Belonging, success and asking for help

You may recognise Stephanie Fong if you saw the O Day 2018 welcome video? We asked her three questions about adjusting to life at UC.

UC comms: Can you describe some of the differences between studying at high school and uni?

Stephanie: Here, no-one holds your hand. It’s up to you to ask for help – there’s heaps of support.  Also, lecturers might feel more disconnected from you than your high school teacher, so go up after class, or email them or make a time to see them.

UC: It’s really common to fear failure. What’s your advice about what to do if you feel like you’ve got a bad mark, or if you feel like you’re having a bit of a tough time with a paper or course?

Stephanie: Get a mentor. They can be a bit like a guardian for first years!  Break things down into simple tasks. Do one small task, do it, then tick it off as an accomplishment. 

UC: What are your top three tips for the first month at uni?

Stephanie: First, get organised – get your Canterbury ID card, do a library induction, and sort out your time management.  Secondly, many of you may find that tests, and assignments and mid-terms come up very fast. Find out about what is expected of you on your course early. Thirdly, socialising is a big one. UCSA Clubs and Societies are really good – clubs don’t have to be about alcohol – and faculty based clubs are a good option to meet people in your class. You can connect with people and nature at UC’s community garden. 

Action list:

  1. Check out all the support services listed on
  2. Be proactive. Studying at uni is different from high school. The Academic Skills Centre has an incredible programme. Click here>
  3. Get involved. Join a Club or Society. There are over 100 to choose from. Click here>
  4. Choose two of the four secrets to success to focus on and make the habit stick> 

Check out the chance to win your own habit stick set.

Want to get hold of five habit sticks to use and share with friends? Respond to the challenge below and reply to by 5pm Wednesday 21 February. The top five answers get their habit stick set, and published (with your first name only).

Name one of the four secrets to success you will focus on and describe your inspirational choice of what you plan to do to make the habit stick.

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