3 things I’d tell first year me

Hey first years, welcome to University life (I know it’s a little late for that but still)!

You are entering an unforgettable chapter of your life. A chapter I like to call: The beginning of the end.

So it’s week 4, I don’t know how that’s even possible but here we are…yay (I think).

While some of you may have figured out how to delicately balance all the things, by all the things I mean Uni life and the subsequent workload (teach me your ways please), there are some of us who may take longer to settle in. This is perfectly normal and you’re certainly not alone.

I personally struggled with the transition from high school to Uni. I was caught completely off guard and I spent most of my first year disoriented and frazzled.

If I could talk to a younger me, there are 3 things I would tell myself.

1. Take your time.

There is a popular misconception that the transition into Uni life is fluid, natural and almost instant. However, you quickly realise that the pace is a lot faster than you imagined.

Assignments come at you from all directions! Did I mention group work? Then there’s travel time, sigh. It reaches an overwhelming stage and frankly no one ever said it would be this hard.

There is no fixed amount of time in which to adapt. As cheesy as this may sound, we are all individuals. We need different amounts of time and experiences to settle in.

Most importantly it is more than OK to take longer than others. Struggling to find that balance doesn’t make you smaller than those around you.

2. Pressure is a necessary evil.

You will eventually be one of Australia’s finest graduates. With that title comes a new world of pressure.

It’s no secret we face stiff competition. It’s healthy but where do you draw the line?

Embrace the pressure; don’t compare yourself with the grades and standards of your peers. You deserve to be here just as much as they do, remember slow and steady wins the race ;).

Hang onto that self-confidence and focus on your goals.

3. Speak up, get help or extend your degree!

Talk to your support system, your family or close friends – whoever they may be! When they ask how you’re going it’s ok to tell them how difficult it is.

Pretending to cope only makes this harder. In terms of getting help, utilise the resources around you – Daphane recently posted a blog post about some student services that may help you during this time.

Fun fact: Graduating within 3 years is not compulsory (I know right, the things you learn). Extending your degree gives you the power to spread out your workload, pace yourself and achieve those H1’s!

Slowly but surely we all figure it out, in the mean time don’t forget to give yourself a little more credit and occasionally breathe.

Now go write that unforgettable chapter!

– Hazel

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