Everything you need to know about starting in Session 3

The end of the year is quickly approaching but that does not mean that studying is also coming to an end, especially for those who are starting their studies in Session 3. There is still lots to look forward to and also lots to prepare for, so here is a little guide for you so the first few weeks of Session 3 go by without a hitch.

Be prepared

In reality, it is pretty handy to be prepared, in fact it will make your life and studies a little bit easier. To ensure a smooth transition into studying in Session 3, introduce yourself to all of the admin. This includes your study checkpoints in the Student Portal and don’t forget to confirm your enrolment and fee details.

Don’t forget to check out Interact2, because that will likely be where you will be working most of the time. Introduce yourself to where the subject outlines are hidden, EASTS (which stands for Electronic Assignment Submission tracking System, and I have been at the uni for five years now and I even had to look up what it stood for to write this) and the discussion boards. Being prepared to learn before you start in Week 1 will allow you to focus on the content itself, rather than having to learn how you are learning while juggling the content.

Finally, get a plan together of how you will be studying outside of your classes, whether it be through a weekly planner stuck on your wall or a diary. You can never be too prepared.

Know what assistance is available

It’s okay to ask for help, especially if you are undertaking something completely new. Understand what support is available to you as a student, whether it be academic support, assessment and exam advice or just personal help like the Charles Sturt councilors. You can also register for events and workshops to build your skills in a variety of areas.

By going to the Learning Resources tab in your Student Portal, you can access all kinds of things that will help you along in your Session 3 (or indeed any Session) journey.

From personal experience, I have found that the library is awesome in helping you find academic literature and resources, so if that is what’s needed for you to succeed in your studies, check out the Charles Sturt Library website.

Find your support network

Also remember that you will likely have a few other people who will be doing the same course and classes together, which means that you have an instant community which you can be connected to. Then there are uni Facebook groups like Charles Sturt Social, along with specific ones depending on your learning area where you can ask questions, along with your lecturers, academic skills teams and support services. If you have questions or are just in need of some support, there is always someone to talk to and to ask.

Starting a new learning adventure, whether it be your first time studying or your first time as a Session 3 student, can be tough, especially if you are learning online which is usually the case for Session 3, so look out for yourself and look out for others too. To quote an overly quoted Disney film from many years back, “We’re all in this together”.

First-hand experience

Often it is really good to hear from someone who has been in that experience themselves, which is exactly what we’ve done. Matilda Montague is a second year Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) student at CSU Dubbo and had this to say about her experiences studying in Session 3:

“I do summer subjects because I want to take some of the work load off during Session 1 and 2.  

“I do at least two subjects over summer each year to try and get ahead in my course. Summer is probably the busiest working time for me as I work full time from about October until the end of February, but online summer subjects are much easier than normal subjects throughout the normal sessions.  

“I dedicate one full day each week during summer to do my readings, assessments and weekly work during summer. It is easily achievable working over 40 hours a week and doing one day of course work. The content is not as heavy as it is throughout normal sessions at University and the class lecturer help a lot to keep everybody on track.  

“I would definitely encourage people to do summer subjects as it keeps your mind working during summer and I believe takes off stress and a lot of time during the first two sessions of the year.  

“I still get a lot of free time during summer to do the activities I want to do, whilst successfully completing one, two or three summer subjects.”