Essential guide to finding your place at uni

If you're worrying about fitting in at uni, take heart: half of the students around you are feeling the same way.* If you haven't gone to uni directly from Year 12, it's especially natural to imagine classrooms full of bright young things and an unfamiliar learning environment.

These concerns are understandable, says Associate Professor Alexander Mussap, of Deakin's School of Psychology. 'If you haven't been in an educational environment for some time, you may worry that you’ll be out of place.' But the reality is quite different.

When looking out into a lecture theatre, we see faces of all ages and backgrounds looking back at us. There is no 'prototypical university student' any longer.

Dr Merrilyn Hooley

Senior Lecturer in Deakin's School of Psychology

There's a place for everyone

Before heading to uni, you might be asking yourself questions like: Am I cool enough? Am I too old? Am I smart enough? Will I fit in? Actually, Deakin students don’t fit one common profile. About half of undergraduate students don’t come directly from Year 12. They may have spent some time travelling or working before uni, or studied elsewhere. Students come from around Australia and around the world, and they vary in age and life experience.

We actively create opportunities for students of all experience levels and demographic groups to study at Deakin. Our extensive social groups, societies, clubs and events mean every student has a friendly and interesting place to be.

Get involved... in your own way

Anxious about starting university? The best way to find your place at Deakin is to get involved. You’ll meet new people, get across our many events, and embrace what it means to be a Deakin student. You might:

  • Get involved in one of our many student groups. Deakin University Student Association (DUSA) is run by students, for students, and is committed to a fun and rewarding experience for all. Sign up for a club or society, take a trip, join a sports team or make a difference through student advocacy.
  • Take a course or seminar. DUSA’s events calendar is packed with learning activities that will expand your skills while introducing you to new people.
  • Not only is it full of information, entertainment and free stuff, but it’s also a place to learn more about what’s happening at Deakin and how you can get involved.
  • Keep an eye out for opportunities to extend your experience in ways that interest you. Overseas study trips, special-interest courses and personal development are all on the cards when you enrol at Deakin.
  • Head off on a student camp with other first years. Faculty- or school-specific camps offer a fun trip with like-minded people, and joining in means you’ll probably know someone when classes start.
  • Work at Deakin. We’re a vibrant and inclusive place to work, nurturing our staff’s personal development and wellbeing.

I met heaps of students, some of whom I still keep in contact with today. Other first year students were in the same boat and wanted to make the most out of their experience.


Bachelor of Commerce

There's support available

There is so much support available to help students transition to university life and make the most of this wonderful life-changing experience. Here are some examples of support you can access at Deakin:


*Deakin University Barriers, Drivers & University Performance Research (Global Engagement) 2017