Transitioning from high school to university
Feeling a little bit daunted about starting university? It’s understandable – university is a different environment than high school, with its own demands and expectations. The good news is most students make the transition successfully.
We spoke with Bachelor of Physiotherapy student Jared David about his transition from high school to university. Spoiler: it has been nothing but positive.
When asked what he likes about uni, Jared wasn’t pressed for answers.
“Where to begin? Being able to study something that you’re genuinely interested in and motivated to do, extra-curricular activities like playing soccer every Wednesday, making
heaps of new friends that you can study with, and great events like the annual Physio Ball,” said Jared. “And definitely the coffee!”
Repeatedly echoed by new students is that the biggest difference between high school and uni is that at uni, you will be treated like an adult. You’ll be granted the freedom
to make your own decisions, and have the power to make your own choices.
“Uni is very different to high school. You’re studying what you enjoy, with like-minded people. You get to pick a timetable that suits you and can study at your own pace,” he said.
“An average day for me would typically consist of a morning coffee from our café, lectures (usually in the morning), tutorials (to cement and clarify ideas and concepts taught
in the lectures), another trip to the café, practicals (to learn and practise those very important hands-on skills) and – depending on how much my bank accounts hates me – one
more trip to the café.”
Look to the future
Uni takes your knowledge to the next level. The pace is faster, and while it can be a challenge it’s also very enriching. For example at ACU, you’ll learn how to think
critically and ethically, and you’ll be encouraged to engage, discuss and debate. Uni is about learning the skills you’ll need for a career, and equipping you to achieve your goals.
“We have relatively small classes which means you get to know your educators better and get more one on one time with them. Our labs and practical rooms are all equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and resources that we are able to utilise for our learning,” he said.
Build your networks
Although the same friends might have accompanied you through high school, people in your university life may come and go according to changing schedules. It is important to build your new support network.
“Everyone is in the same position as you, it’s easy to forget that everyone is nervous, out of their comfort zone and eager to make new friends,” he said.
“Starting uni is the time to be friendly, confident, and open to meeting new people. Get to know people, lots of them! You’d be surprised at how far these relationships will get you.”
There is always help
Yes, university offers a new level of independence, but that doesn’t mean you are alone. Support is always available, and ACU offer excellent support services such as counselling, study centres, job placement, tutoring, and computer labs. We also help boost skills in studying, preparing for tests, selecting a major and managing your schedule. They exist to help you, so make the most of them.
“We have services like AskACU and the Office of Student Success to answer any questions you have and help you get the most out of uni life. Plus, you’re lecturers and tutors are always there to provide advice too,” he said.
Don’t pressure yourself
It is important to keep in mind that university is a new experience, and there may be bumps in the road as you find your feet. And that’s okay. Remember to be kind to yourself.
“There is a lot of pressure placed on you in Grade 12. You’re supposed to know exactly what you want to do, which uni to go to and pretty much have the next five years mapped out. But honestly, there is no rush,” said Jared.
“Spend a good amount of time thinking about what you want to do. Don’t just apply in one place either; give yourself the best chance possible. There are so many pathways that will get you to where you want to go. Even if you start something and realise that it’s not for you, that is perfectly okay."
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