Get the most out of university with top tips for success

A recent graduate of Western Sydney University, Ishi Mahadurage shares her top tips for both new and continuing students to make the most out of their university experience.

Ishi holds a double degree in Information Communication Technology and Arts (Music) and is a dedicated Student Services Hub Officer at the University.

Reflecting on her time at the University, she said, ‘Overall, I feel incredibly lucky to be a student at Western. It's been an unforgettable experience so far, and I can't wait to see what the future holds’.

Her advice for students is to ‘embrace the new world you’ve stepped into, enjoy the campus and be part of the events that are provided. Seek support whenever you need it.’

1. Embrace Campus Life

Along with receiving a high-quality education, I enjoyed my campus life to the fullest. One of the things I love about being a student here is the sense of community. There's a real camaraderie among the students, and everyone is so friendly and welcoming.

Western has a great social scene, with plenty of events happening regularly. There are many student clubs to be a part of, including music, sports, and debating. Joining these clubs and events provides you with opportunities to meet new people who share your interests, and can even help you discover new hobbies or passions. Just check out Western Life (opens in a new window) to get started.

2. Seek Support

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you're studying, especially if you're living away from home for the first time. When I first started everything seemed like a challenge, but I am very glad that I took the initiative to speak with the student services hub team to get advice on where I needed to go to get the right help.

Western Sydney University offers several support services (opens in a new window) and it is so important to seek support whenever you need it. One of the support services that I found particularly helpful is the Student Welfare Service (opens in a new window). They offer a range of free and confidential services that cater to the needs of students, whether it’s financial hardship, advocacy, accommodation, or University applications and processes. In addition, the university also provides disability services, career advice, academic support services, and many other more.

Don't be afraid to reach out and seek help whenever you need it. After all, it's all part of the university experience. The university also gives support academically (opens in a new window). I used Study Smart, MESH, and PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) to assist with my studies. With these academic support services readily available, students can feel confident in their ability to meet the challenges of their coursework and reach their full potential.

3. Connect with Peers and Teachers

University life can be overwhelming at times, and it's essential to have a support system to help you navigate it. I remember feeling nervous and excited as I walked into the orientation hall on my first day of university. I didn't know anyone there and I was worried about making friends. However, the friends that I met during this orientation, are still my closest confidants. We've been through so much together, from the stress of exams to the joys of graduation, and they will remain a cherished part of my life for years to come.

Connecting with teachers can also be beneficial. They can provide guidance on course material, answer any questions you may have, and even introduce you to research or career opportunities that align with your interests. In short, connecting with peers and teachers at the university is an important aspect of your overall college experience. Don't be afraid to reach out and form connections that will help you succeed academically and personally. By connecting with your peers and teachers, you build relationships that will not only help you throughout your academic journey but also beyond.

4. Time Management is Key

Time management is key when you are studying at university. I remember my first semester was challenging, as I did not know how to manage my time. I would find myself struggling to keep up with my coursework while also trying to maintain a social life. It felt like there were never enough hours in the day. But as time went on, I learned some important time management skills that helped me balance everything. It is important to prioritise your tasks and create a schedule to ensure that you are making the most of your time. This could involve breaking down larger assignments into smaller tasks, setting deadlines for yourself, and blocking off time for studying, attending classes, and completing assignments. Although studies are important, it is also important to prioritise self-care activities like exercise and rest to ensure that you can focus and maintain your energy levels. By managing your time effectively, you can reduce stress, improve your academic performance, and make the most of your university experience.

5. Explore Career Opportunities

While studying at the university, I got to explore career opportunities that I had never considered before. Finding a job, whether it's in the same field or a different field was very important to me from the beginning. You gain work experience, you get to associate more with the culture and you get to meet new people! Career Hub (opens in a new window) is such a great resource that you may want to go and explore! They offer a variety of career-focused events workshops, and resources that allow students to network with professionals in their desired field, learn about job opportunities, and develop valuable skills. I took advantage of these resources that helped me build my resume and prepare for job interviews. It's important to start thinking about your career early on, so you can gain the necessary skills and experience to succeed in the workforce. The university's career centre is a valuable resource that can help guide you in the right direction and set you up for success after graduation.

6. Stay Informed and Engaged

While studying at the university, it’s important to stay informed and engaged. In addition to checking your student email, there are several other ways to stay informed and engaged on campus. Attend campus events, join a club or organisation that aligns with your interests, and make connections with your professors and peers. These opportunities can help you stay up to date on important information and make your university experience more fulfilling. It's also important to stay engaged with your coursework and attend class regularly to ensure academic success. By staying informed and engaged, you can make the most of your time at university and set yourself up for success in your future career.

ENDS

23 February 2024

Media Unit

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas