Once you become a university student you constantly look for ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your degree. However, what most high school students don’t realise is that they’ve had this opportunity for years! One of the best ways to prepare yourself for university, get ahead and, ultimately, become a better uni student, is to take part in USQ’s Head Start program. Head Start gives you all the experience, tools and skills needed to take on a uni degree as well as having plenty of other benefits. Which is why I’m here. As a USQ Head Start graduate, I want to share with you the three ways that Head Start makes you a better uni student.
1. You get a head start on navigation
Whether your Head Start course is offered on-campus or online, you’ll certainly get a one-up in terms of learning how to navigate life as a uni student.
With on-campus classes, Head Start gives you get the chance to learn how to navigate the campus, where to get food,how to get help from your Student Relationship Officer and find many other locations (trust me, it’s always helpful to know where the nearest bathroom is). By getting a taste of what it’s like to study at a USQ campus in high school, you’ll already be ahead by the time you start your bachelor degree.
No matter whether you study on-campus or online, you’ll also get a head start on navigating UConnect and USQStudyDesk, the online learning portal at USQ. This is where you’ll find your Student Centre, assignment submission portals, course forums and UMail, and knowing how to navigate these systems will help you get in the know before you even start your undergraduate degree.
2. You get a head start on academic skills
Through writing essays, reports and sitting for exams, being a Head Start student gives you an advantage when it comes to the different writing skills you’ll need to succeed at uni. And it’s not scary at all! Through the multitude of support services that USQ offer such as the Library, you’re sure to get on top of being a professional when it comes to academic writing by the time you start uni.
Similarly, referencing is a vital skill for university students and this isn’t a topic you want to be slack about. Doing a Head Start course means that you can begin to understand the various styles of referencing used at uni and how to fit the criteria of each so that you never miss out on those extra marks in assignments or wander into the land of plagiarism. And of course the best part is that all of these academic skills can be directly applied to your school studies to get even better marks on those school assignments!
3. You get a head start on your degree
I know this seems like an obvious one, but it wasn’t until I came to study full-time at USQ that I realised just how many benefits I am now reaping in regards to my degree as a result of studying those Head Start courses.
Having done a theatre course as part of Head Start back in year 11, now that I have reached the point in my USQ program where I would normally have to do that course – I don’t have to do it! That’s right, if you pass a Head Start course that’s applicable to your chosen degree, you’ll be ahead of your uni peers, potentially knocking time off of your degree. This means you can either choose another course to keep up your study workload, or, you could opt to do one less course that semester and enjoy a bit more time in your schedule—either way, there’s benefits all ‘round!
If you have had any experience with university students, then you have more than likely heard the classic tale of having no money and living off two-minute noodles. However, there is a better way! One of the massive benefits of doing Head Start is that the first course is free, with any additional Head Start courses offered to you at a subsidised (cheaper) price. Doing Head Start is a great way of saving money—something you definitely appreciate when you get to be a full-time university student and money is that bit tighter.
From my experience in the Head Start program I gained a head start in both online and on-campus uni navigation, picked up skills in academic writing and referencing at a university level and was also able to shave time and money off of my degree.