Starting at University can be a daunting time. There are new systems to navigate, unknown terminology to learn and new ideas to consider and explore.
It is normal in this new environment to feel unsure and sometimes anxious about making the transition to being a confident and capable student, but most students also feel excited about the challenges ahead.
When you start at UWA, you will need to be focused on managing the administrative aspects of your enrolment, as well as ensuring you attend the relevant orientation activities. Once semester starts, you will need to develop your time management skills to meet deadlines and keep up to date with study.
Class attendance can be a difficulty for mature age students with work and family commitments. Classes at UWA fit within normal business hours with very few exceptions, so plan to be on campus during the day. Working full-time is not recommended in your first semester – even if you are only studying one unit – unless you have flexible work arrangements.
During your first semester you will find a lot of time and energy will be spent on administrative tasks and settling in. This time is far more enjoyable if you select fewer units and allow yourself this adjustment period to learn what’s expected and how to best succeed.
If you do take on more than you can handle, there is the opportunity to adjust your enrolment without academic penalty. However, this is easily avoided by selecting only one or two units.
Once you’ve settle into your study pattern, you will find UWA has a vibrant campus culture that offers excellent opportunities to become involved and expand your social network.
The Mature Age Welcome is designed to provide mature age students enrolling in undergraduate degrees the chance to meet other commencing mature age students as well as providing an introduction to the supports and services available that can support them in their studies.
There are a number of areas within UWA where help is available for students.
The UWA Student Guild has a long history of support and advocacy for the student population. All students have access to these services.
Each faculty has Faculty Advisers and programs tailored for students within the faculty. It is important that you seek the assistance of these staff if you are experiencing difficulty during semester.
Student Support Services has excellent programs and services that are specifically designed to support students through study. There are a number of programs to help when you first arrive and through your study years:
We are here to help you succeed in your studies and are always willing to support you where possible or point you in the direction of someone who can.
For some students, university is a big change that brings with it many challenges. It can be difficult understanding exactly what is expected of you in terms of study and assignments. And it can be difficult balancing work/home and study life. Remember, this is a transition period and once you settle in, things will be come easier.
Spending time on campus outside the classroom has many positive benefits for a mature age student.
It will help you meet people and build a social support system. Getting involved in campus life will help you succeed as a student because you will become connected to the university and your fellow students.
Staying on campus and using the Libraries on campus for research purposes and as a quiet space to study is a good idea. This can be a welcome haven if studying at home is difficult.
We asked our existing mature age students what advice they would give to new students starting here at UWA. These were their key responses: