Being a newbie in an academic environment like the university can be somewhat exciting, strange, promising and at the same time daunting. But like every other environment, there are important things to quickly get intimated with so as to have the best experiences. The university campus happens to be a world on its own, and it’s easy to get into extremes in different angles or to miss out on opportunities. Leveraging on your studentship is hinged on being aware of tips and applying them early enough. Your conscious knowledge and application of these helpful tips can give you an edge above others. What are some of the things you should know?
Self-management is serious business
Perhaps in secondary or high school, everything was planned out for you by the school and by your parents. You were supervised and monitored to ensure you were doing the right thing at the right time. But obviously when you arrive university those things change and you now have to be your own planner and supervisor. It dawns on you that you have to decide when to wake up, what to eat, when to move out of your dorm, whether or not to offer a course, join a group or accept an invitation, your decision becomes more of your responsibility, and if you are not well prepared to face the new dimension with the responsibility and maturity demanded then you might just mess things up real bad before ever realising.
It’s easy to get carried away
Know this for sure, it’s easy for you to get carried away with one thing or the other on campus, which may not be the primary purpose of your being there. There are so many attractions that you’ve found and that you’ll still find which you must be able to respond to appropriately. Decide before the choices confront you, what and what not you are going to involve in and how far is far enough for you. Whether social, political or personal pursuits, ensure you always push to maintain a deliberate balance.
Your lecturers are humans
Your initial psychology about your lecturers might subconsciously be formed in your mind to think they are way out of your class or not as human as every other person you see in your day to day life, but that’s a line of thought that’s not too accurate. Of course they are more read, perhaps more elderly, richer, and more influential but all that doesn’t take away the fact that they are still humans and very much approachable. They are there to help you, if you have questions, doubts, dilemmas or issues bothering your mind which you feel they can help to solve, then approach them in the right way and at the times when you know they are less busy. Perhaps you can book an appointment with them.
Stay on campus
As much as you may want to travel, go home, visit an uncle or friend somewhere, try to stay more on the campus. This will serve to help you concentrate on your primary purpose and you can be motivated more when you are in an academic environment than if you’re always on and off. Also you’ll be able to keep your motivation on a steady flow without unnecessary breaks.
Register at the clinic and library early
Some students may not take this seriously, but registering at the library is important, so you can use their services anytime you desire. Having your library card and not using it because you prefer to read in some other place is better than being hindered from using the library because you’ve not registered. Of course, registering at the clinic is as important as your health is to you. Emergencies could come up and the school clinic might be just what you need for a quick rescue, so ensure you have your clinic card on time. Be deliberate about doing these registrations and the likes, else you might just take them for granted until one day they’ll be your only resort.
Choose your courses wisely
To avoid the saga of doing the add and drop stuff, just take the simple care early enough to choose your courses wisely. Don’t rush at courses just because every other colleague of yours seem to be picking them. Ensure you pick all the compulsory and required courses for a semester and choose your electives wisely, be sure about the required units for the semester. When it comes to choosing the right courses, meeting your level adviser or your predecessors for guidance is not a bad idea.
A job can help
Find out how you can earn while learning on campus, especially if you need the money. There will be people who are doing that already who may be able to guide you in your own venture too. You could also decide to do a small scale business that you can combine with your work without problem so as to boost your finances. But if your finances are fine and you can do without a side job, it may be better not to get one as it may put more workload on you.
You can leverage on your colleagues/friends
Being in the university can become a very beautiful experience for you if you know how to use the opportunity well. It’s very likely that a good number of your friends have skills they’re using to earn income; you can strike a deal with those who have skills you want to learn and begin to learn the skill while you are in school. Skills are very relevant as they may eventually happen to serve you better than your academic certificates.
Don’t be a lone ranger. Your time on campus can actually be used to build very meaningful and profitable relationships. It serves to improve your social life and some of the relationships you establish can be quite helpful later in life. Invest time, effort, sacrifice and resources into good relationships while still keeping your primary purpose in view.
Identify your best study spots
Be fast to locate the points on campus where you assimilate best and find it easiest to study. Begin to use these spots often for your study. Also identify your best time for study, try to have a good reading culture early enough.
Organise your documents
Don’t be careless with your documents, ensure you have folders and arrange your documents as appropriate in your folders. These will help you to easily find whichever document you need at any point in your stay on campus.
Ask about opportunities
Find out about as many opportunities as are available for students on campus. Find out about bursaries and scholarships.
Involve in extracurricular activities
There are different extracurricular activities on campus, find your area of interest and join groups which you fit into. You can also take up volunteer jobs. Working for lecturers to do some works to assist them can also be a good way to go.
Have time for yourself
Be sure to create time out of all the pressure and workload of the school demands. Take out some time to relax and refresh yourself.
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