On the weekend I had the pleasure to attend for a short period of time the Back to Study preparation day held for students who are returning to study after a break. When reflecting on the first time I attended this event last year I recalled a student who at the time had given up his job to return to study in the hope of realising his dream of one day working overseas. At the time, despite his nerves I remember thinking that he had all the hallmarks of someone who was determined to succeed. So I thought I would track him down and have a chat with him about how the first year had gone and get his tips for becoming a successful student.
Ryan’s tips for becoming a successful student
- Get involved in ILEAD – even if you don’t complete the program it will give you an opportunity to make new friends.
- Enroll for all your compulsory subjects for the year during semester 1 and get first choice of class times rather than settling for what’s left by waiting for semester 2 to enroll (You can always make changes closer to the semester if things change).
- Take a tour of the campus before classes start and find your classrooms and the general geography so you can be helpful when other people ask where things are (again you might make a new friend this way).
- Attend PASS classes because the leader has already completed the subject and has useful feedback about what lecturers and tutors are looking for.
- Create cheat sheets for exams even if they don’t let you take them in. The process of creating the sheets will give you an opportunity to consolidate your knowledge and revision that will be helpful during exams.
- When you get your exam timetable spend the time finding the locations before the day of the exam – it’s one less thing to stress about on the day.
- Prepare yourself for group work – the inevitable stressor of your program. Be prepared for an assignment to take longer than you think because you are trying to collaborate. Be proactive and start early and if you’re having trouble getting your group members to cooperate don’t wait until the last minute let your lecturer or tutor know early so they can help resolve the issue.
- Don’t stress too much – things will seem daunting at first but you will get used to the new environment and processes and before long you will settle into a routine.
So there you have it Ryan’s top tips for becoming a successful student. You might be thinking did these work? Who is this Ryan? Well let me tell you he is getting HD’s and D’d with only one C and nothing below that. He has made lots to quality friends through his contact with ILEAD and has been involved with an overseas study program already. So far he is exceeding his goals and living the dream!