students at uni

A Leap of Faith? Transitioning from High School to University

by Oscar Francis

It’s a big jump when you transition from high school to university, regardless of whether you did NCEA, school cert, or cambridge. Here are four premium propositions for making the most of the move:

Find your way around

Obtaining a strong sense of geographic orientation is one of the most important things you can do to maximise your personal impact at Otago. Find the campus map and familiarise yourself with it. A pro tip: while the system for designating room numbers varies from building to building, usually the letter refers to the building name, the first number refers to the floor number, and the final number refers to the room number. If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask for directions

Make friends

The first thing to do in any new social situation is to make friends. ‘Easier said than done,’ you might say. This is true. But really, it isn’t as hard as it looks: remember, lots of people are in the same boat as you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say hi to people!

Build a routine

Building and maintaining a balanced lifestyle is the key to truly thriving in any newly entered environment, including university. Factor in time for study — but also for exercise, socialisation, eating out, and other recreational activities. Don’t be afraid to put your health first.

Find a study space

One of the keys to your success at uni will be your ability to study effectively. Whether you prefer to study around people or not, finding a superb spot to swot should be high on your list of priorities when you’re getting yourself established. Explore different areas of the Uni — around the main campus there are no fewer than six libraries waiting for you to park up. Don’t leave them hanging, go find a study spot today!

Go to class Go — and I can’t stress this enough — to class. Also take notes. Studies have shown that handwriting notes can aid memory retention of content. Likewise, putting away your phone will help you focus. Doing a great job academically will contribute to you living your best life as a tertiary tourist.

Ask for help

If none of this advice really helps much, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Remember that everyone struggles sometimes, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. If your social networks aren’t cutting it, try dropping OUSA student support a line. There are lots of other options on offer too, from Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) to the career development center.

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