Written by Bonnee Crawford.
Welcome back to Deakin. Perhaps you’ve been here in previous years, or perhaps you only came for the first time last week. You may have found orientation a bit … disorienting. There was so much going on; people were bestowing you with free food and pens, you were being badgered to join clubs and societies by their excitable executive teams and their minions volunteers, and you tried to decide between the Beach Party and the Jungle Party—or perhaps your bank account decided for you, like mine did, and you feel like you missed out on all the alcohol-fuelled fun. Or perhaps you’re not into that whole partying thing—which is totally cool too (your liver will thank you).
With week 1 comes your first week of classes for the trimester. There’s a slim chance you took a look at the study material on CloudDeakin that was released last week, but you probably haven’t forgotten how to procrastinate—you’ve had that down-pat since high school. If this is your first year, you’ll be meeting your teachers for the first time. If you’ve been here before, maybe you’ll have a teacher you already know. Whatever the case, they’re going to give you homework to do before the next class, word counts and deadlines for your assignments, and expect you to start referencing like a boss.
It’s overwhelming. Even if you’ve been at university previously, starting a new year always has a few hiccups while you adjust the rest of your life to your class timetable, or try adjusting your timetable around the rest of your life. It’s exhausting. You’re not used to getting up this early and having to think or talk to people. You forget how early you need to go to bed to compensate for that early start. You start drinking a lot more coffee. Your assignment deadlines creep up behind your pile of weekly classwork and rear their ugly heads over the mountain of unread papers you were planning to reference in your essays AND YOU COLLAPSE INTO A SOBBING HEAP ON THE FLOOR OF YOUR BEDROOM AND ADOPT THE FOETAL POSITION!!!
… Okay, it’s not actually that bad. I promise. Take a deep breath. If this isn’t your first time at university, then remember that you’ve done this before and you’re still alive, so you’ve got this. If you’re fresh out of high school, compare how many classes you had to take then to how many you have to take now—it’s probably less, the teaching periods aren’t as long, and university is way more fun. You’re going to be fine! And if you took a bit of a break between high school and uni, or if you took a different pathway to get here, you’ve probably got your head screwed on better, with more life experience and gaffer tape, than all the young’uns who still remember the ATAR scores they got last year.
In any case, welcome, and welcome back. 2016 will only be as good or as bad as you allow it to be, so choose to make it great no matter what.