By Lia Lawrie
What we as students often forget isn’t our stationery, textbooks or due dates.
What we forget is much more profound, and that is taking pride in who we are. I write this article because last week, USASA worked with UniSA to support mental health and wellbeing week on our campuses.
We wanted to let students know that USASA is there for them, whether it is through this magazine—which is a platform for students to express their voice—or our advocacy service that supports students who are going through academic issues. We also wanted to let students know about our social clubs they can join to connect with one another.
But the thing is, service provision to the UniSA student cohort is challenging because we are a wonderfully diverse group. Some of us work too much, and some too little. Some of us have no idea where we’re going in our lives and can’t help but watch others who have got it together carry on.
We all have beliefs, experiences and abilities that are so unique that we often don’t feel as if we’re part of anything larger than us because we’re the ones peering through the looking glass.
Each student has a huge mix of responsibilities and expectations, and it truly is no wonder that we’re stressed out all the time. In fact, in my role, it is quite a common occurrence for students to say that they feel like they’re just at uni to do their degree. I assume this is because everyone has been overloading themselves to be that much more competitive. But if students are struggling
to get their degrees, they reassure themselves with the mantra, ‘I can do it. P’s get degrees’.
And that right there is the problem, that one letter word, ‘I’. How has our approach to university become one where we are unwilling to connect with any of our peers? Why is it that as soon as classes are done for the day, without thinking, students head home instead of spending time with other students? And why won’t somebody think of the children?
What makes us unique isn’t bad. Nor are the choices that have led us to become who we are, or wanting to be independent individuals. But knowing that you’re avoiding major issues, or choosing to isolate yourself from others, those aren’t necessarily the best behaviours.
If you’re struggling with an assignment that is worth a huge chunk of your grade, ask your table buddy at the tutorial if you want to study together. If you feel like your assessment was worth more and you would like some advice on the process of remarking or on any academic issue, please contact any of USASA’s advocates (they can be found on the USASA website). If you’re interested in connecting to your fellow students, whether it be social or academic, you can find the full list on the website too. If you’re experiencing personal issues that are affecting your studies, then please know you can turn to UniSA’s counselling service for help.