if you desired uni to be a life-changing experience but you feel lost then you can get help with that.

Need support adjusting to uni? With topics covering procrastination, anxiety, sleep, adjustment to culture shock, exams and more, the Lunchtime Life Skills webinar series can help.

You can also visit Curtin’s Counselling & Wellbeing webpage to learn more about Curtin’s free counselling services, other group programs, and bulk-billed GP services for all students.