It’s that time of year again. I can’t believe half of second semester has disappeared already. The next few weeks are incredibly busy for distance students in particular because most residential schools are held within the next fortnight.
Now there’s two words to strike fear into the boldest of hearts! And it’s true, residential schools require a lot of study, preparation and of course, caffeine. But, they also provide a wonderful few days in which to take advantage of the many opportunities that Charles Sturt University campuses offer to students.
Firstly, there’s the library. Distance students are eligible for reply paid library books sent to their home address or pick-up location of their choosing, but there’s nothing like the smell of rows and rows of books. Being able to browse along the shelves for yourself. It’s a great spot to meet, study and research.
Then there’s Student Central. They have a small office on the ground floor of the library building and is manned during working hours by dedicated staff who can answer any question you might put to them from help with finances to queries about accommodation.
Being on campus provides access to all our lecturers, a priceless resource for the dedicated student. It is widely known that attendance at lectures and tutorials significantly improves subject marks. Now is a great time to ask your lecturer all those last minute questions that you couldn’t remember before. You can go through difficult material with them and most lecturers are more than happy for you to phone them and make an appointment to see them in their office.
One of my favourite aspects of residential school is the interaction between friends, the catching up of many months of news, swapping ideas and tips. While I am not a fan of group study, with a small band of close friends it can be quite productive.
Being a student is more often than not synonymous with being a coffee drinker! And CSU campuses don’t disappoint. My home campus is in Wagga, and there is a small café on the library ground floor as well as a larger cafeteria attached to the dining hall, providing quality coffee to dozens of students daily. If you prefer to source your own coffee, there are a number of cafes in Wagga itself, including The Blessed Bean, Scribbles Café and the New Orleans Coffee Shop to name but a few.
There’s also the Co-op Bookshop which can source all your textbooks, and then some. At Wagga campus they have a large store across from The Hub filled with interesting textbooks and some fiction and they can order in almost anything you want. There’s even a discount for members!
And finally, for those precious quiet moments, take a deep breath, sit beside the pond and relax for a bit. Residential school doesn’t have to be all bad. The plum trees are flowering, the grass is green and mostly the days are warm. Make sure before you go to appreciate the enormous natural beauty that CSU harbours on its campuses.