- Study at Deakin
- Campus life
- Industry and community
- About Deakin
New faces, new rules, uncertainty, and confusion. Welcome to university. Starting anywhere new has its difficulties and can make you doubt whether you have made the right decision. Reassure yourself that you'll be OK by learning why transitions can be so difficult.
Many people struggle with change, and your response can be different depending on the type of change. One day you can handle it really well, in fact love the whole idea; the next you may find that you don't like it at all and would rather have some stability in your life.
In looking at change and how you manage it, it's important to recognise that no matter what the change, there are two key components:
If you are finding starting at university hard to deal with, look first at whether it is the new situation, or how you feel about being here that is causing the problem. Start by asking yourself what it is that you are finding so hard. Is it that you don't know anyone, don't understand how things work, can't find your way around and worry about being late or don't understand the expectations on you? Finding out exactly what it is that is hard for you at university is the first step to effectively managing it.
William Bridges (1991), a recognised expert in change theory, developed a model called 'on the CUSP of change'. The model focuses on switching perceptions from pessimistic to optimistic and posing personal statements such as - 'There is an opportunity to learn here', 'I can gain something important', 'Whatever happens, I'll come out of this wiser than I went in'.
The CUSP model says that a person's success in transition is directly related to how they feel about the following four factors:
An action plan is where you take control. It involves looking at what the problem is and what you are going to do about it. Being honest with yourself about about the problem will help you to be creative about how you are going to manage the it. If you are struggling to identify the issues clearly, family and friends may be of help, or there are counsellors on each campus who can assist you. Some examples of action plans are listed below:
|What's the problem?||My action strategies|
|I don't want to be late because I may miss something or have to go into a lecture, in front of people.
||* Find a map of the campus and work out where the buildings are before I start.
* Arrive early so I can get directions as needed.
|I don't know anyone.
||* Join a club.
* Take the initiative and introduce myself to someone (they may be feeling the same).
* Attend orientation sessions so I can meet some people in my course.
|Study is putting too much pressure on my family.
||* Talk to members of my family and find out how they really feel and negotiate the 'give and take.'|
Make an appointment with Deakin University Counselling Service