Prepare - Personal Journey
Congratulations! You've made a great decision to study here at the University of Newcastle (UoN).
Sense of purpose
People choose uni for many different reasons.
Download the travel diary and state your purpose at point 1.
You can develop your sense of purpose by being clear about why you're coming to uni and why you chose your degree. You're free to decide what you want to achieve here and how much effort to apply.
Each student brings along a kit of personal qualities, knowledge and skills that helps them to settle into uni life and engage with their studies. For example, you could be very determined, have some computer skills or know how to prioritise tasks. Note your strengths at point 2 of the travel diary.
Right now, you can build on your strengths by starting to learn what else you need to know about being a student at uni.
You're embarking on an exciting new journey of discovery that's going to change your life. Be prepared to change and grow! New students have many hopes and fears in common.
Perhaps you're not quite sure what to expect. The more realistic your expectations, the easier it will be to settle in. If you have a chance, chat to current students about their first year at uni and their uni lives. We have a rich diversity of students here.
We'd like to share some models from recent studies about the first year experience.
Be aware that you're moving through a transition process and adjustment takes time.
The Transition Process
You're likely to feel overwhelmed now and then as you get used to your new learning environment. Naturally, many new students wonder "will I fit in?" and "can I cope with the study?" You've been given a place here because we believe you can succeed. Get in early and plan ahead so you'll be ready to enjoy learning when the time comes.
This is your place now so make yourself right at home. Explore your campuses so it's easier to find your way around when classes begin. Download maps of the campuses.
We have lots of systems that help things run smoothly and assist your learning. Try them out early on and don't hesitate to ask for any help you need. To receive up to date information, activate your email account and check out Blackboard.
Uni culture expects students to be in charge of all aspects of their studies so read information for new students carefully. Be proactive! Access the webpage links for both New and Current Students. The Student Hubs are a great point of contact for any questions. The Library and Student Support Services are here for you as well.
You can develop your sense of resourcefulness by becoming familiar with the campus and by learning more about how systems work here. This will help you to make the most of your time at uni and you'll be off to a great start.
If possible, sort out your finances, accommodation, work commitments and transport to uni before semester starts. Sit down, estimate your uni costs and put together a budget. With the basics in place, you'll be able to turn your attention to becoming part of your university. There is a student loan scheme available for emergencies. Check out student information weblinks and scholarships as well.
Last year we asked commencing students to reflect on their first weeks at uni. Here are some of their comments and tips for you.
What have you enjoyed so far?
"I've been feeling smart because I'm a university student."
"Freedom of choices. Not feeling 'babied'."
"Meeting a diverse range of people."
"Knowing I'm one step closer to my future career" "Now I'm here I'm surprised by how much I can handle."
Any frustrations or disappointments?
"The size of the uni surprised me."
"That so much of the work needs computers."
"I'm frustrated with own poor organization."
"Finding out the course I'm taking isn't what I expected."
"Starting uni cost a lot more than I thought, luckily I got some help from loans."
Student Tip: Orient yourself to uni life
"Don't just come in with no idea of Newcastle or the Uni. Get as much info as possible so you get a head start."
"Learn as much as you can about uni life. Insights - ask someone who goes to uni."
"Attend O week and really explore the University."
"Come an hour or so early so you can find all your classes because Uni is a massive place."
"Make yourself familiar with all the Uni websites and where you can go for help."
"Bring your own food."
"Arrive early to allow plenty of time to find a car park."
"Be adaptable and open to new things."