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Get Ahead Kids® Feature Article
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 4, No. 1 - January/February 2012

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From School to Higher Education

Making the transition to higher education whether it is distance learning, University or TAFE is a big change from school for both parents and students. It can be exhilarating, overwhelming and stressful as young adults adjust to new surroundings, new systems and new people.

Loneliness and confusion may be common emotions as young adults adjust to the anonymity of larger classes and more freedom to make choices. They are now free to set their own boundaries instead of relying on those set by teachers.

ACER conducted the survey of first year students, Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE) 2010 that involved about 55,000 students from 55 Australian tertiary institutions.

This survey indicated that the number of students seriously thinking about abandoning their studies has declined from 35% in 2008 and 30% in 2009 to 27% in 2010.

Stated reasons for first year students leaving university include:

  • Boredom 23%
  • Personal or social rather than practical reasons 19%
  • Study-life balance 18%
  • Workload difficulty 17%
  • Health or stress 16%
  • Financial reasons 14%
  • Institutional factors such as reputation, quality & support 7%

As young adults make the transition to new peer groups, they may need to be proactive in overcoming the loneliness of larger educational facilities

Tips for Making the Transition

  • Join clubs & hobby groups
  • Form a study group
  • Investigate peer mentoring
  • Participate in tutorials
  • Join gyms & sporting teams
  • Hang out in student recreational centres
  • Consult career & personal mentors
  • Ask other students, teachers or lecturers for help
  • Manage stress & learn to relax
  • Talk to someone if you cannot cope

More Information


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