Hello and welcome to the first week of Semester 1! Are you as excited as me to be getting on with it? My friends think I’m crazy, but I really love the vibe on campus these first few weeks. Maybe it’s because I have two kids that I love coming here, and being an adult for a few days a week – who knows?
So… if this is your first year, welcome welcome! Hopefully you read Veashka’s blog so you don’t make my mistake and walk into the wrong workshop, leaving me no choice but to do the walk of shame out of there with all eyes on me! Yep… that was my first ever workshop here a few years ago and boy my cheeks still go red just thinking about it. So please, if you are new, check our her blog here and be confident finding your way around campus.
OK, so starting uni well will really set you up for a great year. Here are a few tips I have learnt along the way… if you have tips of your own, use #How2uni and share them with all of us.
Get on top of blended learning.
If you don’t know what blended learning is, it is simply the term used by the Uni to describe the combination of online lectures, content, quizzes or e-books you need to explore before coming to the face-to-face workshops or labs associated with your subjects.
So, here’s the thing… it is really important that your do your required readings, watch or listen to online content, complete the quizzes etc., BEFORE you show up to the workshops/labs. The workshops and labs help you consolidate your learning. You will definitely get more out of your workshops/labs/tutorials if you do the work prior to attending.
When things go wrong.
So my first week has been interesting. I arrived to my tutorial to find there was a last-minute room change, and my tutor was having difficulty with the computer and projector. After 30 minutes, they gave up and we ended up having to read off their laptop. Despite this, I was still feeling excited, until I went to my workshop today – only to be locked out of the room with my facilitator unable to gain access! Once in the room, we were once again unable to get equipment working and it was 25mins before our lesson began! I have to say, I was short of angry that so much time had been wasted on logistics and equipment not working. After my initial crankiness… I took a deep breath and decided to remain positive for next week. The situation reminded me to have a plan. I am going to walk in with my week one positiveness and give it another go. If the same kind of things happen again, then I will speak to the subject coordinator. After all, we are in control of our learning and this includes having a plan when things go wrong.
SKIP the Queues.
Do you have classes, one after the other? If you forget to pack yourself a snack, or need a coffee, this is the App for you. It’s a great app called ‘SKIP’ (Check out skip.com.au for more details). It lets you skip the queues so you will never be late for class again. You can order your coffee or food through the app, then pick it up as you head to your next class. It’s also cashless after you register your debit/credit card. Easy! It lets you find shops that are close by that are willing to use SKIP, for example on campus ‘Caffeine’ in the Agora is listed, and they are quick to fill your order.
If you missed out on the library tour during O Week – it is not too late. Keep an eye on the Getting started in the library webpage and you can even opt to register to be advised of new classes or tours that the library offer. If nothing else, you can always ASK La Trobe and they will help you out, or chat online to a librarian weekdays during the Semester.
Know who to ask.
As you meet your subject coordinators, facilitators, lecturers or tutors, make a list of their contact details and note down what their open office hours are. This kind of information is invaluable should you get to a couple of weeks before an assessment is due and you need help. Asking questions of the right person (the one who is likely to be marking your assessment) is key.
Some of you may have attended the #How2uni workshop during orientation. They had some really great tips for time management, using a diary, working to your strengths and the kinds of services available to us, that will help us along the way.
My biggest friend when it comes to time management besides my calendar (on my phone) is using the assignment calculator. Check it out here!
It looks like this:
It is so easy to use! You type in your due date and the subject code, and it gives you a plan of when to do what. How easy is that? It literally breaks it down for you into small tasks. This is a great tool to getting overwhelmed with work all at once.
La Trobe Services:
Don’t forget there are loads of services at La Trobe to help us along the way. Click on each of the links for more information.
- ASK La Trobe
- SDA’s (Student Development Advisers)
- Student Learning/Peer Learning Advisers
- Off to a good start at Uni – register here for workshops to help you with time management, note taking, study tips, networking and health and well being.
- Career Ready
- Financial Assistance
- Counselling and Mental Health
- Studying with a Disability
- LGTBIQ Service
- Student Union Support Services