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What is First Year like?

Managing Emotions

Students typically experience a wide range of feelings and moods as they progress through each study period. Parents and partners often experience the highs and lows alongside their student.

In general, students are initially happy, nervous and excited to be enrolling at university and take pleasure in all the new things in their life – new friends, academic staff, textbooks, new environment, and a new schedule.

Within a few weeks, the realities of their workload hits home and students often feel stressed as they learn how to juggle the demands of university study and life.

After completing their first assessments, most students tend to relax into the university routine. They learn from mistakes, seek help and develop confidence in their learning. The end of semester brings a rush of final assessments and exams – a time when students may again feel intense pressure. This pressure is relieved once exams are completed and results received. Students then often enjoy a sense of satisfaction and pride.

JCU Singapore offers Student Support for students facing difficulties. You will be able to arrange an appointment with our Student Support Team through the Student Services Centre.

The First 6 Weeks

The first six weeks are the most important for making a successful transition to university.

JCU offers a comprehensive range of support services to help students deal with personal and academic challenges throughout their enrolment.

In the first six weeks, students are busy organising timetables, attending classes, coming to grips with new terminology and learning demands, starting part-time or casual work, managing finances, setting up a new home or study area and meeting new people.

Students are learning how to take responsibility for their own education, make their own decisions, live independently, explore new interests and ideas, and participate in different social situations.

Some students struggle to find the balance between studying and socialising. University can appear to be unstructured compared to high school or work.

Students need to develop skills to organise and prioritise a number of competing and difficult tasks.

The major challenge faced by parents is to find the balance between ‘letting go’ and maintaining a strong supportive connection with their young adult. The demands on a partner are often significantly different while the student is at university. The loss of a wage may require the non-student partner to take responsibility for providing stable and sufficient income for the family.

The demands of study may also impact upon time available to spend with family and friends. Balancing work, study and family life can be challenging sometimes. If you think your student is having difficulties, the information in ‘How parents and partners can help’ explains how you can help them overcome the challenges.