Welcome to university, where if you came straight from high school, things are about to change very quickly. You are probably aware of your sudden freedom to completely do as you please but maybe some of the changes will surprise you. Perdeby has compiled a list to give you a heads up on the differences that you will encounter between your new university life and your previous high school experiences.


1. You are completely responsible for your understanding of the academic work.

In high school, your teachers might have given you individual attention to help you better understand some work, but in university you have to take the initiative to engage your lecturer. A lecturer won’t notice your confused facial expression amongst the large crowd of students and call you forward to better explain the concept after the lecture. Most of your lecturers won’t even know your name. If you struggle to comprehend a concept, then you have to address the problem with your lecturer after the class or get help from tutors. Make sure you address the lecturer as soon as you encounter a problem so that you don’t fall behind.


2. You won’t know everyone studying your course.

In school you might have known the names of everyone in your grade, but that is not the case in university. Some of your lectures might take place in huge lecture halls with hundreds of other students, which makes knowing everybody in your class virtually impossible. Don’t be afraid to at least try to introduce yourself to as many new people as possible in your first year. If you have class with them, then you are probably studying something similar, which means you probably have similar interests which could lead to you making a new friend. Friends in university can be very beneficial to you in terms of helping you out with your degree. They might grasp a concept quicker than you and thus be able to help you better understand it. They are also helpful in getting your hands on past question papers.


3. ClickUP will become your friend.

Unlike school where a lot of communication to students is predominantly verbal, with university, communication is mostly electronic. You might get into the habit of starting your day on ClickUP and also ending it on ClickUP. Lecture notes, slideshows and other information are made available on this platform. It is also very important to setup your Tuks email address and to remember to check it regularly. You will also need to be able to communicate to others via email especially lecturers and administrative personnel, so learning how to compose an adequate email is essential.


4. The freedom to express yourself.

What might come as a shock to some, is the sudden lack of a school uniform and strict rules with regards to appearance. At university you are completely free to express yourself through your clothing, hair and accessories. Some people express themselves boldly and others are more demure. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your appearance in order to find yourself and a style you like. Just remember to keep the weather in mind, especially when you have to write a long test in a very cold venue.


5. You control your time.

In university, you control your time. No one is there to regulate how much time you spend on your studies and social activities. You are not compelled to participate in sport or cultural activities, but don’t be afraid to join a club or student organisation. Fill your time with things that you want to do, but also with things that will be beneficial to your mind and well-being. You might meet some interesting people if you put yourself out there.


Image: Prince Jiane