18 October 2022

Dreading the return to uni? Here's how to make it easier

| Max O'Driscoll
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Uni students at UC.

New students have a whole new world and way of life to adjust to. Photo: Supplied.

While some may be itching to get back into the lecture theatre, for many the thought of fronting up to a new semester has them shaking in their boots.

New students must adjust to a whole new world and way of life, while returning students head deeper into the more gruelling stage of their degree.

University of Canberra Campus Life Manager Andrew Giumelli says the most common challenge for new students is finding their feet with the added responsibility of having to be independent.

“For a lot of them, it is often their first experience if they’re moving here away from home and it’s the same with the Canberra students, it’s their first experience of self-learning, having to manage their own schedule and take care of themselves,” Mr Giumelli says.

He says an easy way to achieve at uni is to make the most of the different support and services available. This can prevent challenges before they arise, but also help students out once they do.

Another issue students face is financial strain. With strenuous course loads and a busier and more costly social calendar than ever before, making ends meet can be a “big challenge” for students at all levels of the university, Mr Giumelli says.

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“It can be really tricky to balance that budget, particularly if it’s the first time you’re managing that yourself, but there are a number of services available to students that can help reduce the cost of university life,” he says.

One of the ways you can save money is by buying used textbooks. At the University of Canberra, they closed their Buy, Swap & Sell Facebook groups with over 12,000 members and moved the service onto the Rosella Street platform, which is an online eco-focused marketplace.

Mr Giumelli says the primary reason for this decision was to protect their students from online scammers. It also benefits all students as they can safely make their money back from selling their books when they finish their units. Rosella Street is running a stall at the UC O-Week from 11 am to 2 pm on Tuesday 8 February where further information will be available.

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“Other platforms have been used in the past, and these have had their positives and negatives, but Rosella Street provides a fresh take on this. We moved our Facebook groups to Rosella St because it’s a more secure and safe platform that we know students are going to be more safe on,” says Mr Giumelli.

While the outbreak of the Omicron variant could be a cause for concern for students, Mr Giumelli says, so far, the feeling from students is one of overwhelming excitement.

“Obviously, COVID safety is at the front of mind for a lot of people. That’s for students coming to campus, and for the university and us planning activities for students,” he says.

“The feeling that we’re getting from students is that they are really excited to be back on campus, and really looking forward to in-person activities. They’re over the online classes and really looking forward to coming together again.”

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