How to help your child prepare for university

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How to help your child prepare for university

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6 February 2017

Is your child starting university this semester? These tips will help your new uni student get (and stay) on track.

Attend Orientation

Orientation week is a great opportunity to get acquainted with university life, make new friends or reconnect with old ones. Students will learn about their programs, find their way around campus and meet teaching staff and fellow students.

They can register for academic support programs, workshops or services on offer as well as join campus teams. This is also the time to get student ID cards and Translink cards organised.

Most of all, Orientation is all about having fun before this exciting new chapter in your child’s life begins.

Read the course outlines

Each USC course (or subject) has an official course outline, which includes information on weekly lecture and tutorial topics, set readings, assignment criteria and due dates. In short, course outlines are your child’s new best friend.

These outlines will help them plan for the semester and keep track of what needs to be done when. Encourage your child to read them carefully before classes start. Course outlines also include contact details for the course coordinator, who can answer any questions they might have about content or assignments.

Start early

One of the biggest differences between high school and university is that uni students are responsible for their own learning. Students will be expected to complete readings and prepare for classes from the very first week of semester. It’s much easier to keep up than to catch up, so encourage your child to get a head start on readings and assignments to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Check in during the first few weeks of semester to see how they are managing the workload. It’s natural to feel a bit stressed, but if they’re struggling to manage, encourage them to chat with an academic skills adviser or to contact Student Wellbeing.

Encourage good time management

For many school leavers, Week One of semester is the first time they’ve had to manage their own schedule. It can be tricky to find the right balance.

If you’re worried about your child’s time management skills, encourage them to create a calendar or wall planner for the semester. They can write down readings and assignment due dates for each course, and important milestones like census date. It’s also a good idea to include any paid work, family or social commitments (and some time to relax!).

This will help them manage their own time, and ensure you and other family members know about peak study periods. (Tip: don’t plan a family weekend away during Week 9 of semester.)

You can find more successful learning strategies on the USC website.

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