Coming from someone who’s been there and done that, these 6 tips will spare you those ‘how I wish I knew’ moments when you start your University Life! We’ve spared you the culture shock. You’re very welcome.
1. The rat race doesn’t stop. Be prepared to study.
Graduating from your Polytechnic or Junior College isn’t a get-out-of-jail-card from the books. Be prepared to spend your free time pouring over readings, test banks and notes especially during the oh-so-dreaded Hell Week.
Yes, it’s an official term around campus and yes, it’s very, very appropriate. It hit me the hardest during Week 10 of the semester when I was juggling 3 midterms, 1 project, and 2 presentations. During that time, I spent no less than 10 hours a day at school. Yup, you’ve been warned.
2. You’ll meet ALL kinds of people.
Part-time Bloggers/ Models. Foreign exchange students from Italy or Tasmania. National athletes. Anyone can be sitting next to you in your first seminar. I realised that so many paths lead to University. It’s pretty cool when you meet someone whose life is just so different from yours.
Be sure to swap life stories and don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with people from such diverse backgrounds.
3. You’ll be broke. Like, 99% of the time.
Ugh. What’s new? It makes sense when you think about it. Gone are the days when your dear old Fish ball noodles cost $2.50. Because well, subsidised school canteens don’t exist anymore. You’ll find that you eat out more and more often. Giving in to the temptation of savouring a $10+ meal a few times a week becomes a norm.
My advice: eat the main meals at home and spend your pocket money on treats like Starbucks. It’s much more satisfying that way. You also won’t burn (as large) a hole in your savings account. Alternatively, you can look for a part-time job on job portals like JobsCentral or Parttimejobs.
4. Go. For. Camps.
Yes, I get it. Doing overenthusiastic cheers like 17 times a day isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea but camps are seriously important for University. You make a handful of friends and meet really nice seniors who will tell you which professors to avoid. You’ll also get advice on the best study and hangout spots around campus.
Trust me when I say it’s always nice to see familiar faces around lecture halls, tutorials or seminars.
5. Universities are huge. Try not to get lost.
Attend the open houses and familiarise yourself with your campus. Ask for directions from seniors or if you’re desperate, friendly aunties or security guards. Better yet, download an online map at least for your first week. Universities are simply gigantic compared to the campuses you’ve been used to.
It’s no fun getting lost when you’ve got a class in 10 minutes at the other end of school.
6. You’re going to have a great time
This I say for sure, is true. University is when you’re basically handed free reign to live your own life. There are a million student groups to join and your schedule is in your hands. You meet lots of new people and gain lots of new experiences.
I won’t be that cliché writer who tells you that ‘University is going to be the best time of your life’. But I sure as hell will tell you that it’s pretty fun. The highs and the lows in University are part and parcel of life itself, and you’ll realise how time flies by so savor each moment while you still can.
All the best, Freshie!
From your well wishing senior.
If you’ll be in NTU, 12 Peculiar Things Only NTU Students Will Nod Silently In Agreement
(Header image credit: kinfolk.com)