What is Self-Advocacy

19 Jan 2022 Peta Luck- CUC Student Ambassador

A wise person once said, “A contented heart is an even sea in the midst of all storms.” And we all know one person who seems to sail through challenges unperturbed, surfing down the waves, breezily looking to the horizon, riding out the storm.

You’ve probably thought to yourself, “I could never be like (insert unruffled person here).” And yet I’m here to tell you, you can. And even if you never quite attain the no-hair-out-place-I-can-wear-a-white-shirt-and-still-eat-beetroot demeanour, you’ll improve your life immensely by just focussing on the things you can control.

A valuable skill to develop is self-advocacy – speaking up about what you need and what’s critical to your success while studying. It’s about identifying when you need help, asking for help as soon as possible, preparing to get help, working with a helper, and then following up. Knowing how to ask for help can be daunting, so it is helpful to ask someone to practice with you, and you run over your plan in a practice session.

When you first return to campus or log on to the university website, it’s easy to be excited and overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks to complete to set up a successful semester. There’s email setup, passwords, learning your way to the library, finding where the best coffee is and unpicking the parking mystery. All before you’ve even enrolled in a unit. But you aren’t alone, and taking a moment to acquaint yourself with what you need to get through the semester is time well spent.

I will admit that my university has been quite a disappointment. When you learn via distance it is often assumed by lecturers that you have already done university. This has been quite a struggle as when it is assumed you already know everything it can be quite difficult to ask for help.

CUC Student – Mikayla

Country University Centre (CUC) staff can assist with self-advocacy and help you with ideas for approaching university staff, group members and placement coordinators to help you get the best outcome. And CUC Learning Skills Advisors facilitate workshops designed for students just like us. They can even give you a one-on-one session to get a personalised solution onto paper.

So don’t let COVID, a new semester and a sense of overwhelming busyness scuttle your ship – now is the time to practice self-advocacy and reconnect with your CUC.

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