If you’re just starting your uni degree or you’re thinking about applying to UWA in the future, you might be wondering how to set yourself up for success.
From ensuring you get top marks to making your years at uni the best ever – Student Experience Officer and current student, David has put together 5 of the biggest mistakes made by students and how you can avoid them.
1. Thinking university is only about the job at the end
UWA is one of the most flexible institutions in the world with a unique and vibrant campus life. If you think you just need to smash out your uni degree as fast as possible so you can tick a box on your resume – you’re doing it all wrong. While kick-starting your career is an exciting prospect, your time at uni will give you amazing experiences, friendships, and memories that will last a lifetime – make sure you enjoy every second!
“In my experience as a student and providing advice to students, I have seen a lot of people try to speed-run their degree. They try to keep their head down, watch their lectures online, only come on campus for classes, and in a blink of an eye their university days are over."
"University is not a race. You can maximise your chances of success by having fun, getting involved on campus and taking it all in.”David, Student Experience Officer and current student
2. Missing the opportunity to learn first-hand from passionate teachers
While it can be tempting to get an extra-long sleep in and catch up on your lecture online later, the benefit of being in class, in-person far outweighs snoozing your alarm. You’ll be more engaged, less distracted and have the opportunity to ask questions if you don’t understand.
David’s advice is to go to your lectures wherever possible. And, if for whatever reason you can’t make it, go to your unit coordinator’s office during their open hours or book an appointment.
“My time is very limited these days and it can be difficult to determine whether I have comprehended the lecture material correctly. Your unit coordinator is a far more valuable resource than the lecture slides. Go meet them and ask them your questions. They aren’t scary! You won’t find a person more passionate about their field than them! They want to help you get the answers right.”
3. Not making the most of the clubs and societies on campus
Getting involved in a club, social impact group or even a humble study group usually costs you nothing but your time. In exchange for some hours of interesting and exciting volunteering, you can enrich your university experience ten-fold.
Sign up for as many opportunities as your schedule will allow to make great friends on campus and even build up your resume to land your first job.
"My fondest memories of university were not sitting in labs or seminars; they were the times I volunteered or got involved with initiatives on campus."
“The UWA Student Guild is a great place to turn to if you have a thirst for contributing something (anything) to the lives of your fellow students.”
4. Waiting until the end of your degree to think about your resume
While a UWA degree gives you the foundation and skills you need to enter the job market, it’s important to make sure your resume stands out to future employers. Employers are always looking for applicants who have a range of experience because it shows the extra skills you’ve developed along the way – leadership, organisation, teamwork and so much more!
“If your career is a bucket and university is a soaked sponge, you want to squeeze that sucker until you couldn’t get any more benefit out of it,” David said.
“There are plenty of opportunities for internships, panel nights, work-integrated learning, career development, protests, discussion forums, town halls, volunteering and a thousand other opportunities that can significantly contribute not only to your career but also your community.”
5. Feeling like you can’t ask for help if you’re struggling
At UWA, we don’t want you to be disgruntled or feel like you need to drag yourself through your course alone. If you’re struggling with your grades, finances, mental or physical health - we’ll set you up for success and support you on your journey with us.
"My mistake was thinking that I had to solve all my problems by myself at uni. This couldn’t be further from the truth."
"In fact, the university has many departments within Student Life that exist to support you in whatever way possible.”
“If you are struggling, having doubts or want to talk to someone, we are here to help. It may seem scary to reach out and you might even be (foolishly, as I was) embarrassed to ask for help – trust me, you’ll thank me later.”