The University of Newcastle cares.
Really, it does.
Plenty of support services are provided to make studying as enjoyable and smooth as possible. But, the uni can’t do it all for you. Sometimes, the onus is squarely on you to make the most of these services. What’s that cliché expression again? You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink?
To all you uni seahorses, here are a few of the things you need to bring to the table.
Attend your classes
Believe it or not, but there are proven links between attending and engaging in classes and achieving higher marks, it’s actually the first thing that separates students achieving distinctions and high distinctions from the crowd. Once you’ve braved getting lost on campus, putting your hand up to answer a question in class suddenly feels way less daunting, and will put you in good stead to reach those top marks everyone aims for. Plus if you are studying any 1000 level courses there is mandatory 80% attendance for all learning sessions, with the exclusion of lectures and online learning sessions, so there’s extra incentive to rock up to class.
Take advantage of writing services
As shocking as it sounds, the University won’t write your essay for you. We know, crazy! Thinking about doing an assessment is easy; actually writing it is hard. Once you make a start on it, no matter how sloppy you might think that first 100 words is, it suddenly seems a lot more doable.
If you’re feeling insecure about your writing ability, the uni provides heaps of workshops with the explicit purpose of improving your writing skills. Make the most of PASS sessions, academic writing sessions and links to online guides. You’ll be finding 1000 word essays a breeze in no time!
Do the reading
There isn’t something a student dreads more than doing the weekly readings. Sometimes it seems like the theorist you’re reading up on isn’t even speaking English. We’ll be honest, opening a course reader and being exasperated at the very first sentence is going to happen. Put your head down and battle through it. Just like exercise, there will be a wall that you simply CANNOT push through, until you can. Even a glimmer of comprehension can be used as a springboard to enlightenment. PASS sessions or group study sessions are the perfect place to tackle a tricky reading.
The uni is fond of days, weeks, and even MONTHS dedicated to the benefits of healthy living. Physically, mentally and financially, there simply cannot be a valid counter-argument against it. We realise the temptations of the dark side are many and constant, and here at The University of Newcastle we work hard at showing students the light. Think: veggie harvests, on campus health facilities and counsellors at your disposal.
During semester there is rarely a time without a looming deadline. The strenuous framework of due dates and word counts needs only the tiniest bit of pressure in the wrong place to come crashing down. We know it can be heavy on the shoulders. Thankfully, you don’t have to bear the weight yourself. At uni there are a whole heap of people willing to let you lean on them for a while. Make sure you talk to someone if you feel yourself being crushed.
University study is marinated in self-reflection. Late-night essay writing, journal trawling, financial sacrifice, burgeoning debt. A bad mark on an assignment you worked really hard on. An important family occasion you missed because of a midnight deadline. Success of your non-student peers. University isn’t for everyone, but the regret of not doing something always burns the longest.