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Meeting new faces at USQ

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University is all about new experiences. Maybe you’re living away from home for the first time or your friends all went to a different uni? While it might feel a little unfamiliar at first, university is full of great opportunities to explore your interests, develop new friendships and experience life as an independent student. For some people though, the thought of making new friends can be a nerve wracking experience, especially if you’re worried that your disability might get in the way. To help put your mind at ease we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about the social scene here at USQ…
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  • 1. U N I V E R S I T Y O F S O U T H E R N Q U E E N S L A N DMeeting New Faces at USQA guide to the USQ social scene for students living with a disability.

2. University is all about new experiences.Maybe youre living away from home forthe first time or your friends all went toa different uni? While it might feel a littleunfamiliar at first, university is full of greatopportunities to explore your interests,develop new friendships and experiencelife as an independent student. For somepeople though, the thought of makingnew friends can be a nerve wrackingexperience, especially if youre worried thatyour disability might get in the way. Tohelp put your mind at ease weve answeredsome frequently asked questions about thesocial scene here at USQ 3. QUESTIONI dont want to turn up to classes and not know anybody.How can I meet people before the semester starts? 4. We encourage all new students to makethe most of Open Days and all the activitieson offer during O-week.Its a chance to meet your lecturers and other new students, as well asfamiliarise yourself with the campus so you feel confident for your first day ofclasses. If its anonymity youre after, you can also connect with USQ on socialmedia to see what questions other students have and find out how USQ cansupport you. Social media is a great way to communicate if youre feeling a bitnervous or are unable to make it to O-week activities. You can speak directlyto our online Student Relationship Officer, SRO Sam, from the comfort andprivacy of your computer screen.ANSWER 5. QUESTIONIve heard that Meet-Up is available for the course Imstudying. What is Meet-Up and how does it work? 6. So you want to make friendsin your classes, but dont knowwhere to start?Meet-Up is a fantastic opportunity to meet other students studying the samecourse and prepare for assessments together. All course Meet-Ups are runby fellow students who have already completed the course youre currentlyworking through and who have done well in their studies. If you want to getto know other students, but are nervous or struggling to find common groundand get the conversation rolling, Meet-Up is a great opportunity to chat toyour peers in a social and relaxed environment. Meet-Up is also availableonline for students studying off-campus.ANSWER 7. QUESTIONI have a hidden disability and Im nervous about being treateddifferently. Should I tell people about my disability? 8. If youve faced labels and assumptions in the pastbecause of your disability, its understandable thatyou might be looking to start fresh at uni.Its totally up to you what you choose to share about yourself, but itsimportant to consider your health and safety when deciding whether or not todisclose info about your disability to your new friends. For example, if you haveepilepsy, its advisable to tell as least some of your friends/roommates so thatthey know what to do if you have a seizure. Similarly, if youre experiencing amental health condition that could potentially impact your ability to contributeto a group assignment, you might choose to tell your team members a littleabout your illness so that they understand your circumstances. This will helpavoid any potential tension or frustration in the group. For more informationon how to go about disclosing your disability at university, click here.ANSWER 9. QUESTIONI just want to be treated like everyone else.How do I get people to see past my physical disability? 10. It can be frustrating and disappointing when peoplehave trouble seeing past a physical disability or feelthe need to treat you differently.Often it helps to break the ice by talking about a current issue or a commoninterest. By talking about your hobbies, study, work and relationships, yourehelping to identify common ground with the other person and break downany misconceptions they might have about life with a disability.ANSWER 11. QUESTIONI find people are avoiding me or being really awkwardaround me. How do I get them to relax? 12. Sometimes when meeting or working with someonewith a disability, people may shy away or get alittle tongue-tied.Most of the time, theyre worried theyll say the wrong thing, or have nevermet a person with a disability and are unsure how to act. Try to be confidentand take the lead in these situations. People will take their cue from yourattitude and behaviour, so by being approachable and confident, those aroundyou will feel at ease. If someone has said or done something that you findoffensive or upsetting, speak up and let them know. Usually its just a case ofmisplaced good intentions. By helping them to understand what they couldhave done differently, youre preventing future awkward encounters.ANSWER 13. University is a great place to explore your interests and meet new friends.For information about Meet-Up or to find out about the social scene at USQ,visit our website or head over to our social media pages and say hi!FOR MOREsocial.usq.edu.auCRICOS: QLD00244B NSW02225M TEQSA: PRV12081 9.1.D 11.2014

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Meeting New Faces at USQ A guide to the USQ social scene for students living with a disability. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND
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