THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED UNIVERSITY
There is way more to the university
1 TAKE MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO ATTEND EVENTS AND CONFERENCES.
I cannot stress this enough. Yes study hard and get those As but also take some time to try new things, get involved with people and pick up new skills or master the ones you already have. I only got involved with extra-curriculars when I was in my third year of University and wish I had started earlier. Its ones of the things I still regret till date, living the hermit crab life won’t really get you far. Participating in outside of the classroom learning will help you build a network, make connections, and learn more about yourself. This is very important and I didn’t realize it on time.
2. LEARN A TRADE
This is another thing I wish I knew quite early. During my time learning a trade wasn’t really that popular it was more about studying and getting good grades, then a job, then money. I soon realized life is not usually in the order that we want. There will be hiccups and dead ends along the waynand your ability to adapt to them will be entirely up to you. Depending on parents for everything will get real old real fast. I used to claim that I am not a business person but I realized that I didn’t start on time. I started my business in my last year of the university and I do wish I had done that earlier. So learn a trade for business, if it’s a service you’re rendering, or goods yours selling just make sure you’re self-sufficient it will go a long way and also teach you how to manage money.
3. BE PREPARED FOR RUMORS.
There will always be misunderstandings and rumors when a large group of people are in a place. So if some of these rumors happen to be about you regardless of how true it is dont panic don’t lose your head, another one will turn up. Students will be students and you’ll realize how silly it all was later on. Don’t be like me and hide it your room crying, it all blows over and you’ll feel silly afterwards.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO RUN FOR A COURSE REPRESENTATIVE ROLE OR ANY LEADERSHIP ROLE.
Many people are afraid of responsibilities and pressure but this is actually a great idea. You get to know your lecturers, your course and meet new people. You also pick up amazing leadership skills that would help you in the future. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there another cool thing about it is that it can actually be added on your CV.
5. START GETTING WORK EXPERIENCE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.
Many students (including myself) wait till their third year during industrial training to get any work experience at all. This needs to change, once you make up your mind about the path you want to take, do your research and find places that do the same thing and volunteer, especially during the brief holidays from school. This helps to add to your resume and also gives you deeper and hands on knowledge about your chosen career.
6. ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE!
Most students are on automatic pilot in university. They’re focused on the A the grade and the degree. If they don’t stick to their books, they’ll waste their time elsewhere. Shake yourself out of this habit and decide to be involved in all aspects of university life. Meet your lecturers outside of class to chat with them, seek career advice, and ask questions.
Be social and stop telling yourself that you’re not social if you are. Instead, decide to meet new people and cultivate POSITIVE friendships. Become an active member in one or two student clubs that share a passion of yours or reach out to the community with valuable services. Most people find this difficult because it is hard work, but once it becomes a habit it’s as easy as breathing. You’ll dramatically prepare yourself for the real world that awaits you outside. As I said before, expanding your network of contacts is a crucial asset that you should begin working on in university.
7. MAKE ADEQUATE RESEARCH TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT COURSE
This might be hard, because most fresh high school graduates just want to get into school regardless of the course, they might pick a course and have it changed by the university and still settle for it just to get admission. This is usually from lack of information, proper counseling and sometimes parents and peer pressure. You need to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. The answer to that question has to be razor sharp at all times. What do most students do when they’re about to choose a major? They’ll think about what subjects they were good at in high school and choose the corresponding majors in university. This approach is totally silly (not to say stupid) because contrary to what you may think about yourself, you can be good at anything you want. Alternately, they may have an image of the profession they aim to have one day and because of that image, they’ll pursue the course that leads to it. Most of the time that image was formed on haphazard encounters that give you a very different picture than reality. The real question isn’t what I like or not, or whether being a doctor looks better than being an engineer; the real question is: Where do I want to be in 10 years and how can this major help me get there? That’s why you need to do quality research. What is a degree in your major worth? What kind of jobs will be available to you? Is this a growing or shrinking market? For example, when I graduate will I most probably find a job, or will I be just another fish in an ocean that’s already too crowded with sea food? How do professionals in the career you want to have feel about themselves? Are they rich, but too miserable to enjoy it because they work 100 hours a week? You need to ask yourself these questions and many more just like them. Do your research — then do even more research.
8. HAVE FUN BUT DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE FAST LIFE
The university is a world of its own. It’s easy to get caught up in a lot of negative activities and people. You will meet a lot of people taking shortcuts and engaging in illegal activities that seem profitable, don’t follow the crowd and stay true to yourself. Don’t use this as an excuse to seal yourself away from activities, lay back, have fun, go to parties, take that drink, tweet, post, and dance, fall in love and make friends. But don’t forget why you’re in school and don’t lose focus. Just have a little fun along the way. It’s not either one or the other it can be both.
9. Regardless of what people say. First year is very important it can make a huge difference in your final CGPA. So if you want to graduate with a very high grade I suggest you work very hard in your first year to avoid trying to catch up subsequently.
10. GOOGLE SAVES YOUR LIFE, SERIOUSLY!
11. DON’T JUST DATE ANYONE
You might find yourself attracted to some people , but please don’t just date anyone based on feelings alone, it could affect your concentration and your peace which could in turn drag you to a hole which would be hard to climb out of. So be careful of the people you let into your space and your heart. Make sure it’s a positive relationship.