Shalini’s story: settling into university life with ease
Shalini Roy is a currently studying a Masters of Information Systems at Deakin, majoring in Business Analytics. Below she shares her experiences of adjusting to overseas study and the advice she would give other students who are adapting to their ‘new normal’.
I started my Master’s journey in 2019. It was such a new experience for me as this was the first time I was travelling internationally. Being away from my parents for such a long time, I had mixed feelings on whether I would be able to adjust to an entirely new environment.
The importance of OWeek and how to use it to your advantage
Deakin OWeek was such a wonderful experience for me. I got to meet and interact with so many new people. This also gave me an opportunity to get to know the various clubs that exist at Deakin University. Although new students will now have an online experience, I would still highly recommend they get involved, connect with others and build a strong foundation in those first initial weeks. The connections you make during that time really do set you up for the rest of your university experience, even if it’s just knowing who you can reach out to for help, or who will be doing the journey with you.
Ease in and focus on your studies first
Whether you’re an international student or you have lived in Australia your whole life, adjusting to university can take a little while. It’s so different from high school, and may even take you a couple trimesters to get into the swing of things.
This is why I highly advise new students to not rush into a part-time job in their first trimester. Explore the opportunities that exist at the University, whether it be paid or unpaid opportunities, volunteering work or anything else, but ultimately settle in before taking on another role.
Make the most of the opportunities that arise
In my first trimester, I enrolled in the Deakin Mentorship program. This was so helpful. In having a mentor to help me throughout my first trimester and provide information about Deakin’s facilities, I was given a well-rounded understanding of all the help and assistance available to me. During this time I also attended the workshops organised by DeakinTALENT.
In my second trimester, I got the opportunity to volunteer in DUSA where I met people from different courses. I connected with many people of diverse backgrounds and it was a lovely experience to interact with them. I was also given the chance to be part of a Deakin photoshoot. I was so nervous as I had never done anything like this before, but it was so fun!
For those who don’t know where to start with finding opportunities, Deakin has so many services that cover a range of areas you may be interested in, whether it’s for jobs, internships, health and wellbeing, fitness, counselling… the list goes on.
Let go and enjoy the ride
Currently, I am in my last trimester and working in a part-time job at Woolworths. It’s been a huge year with lots of shifts and changes to the university life I first became accustomed to. I am now also looking for full-time opportunities in my field. If there is one thing I’d like to say to those students who are just starting or even coming to the end of their university story, my advice would be to not hold your expectations too tightly, just let go and experience this rollercoaster ride.
Need some extra support with your studies? Deakin’s Students Helping Students program offers you a range of peer mentoring opportunities to help you. Find out more about which mentoring program is right for you.