Even for the most confident of students, the first year of university can be overwhelming, so it’s helpful to have someone there to guide you through it. We’ve asked a group of New to Curtin Student Mentors to give us their top tips for first years.
Be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Remember that it’s very normal to be nervous when you first start university, so don’t beat yourself up for feeling shy and awkward during your first couple of weeks – just try and push through it!
Learn to manage your time. Good time management is crucial for succeeding at university. Try using a study diary or calendar to keep up with important dates and allocate time during the week to finish your weekly tasks.
Don’t stress about your majors. Don’t start university thinking that you have to know exactly what you want to major in. If you’re not sure, try enrolling in your core units first and see which areas you’re most interested in. Remember, it’s possible and quite common to change your major if you realise you’re not happy with it.
Attend your lectures and tutorials. It’s much easier to stay engaged and keep on top of your weekly tasks when you attend lectures and tutorials in person rather than relying on online material. It’s also a good way to make friends!
Participate in and out of class. Rather than just showing up each week and listening to what other people are saying, involve yourself in class discussions. As well as participating in class, try signing up for some extracurricular activities – this is a great way to meet new people, get out of your comfort zone and become more involved in the Curtin community.
Back up your work. Buy an external hard drive or use a cloud service to back up your work every day. Use both if you want to be extra careful. Seriously, there is nothing more stressful than losing your work, so make sure you’re backing it up regularly!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re confused about something in class, don’t be afraid to ask your peers or tutor for help – this will prevent you from making mistakes later on.
Written by mass communications student Kelsey Tang