A slight update on my studies and some advice from someone behind the keyhole.
Last year I passed my VCE and this year I received a First Round Offer for university which I accepted with intense amounts of glee and nerves. I’m now back where I was wanting to be some years ago, I’ve always wanted to get into university having completed VCE and now I’ve done that. I’ve always wanted to do a Bachelor of Arts in something and now I’m enrolled in a BA in Professional and Creative Writing. All the other courses I mentioned previously were to get me into university to do a BA in some other roundabout fashion and now I’ve managed to get to where I wanted to be in the manner I wanted to get there. To say I’m excited is a severe understatement.
I’ve received lots of advice over the past few weeks and what I’m going to quote is from someone undercover. It’s good, timely advice for anyone about to go to university somewhere in Australia and possibly elsewhere in the world.
Keep an eye on the withdrawal deadlines. Don’t be afraid to drop a subject or reduce your study load if you’re feeling overwhelmed. It is better to withdraw with no fail than to end up being too overwhelmed.
Look at the support networks. Use them. You’re paying for them. One at USyd is “The Learning Centre”. They have staff who can look though your essays and give you one on one feedback (not every time . . . .). There are resources IF you need / want them.
Don’t be afraid to be that annoying person who asks for advice if you have questions. It can be time consuming for the person you’re asking, it is difficult to grudge sensible questions.
Check out your course / degree / faculty handbooks. If they don’t make sense, ask. Sometimes you might need help translating “academese” (a dialect of legalese) into English.
Create a degree plan. Keep an eye on it. It is not a contract, and it is easily changeable, it is just re-assuring you that you have a vision of where you’re headed with your options and commitments. . .
Use the support everyone is providing at uni/Facebook/other social media. When you need assistance, ask your awesome Facebook wisdom group.
The library. If you can locate your specialist librarian, they are there because they love what you’re doing. They are finding and making the readings (etc) accessible and they KNOW stuff. All sorts of stuff.. .
When looking at later study (honours, postgrad, etc), most unis will not look at your first year. It is expected that there may be a bump or a wobble. Failing a unit in first year is not the end of the world – it’s a learning experience.