Moving onto college can be an exciting, new and different experience. It can also bring feelings of apprehension, worry and nervousness. However, when you move onto college it is important to remember that you are not alone! Part of the benefit of living on college, as opposed to house-sharing or renting, is the network of support available to you. Three support networks you may or may not know about are the collegiate team, the College Wellness Educator and the community itself. If ever you need anything, big or small, one or more of these support systems will be available to help you out! You may be wondering what the role of each of these is, so here is your quick guide:
What is it? The collegiate team is a group of residents who work to provide the best college experience for all residents and support them with any difficulties they may face, whether academic, social or personal. The team consists of Resident Advisors and a Senior Resident Advisor for each college.
Where do I find this service? Each block has a RA (Resident Advisor) who has designated accommodation that is easy to find and is a space where you can go to seek help or have a chat. Your block’s Resident Advisor can also be contacted via mobile, or via the phone in your room or common room. They may also be on duty, based at the main office on McGregor College, just behind the dining hall. The times that RAs are on duty vary, though during the uni semester, the normal duty times are 5pm–10pm on weekdays, and 12pm–10pm on weekends.
How can this service help me? From letting you in if you accidentally lock yourself out of your room, helping you gain access to the storage area and helping you with academic, social and welfare issues to a friendly chat at dinner, the collegiate team provide many services that help create a safe environment, physically and emotionally, on college. If you have a question, the best way to find an answer is to ask the collegiate team. If it is not their domain, they are always happy to point you in the right direction of someone else who can help you find answers.
Who are they? Colleges have a dedicated member of the Health and Wellness team, whose job is to prioritise student wellbeing and support residential life. They are able to provide support, information and referrals for personal issues, study difficulties or wellbeing needs. Being able to talk to a College Wellness Educator is part of a free and confidential support service available to all college residents.
Where do I find it? The College Wellness Educator is based at the main office on McGregor, just behind the dining hall.
How can this service help me? From referrals to support and information about study wellbeing and personal matters, the College Wellness Educators can provide friendly, confidential and constructive support to residents on a range of different topics. No matter how big or small your question or concern, this service is available as often as it is required. From experience, a number of college friends have found this service invaluable during stressful times, personally and academically, and have commented on how great it is to have such a free and confidential service available as part of the college package.
What is it? Living on-college, there are always going to be like-minded people around who share similar interests, hobbies and experiences. Across the three colleges, there are a range of people who form smaller social groups, who come together and form one big community: the college community.
Where do I find it? Everywhere! The joy of living on-college is that there are always people around, even during vacation time, to chat to, have fun with and make your day that bit brighter.
How can this service help me? Whether you need to chat about study, your life or something random, there are always people around to talk to. Across all three colleges, people are always happy to give advice, share ideas and have a bit of fun. Being able to connect with others and have a break from study can help make college a more enjoyable experience, while also making you feel safe and part of one big family.
The Collegiate Team, the College Wellness Educator and the community are all amazing sources of support for those living in a Res College. Having these support systems available helped reassure myself and my family that I would be safe, cared for and supported in my new accommodation, allowing me to study, have fun and grow as an individual half way across the world.
These support networks made my transition from England to Australia to study easier, with the people I’ve met since moving on-college, one of my 3 highlights of moving down under.