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Making the switch to a new university

Making the switch to a new university


Shannon Doolan recently made the decision to switch universities and complete further studies here at Charles Sturt. She talks about reasons, fears, and gives us tips on preparing for change.

Written by Shannon Doolan

The new year often begins with hope and aspirations, much like turning the page of the next chapter in life. When starting at a new university this also creates emotions such as excitement, nervousness or feeling like the the new kid at school.

After completing my undergraduate degree, I knew that further study was needed to become a psychologist. The opportunity to enrol with Charles Sturt University was really a no-brainer in regard to their reputation and high standards of education.

Students change universities all the time. That’s the beauty of the world we live in where we are not necessarily locked into the one institution. We can study anywhere in the world from the comfort of home while eating our favourite chocolate.


Reasons for changing universities

Often the reasons for changing universities maybe personal such as the study standards are not being achieved, the environment does not fit, there is a change in career path, or you just feel like the grass is greener somewhere else.

Nothing against my previous university, I had a wonderful experience, but the time had come for me to align postgraduate study with my direct career path and Charles Sturt had exactly what I was looking for.

Over the last few months, waiting for Session 1 to begin has been an interesting ride. There is a different online platform to navigate, new ways of learning, new assessment structures and figuring out how to fit in at my new school.

Even though I am studying online it almost feels like I am starting high school all over again. To prepare for the changes of a new university, I found a few things have helped to keep the anxiety monster from creeping in.

Wall planner

Preparing for a new university

Jump onto the Student Portal: As soon as you have access, log in and start exploring the new platform. Press every button and spend at least a few days really grasping the layout of the site. If needed, make notes of where sections are located until you feel more confident around the site.

Work out how your assessments are submitted: Not all universities use the same platform and utilising the weeks leading up to the session is an opportunity to explore and play around with the new layout.

Introduce yourself to others: In today’s world, being on campus or online makes no difference in terms of communication. When you have access to the discussion forum, be brave and create a welcome post to get to know your fellow classmates.

No doubt there are other students who may also feel nervous at the start of a session, so finding future friends and study buddies can make this transition much more positive for everyone.

Sign up for events: The easiest way to make friends and settle in at a new university is to become involved in the social aspects on offer.  How can an online student achieve this you may be asking? Volunteering or joining student associations such as clubs is a good start, as this can be achieved online as well as on campus.

Writing for Charlie has created an opportunity for me to interact with others and get to know many of the student organisations that are available at Charles Sturt university.


It’ll be new, but worth it

When coming from another university, you already have an idea of how the process works. It is similar to changing schools halfway through the year.

There will be new teachers, new friends and the first few weeks of finding your feet. Although, the best thing about university life is that it is not like school life. Everyone is there to learn, get along with one another and make the most of their studies. I am yet to see any bullies, annoying bells or teacher’s pets. My transition to a new university has been welcoming.

So, buckle up friends and dive right into the atmosphere, leaving the anxiety monster behind when studying at a new university. Just remember why you are there and what fantastic new memories you are about to create on your career path to success.


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