Going to university is just one of those life experiences you don’t want to miss out on. There are a lot of things you hear about uni life but most people are just excited anyway by the thought of just being there.
And so when you walk in through the doors of higher learning, it feels as though the four years, or whatever duration it might take, will go on forever. You might find yourself caught up in the confusions of freshman year, the thrill of being a sophomore and perhaps a junior and by the time you realize it, you are a senior knocking on the exit door.
So if you are just joining or already in session, here are a few things you should consider doing.
Check Your Student Email
I just had to lead with this. Your student email is like those Monday and Friday morning assemblies you had in high school. All the goings-on are updated through email. The notice on your fee increment is sent here so before you complain about the administration not telling you about important issues, do due diligence. At times you might find that most lecturers communicate about classes and assignments through email, especially during this Covid-19 era where most universities are still holding their classes online. More to that, it’s a treasure trove of everything from upcoming events to job vacancies. So do look it up.
Take A Campus Tour
There are students who literally spend four years on campus and can’t show a visitor where the library is. Walk every inch of your uni and know what’s going on. If you have time to know all the restaurants and bars around your uni, you can surely find time to learn what’s inside your university. If the uni renovates, you'll at least be at a position to know what has changed and to not look like a fool when someone tells you about it and you have no clue whatsoever.
Research Your Career
This is one of the most important things you’ll do for yourself. Most people choose career programs with a lot of idealism as to what they’ll be once they are done. So knowing what your chosen path entails in terms of the skills needed, job prospects, the landscape of your industry e.t.c will give you an idea of whether this is something you really want to pursue. If you are unsure, consult. Nowadays, the uni provides career advisors who are there to help you figure out where your talents lie and the best position that would suit you with reference to your course and talents.
Prepare Your CV
Don’t wait until you have to send a curriculum vitae to put one together. Start early because it’s not really easy writing that two-page document. You want to write something that sells you properly. Something that shows you understand what you are applying for. Practice makes perfect. It also makes it easier for you to build it up as you continue to gain experience when working.
Take Courses Outside Your Program
This is a really nice way of expanding your horizons. You might be surprised to find that you are interested in things beyond the program you enrolled on. It also indicates that you are open to new ideas, you are well rounded and have varied interests. There are unis that allow students to pick their own courses. If so, be adventurous and take a course that isn't in your program. For those who can't choose their own courses, there is always the option of taking a minor, where you can minor in a certain program to expand your horizons.
Go For Internships
Don’t wait for your fourth year when you have to fulfil your course requirements to get into the world of interning. Get in your first office experience as early as possible. Know your industry as early as possible, the people in it and find out whether this is what you really want to do long-term. This will also help when it comes to the actual course requirement, it will be easier to select an organization and you might find that a previous organization you interned in would love to have you back and possibly offer you a long term position afterwards.
Join A Club
University courses have a heavy workload. It’ll really do you good if you have something else to occupy your mind. Be part of a sports team, a club, or any other co-curricular where you can bring out your more adventurous side, let loose and most importantly, be part of a community.
Whether this is a group assignment for a class or a passion project outside your academic commitments, find and bring people together to do something exciting. Even if it’s just exploring your interests, you do it. You’ll be amazed by what you can do and the friendships you can forge. There is so much that one can do to bring people together and create something meaningful or just for fun.
Yes. It can just be in a class session or in the campus auditorium/hall. Whatever the subject matter is, try to formulate an argument and present it in front of your peers. You don’t have to be good and how will you be good if you don’t even try? Give yourself a chance. If you can handle the pressures of a debate, chances are that you can handle just about anything.
Most universities have programs that encourage students to venture into business. Students can bring items and sell them on campus premises to their peers. Be one of those who can create noise around a product, attract interest, open and close a deal. You never know who you are selling to and who’s watching.
Transform Your Wardrobe
Uni students want comfort first before anything, more so with what they wear. You want the ripped jeans, a t-shirt, baseball caps, shorts and all. No problem. But remember you need to have a couple of workwear outfits. Ones you can wear when attending a career fair for instance or to an interview. Do it when you still have ample time to find good pieces. Don’t wait until you get that call from HR. Remember, being prepared is much better than being shocked.
In the midst of all the chaos, hopefully, you remember to work on that degree that you are heavily paying for, get to wear that gown, take the walk and throw that hat off in the air. Make sure the the hustle is worth the tassel.
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