Help! Uni students need support too!

As soon as September comes and you’re considered an official university student, you’re on your own. You’re an adult now – it’s completely up to you. Right? Wrong! This post has been written to reassure you that you will get all the support you’ll need while studying here at CU..

I’m not sure why, but to me it has never been ‘school, college and university’. It has always been *casual voice* school and college… *scared voice* and then university. Higher education. Scary, scary stuff. Perhaps it’s because school was mandatory and college or sixthform just seemed like the next natural step, but it was when teachers began saying things like: “If you decide to go to university…” that I got confused.

If I decide?

So, did that mean I had a choice? If school and college were just stages, didn’t university automatically fall into place after?

When I started uni three years ago, I quickly learned the answer: no it’s not automatic, because this is the time you’re considered to be a grown up. And I suppose it’s true. University is a big decision. You suddenly have all of these things to think about: living on your own, student loans, then paying back those student loans by getting a fantastic job after graduation. Compared to these, school and college seem easy, no?

So with all this decision-making comes the terrifying thought that as soon as September comes and you’re considered an official university student, you’re on your own. You’re an adult now – it’s completely up to you.

Not true at all.

This post is to reassure you that what they say isn’t true: you still get all the support you’ll need while studying here at CU, and below are a few examples of where you can find this:

–       The Centre for Academic Writing (CAW)

This is where students can find support for writing in any academic format, whether this is essays, reports, dissertations or theses. You can get help in areas ranging from organizing arguments to structuring sentences, so no more worrying about the 10,000-word dissertation at the end of your degree – staff at CAW are ready to help.

–       Sigma Maths and Stats Support

Students who use mathematics as part of their degree can use this facility, but even if you’re doing a practical subject such as Dance and want to fill some gaps in your simple maths knowledge, this is the place to come. I hated maths in secondary school, but sometimes it’s needed just to get by. If that time comes, Sigma is on hand.

–       The Flying Squad

The Flying Squad are PhD students who work with the full time professional members of the unit to provide help and support to students and staff in their use of the university’s online learning systems. These include Moodle, Mahara, Turnitin, Echo360, Helix Media Library and the Curve digital repository.

–       IT Services

Everything’s online these days, so it’s inevitable that technology will sometimes confuse us. If this happens, IT Services are there to provide information on whatever problems you may have, and generally improve your online environment.

–       Health and Wellbeing

It’s not just about education. University itself is a big adjustment. The lines between being a child and becoming an adult are getting finer by the day, and university is the time we start to understand ourselves a bit more. Some of the facilities that are here to help are these: the Spirituality and Faith Centre, Welfare, Disabilities, Counselling, Mental Health and the Medical Centre. Use them – that’s what they’re there for.

–       Personal Tutors

And don’t forget that at the beginning of your first year, you’ll be allocated a personal tutor who will remain the same throughout your entire degree. Talk to them, get to know them and remember that they’re there to talk to you about anything, and to point you in the right direction.

To wrap up, university makes you grow up. Fast. But one thing I want to reiterate is that while you’re here at CU, you’re not alone. Use the support facilities available to you, don’t keep things to yourself and remember that there are so many people whose jobs are dedicated to being there for you.

– Karis