The transition from high school to university is a big one, from the workload, to probably moving to a new city where you live alone and having to make new friends and connections. In all honesty, there is no real blueprint on how to navigate the first year; people just give you plenty of advice, and you find your own way and what really works for you. However, there are tips and advice that will come in handy during your first year at varsity.

Academic advice

Your high school English teacher was right when she said no one will be here to spoon feed you. However, you are not entirely on your own; there are many resources that you can use to make your academic journey easier.

  • Plan out your semester. Know when your assignment submissions, semester tests and class tests are so you can work out when to study and when to have your work done.

 

  • Do not fall too far behind. Staying on top of things all the time can feel rather impossible, but make sure you do not fall too far behind in any of your modules because it can become overwhelming when it is time to catch up.

 

  • Go to class. It will be much easier to revise your work after you have heard it somewhere else.

 

  • Put academics first. Above all, remember that you are here to receive a qualification. Thus, put your schoolwork first, and make use of all the resources at your disposal. Consult your lecturers and tutors, make use of your Faculty Student Advisor, and also seek help and advice from trustworthy senior students.

 

Social Advice

Though you are at university for a formal education, this is also the time to explore and learn more about yourself.

  • Try new things. Try a new sport or extracurricular activity. You might have a good year.

 

  • Take a break. Remember to maintain a balance in life. School is a priority, but it is not everything. Go out with friends, go out for lunch, or have a picnic.

 

  • Make friends and connections in your degree; you can help each other with schoolwork and study together.

 

  • If you decide to explore the tempting night life, do not do it alone. Know your limits and, above all, be safe.

 

All in all, remember that you will never experience your first year ever again, so enjoy it, make the most of it and, most importantly, pass.

Ruth Masinge
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