Excited but nervous about starting uni? Unimentor Belle has some top tips

Published 22 October 2021
A woman stands against an orange background

There’s more than one kind of buzz in the air as Orientation for Southern Cross University students beginning their course in November gets underway.

There's a lot of information to absorb and talking with another more experienced student about it can make those first few months a lot easier. This week on the SCU Buzz podcast, Suzie talks to Master of Information Technology student and Unimentor Belle Sypott about the Southern Cross program that connects new students with experienced student mentors. Belle also gives her top tips for success and essential first-time hacks to get the most out of uni, particularly in the early days.

The Unimentor program has been running for several years at Southern Cross. Since 2009, more than 13,000 students have participated, either as a mentor or mentee.

“A mentor can help you to prioritise all those little things in the first few months,” says Belle. “A mentor has been there and done that and can give you advice on what to focus on at different times.”

Belle decided to become a mentor in the final year of her Master of Information Technology, after having also completed a Bachelor of Business at Southern Cross. “I realised I have this wealth of knowledge after my studies at Southern Cross and I was compelled to pass that on, to help others do well and feel well,” said Belle.

Podcast host Suzie has been both a mentee and a mentor and agrees the connection with another student in those early days can have a profound effect. “It really helped me see that what I had embarked upon was possible,” she said.

During COVID, the connection with others was even more important. “We haven’t been able to meet face-to-face in the last little while but just connecting over a facebook message or zoom is worthwhile, it could be an exam check-in, prep tips or just sharing your hacks for studying at home,” said Belle, who adds, “it’s often easier to ask another student than a parent or friend and it’s good to realise that it’s normal there will be periods of study stress.”

Listen to more of Belle’s top tips and get more information about participating in the Unimentor program, a free service by students, for students.

Media contact: Content and Media team, content@scu.edu.au