The Weekly LSA: Tips from a Second Year
By Tanika Kline
Starting university opens a lot of new doors but simultaneously brings a lot of new changes. Whether you are fresh out of school or not, your first year at uni can be confusing. There is no one telling you what you need to do and how. So here a few tips that may make the transition into things easier.
One new aspect when starting uni is the academic side to things. Unlike school, no one is going to be on your back for your work or assignments. At the beginning of the semester it may seem like there isn’t a lot you have to get done but assignments can sneak up on you. One minute you have nothing due and the next you will have four assignments due all at once.
So how can you avoid this? Put simply, plan ahead. It’s really helpful to have all the important dates for all your subjects written down in the one place. So that at a glance you know how long it is until your next piece of work is due. Making friends in your classes is also a good idea, that way they can remind you when due dates are coming up too and you can help each other too. One thing that really sets La Trobe apart from other universities, is the high level of student support available to everyone. You can always seek help from lecturers and tutors and there is also the Peer Learning Advisors available. Peer Learning Advisors are fellow students who are available to help with any questions no matter how small they seem. They can also help you with assignment writing, researching, how to plan your time and they also hold study groups no matter what degree you are studying. The Peer Learning Advisors are located on the ground floor of the library at the Bundoora Campus.
Another difference you may notice when starting uni, is the social side of things. Making friends at uni is different from other contexts. You are working with and meeting like minded people. Uni friends can be a massive support, both with uni and outside of uni. Some people may find making friends difficult just from the sheer number of people that are on campus. Whether you came from a large or small high school, the number of students that you will interact with at uni can make it hard to really form a friendship with someone. I found it easy to make friends by going to the events organised by the LSA and you also get to meet people doing the same course as you. One piece of feedback that I have received about LSA is how much effort is put in to events and group activities than other faculties. I personally came to La Trobe without anyone from my high school and I knew absolutely no one. I went on the law camp that the LSA organises and met a really good group of friends, which made my first year a lot easier and a lot more fun. If law camp is not an option for you there is also a trivia night and other events where you can meet other first years as well as people who have been around campus longer who can share their valuable experience with you.
Wellbeing is a really important factor in uni. If you are juggling uni work, readings, assignments, a job and a social life it is really easy to burn out quickly. It is important to realise when you have put a bit too much on your plate and are struggling to stay motivated, that way you can do something to stop it. Blocking out time in your week for each of your commitments can be a really good way for you to make healthy habits and use your time efficiently. I like to set specific time for exercise because my mood completely changes after a short walk or run, especially when I have been studying all day. Setting times for everything also makes you feel like you are not missing out on the fun things either. It means that because you’ve set the time aside and finished your assignment during the week then you can still go out on the weekend without the stress of unfinished business. The university also has a range of support people and resources to help you with your life inside and outside of uni. All the information for these services is easily found on the La Trobe’s website.
All in all, university is the start of something new and exciting. For many, it is their first experience out in the big wide world. For this reason, the transition into uni may not seem like something you can do on your own. But don’t worry, the LSA is here to help with that. Welcome to law.”
The Weekly LSA is proudly sponsored by Leo Cussen Centre for Law