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Build communication skills with the help of the WSU Library

Read how adults can better build communication skills with the help of books in the WSU library! ...
A large wooden bookshelf filled with colourfully bound books.

Self-education has been a trend in books, podcasts, reality television, and social media for a long time, and is only growing – for university students, navigating the transition between high school and adult life can be overwhelming, to say the least, with no clear guidebook.

Building communication skills can be the hardest part of entering adult life, and it can affect both relationships and a student’s emotional well-being – both personally and professionally.

Whether you’re 18, 28 or 58, these four books can help fill the gaps in self-education – and they’re all free to access online at the Western Sydney University library:

The Barefoot Investor

Scott Pape, author of The Barefoot Investor, makes financial literacy understandable at any level, for any adult, whether they are studying or working, or both. Using farming as a metaphor, the book details how you plant, grow, and harvest your financial security for the future.

With the current cost-of-living crisis, students would be asking themselves these questions – ones that the book addresses: How do we keep our savings instead of spending on pretty trinkets? How do we prepare and save for disaster while still socialising and having fun?

My Blob Feelings Workbook: A Toolkit for Exploring Emotions!

    This interactive workbook allows the reader to better express and understand emotions: becoming more self-aware of your feelings and tracking them over time can help identify triggers that lead to low moods, as well as help find the root causes of anxiety or recognise periods of depression.

    More elaborate than a typical mood tracker, the ‘blobs’ that personify emotions throughout the book include pensiveness, remorse, vigilance, trust, submission, grief, and amazement.

    The Courage to be Disliked

    The Japanese phenomenon that shows you how to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness. Where the previously mentioned Blob Feelings Workbook allows you to explore your own emotions over time, The Courage to be Disliked explores people’s relationships with each other – such as friends, family, and partners.

    It both relates to and helps adults, particularly uni students, as the book discusses being from a close-knit environment, such as a hometown or small family, and moving to a new and different place filled with people of all interests – like meeting classmates and new faces on campus.

    How to Talk to Absolutely Anyone: Confident Communication for Work, Life and Relationships

    Communication is vital to any degree – whether it’s screen and media, journalism, public relations, or any job, for that matter. Whether writing reports, giving presentations, mentoring others, or talking to classmates, or co-workers, How to Talk not only helps students build strong communication skills but also delves into such areas as social anxiety.

    No matter what level of confidence you have – whether you’re a natural extravert or sitting with your anxiety in the bathroom at a party, you are taken through all possible aspects of interaction, so both young adults studying at university, or older, can read the book, or skip to the sections that they’re unsure about – the parts that they feel will help them as they move through life.

    So, whether you’re a student at uni or working – or both – make sure to take advantage of all the resources at the library, particularly those sources, both in print and online, that Western Sydney University has to offer – because an adult never stops learning new skills.

    A distant image of a WSU library with a red overlay. There is a white line art of a student whose head is filled in with books and shelves.
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    Dear Minister, HECS is a necessity

    Open letter to the Minister for Education, the Hon. Dan Tehan MP...

    Open letter to the Minister for Education, the Hon. Dan Tehan MP

    Dear Mr Tehan,

    The recent legislation to axe the student HECS loan for students who fail 50 per cent of their units in their first year of university is an ill-judged decision. Most students in Australia rely on the benefit of being able to complete a higher education without the added pressure of paying their fees simultaneously.

    Hence at a time where many are affected financially, with no foresight as to when the situation will ease, a decision like this can be a catalyst for increased worry and anxiety.

    Choosing your course and commencing university can already be a hard step for many. Some are fresh out of HSC, some are mature age students who have children and spouses to care for, and many are international students who are just finding their feet in a newly foreign country. First year students do not need to be on edge of fear of having the rug pulled from under them.

    In your media release, it is mentioned that the changes are to ensure whether a student was “academically suited” to their course on an ongoing basis. For myself, this takes me back to when I was in school and I had to remain in what my teachers confined me to based on my performance.

    The truth is, if I had chosen to change my course in my first two years of university, I know I would have regretted it. My grades were nowhere to what they are now, but it is passion that has allowed me to excel, not my IQ. University shouldn’t just be about what you’re smartest at, but what your biggest passion is. It is the beginning of a journey that is aimed at taking you to your prime location; your career, and we should be uplifting students to do what they love. Not punish them for their shortcomings.

    We understand that there have been some ingenuine students when it comes to the seriousness of their enrolment, but how great is this number compared to the majority of resilient students who are defying all obstacles to complete their degrees. Through this legislation, the Department of Education is stigmatising failure, rather than creating an open space for students. Ministers and universities need to address the core reasons behind it.

    If I may, I would like to respectfully, on behalf of the many upcoming hard-working and resilient students, ask that you rethink this legislation. We are at a point where two in five school leavers enrol in higher education. We hope not to see a regression in this and continue to see an increase in university alumni across Australia.

    Warm regards,

    A university student