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10 Tips for Studying at Notre Dame
By Alicia Hull
As I enter my fifth and final year at Notre Dame, I’d like to share with you some things that I have learnt along the way that I wish I’d known when I was in first year.
1. Introduce Yourself
Everyone is a little nervous when they start university, but don’t be shy! Introduce yourself to students and lecturers. A new friend could be one ‘hello’ away. But don’t worry if you don’t find your friendship group right away. I met one of my best friends on the first day of second year when we sat next to each other (it turned out she lived right down the road from me!).
2. Emails & Blackboard
It’s super important to regularly check your emails and Blackboard. Lecturers will frequently upload lecture materials, marks and make announcements there. The MyUNDA app is a great way to access both from your phone.
3. Embrace Campus Culture
A great way to feel part of the Notre Dame community, and connect with likeminded people, is to join a club or society - you might even consider a student leadership position! Events such as the Notre Dame Ball and ND GIFT should be on every student’s social calendar.
4. Know What Services are Available
Notre Dame offers so many services both on campus and online. From free and confidential counselling services, to one-on-one career appointments and workshops, chaplaincy and even academic support. Head over to Student Life (www.notredame.edu.au/current-students/student-life) for a one stop shop to find information about all of the services available.
5. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! University is for learning. If you are unsure of something, do not hesitate to ask your lecturers. They are here to help you! The smaller classes at Notre Dame provide a unique opportunity for students to get to know their lecturers.
The sooner you can get on top of referencing the better! It is something you can’t avoid, and it might even earn you some extra marks! The Library has lots of helpful resources online and even runs workshops to teach you the basics.
Be thrifty when it comes to textbooks! Zookal offers great discount codes. You can also try making friends with students in the year above or searching the Notre Dame Textbook Exchange Facebook Group for second hand textbooks. Chat to your lecturer about which textbooks are necessary for each course, and make use of the Library for extra research!
8. Take Time for Yourself
Looking after your physical and mental health is crucial. Make sure you are exercising, eating and sleeping well – particularly during busy assessment and exam periods. Take time out each week to do something for yourself so that you don’t become overwhelmed.
9. Study (I’m Serious!)
Get organised and stay motivated! University can get very busy very quickly, and it can be difficult when the responsibility is all yours. Find a study system that works for you: highlighting, colour coding, sticky notes, timetabling– remember to take breaks!
10. Keep Things in Perspective
Not everyone can get an HD. We all have bad days sometimes. Your first semester or year will not necessarily reflect the rest of your degree. What is important is that you are passionate about what you are studying and that you try your best. We can learn from every experience! Give it a go, make the most of it, and have fun with what you are studying!