You’ve slogged your way through secondary school and managed to achieve the necessary grades for your chosen university. Now you’re holding your acceptance letter! Congratulations!
You can already picture yourself walking through those wide hallowed halls of knowledge, socialising with your new friends, and finally, wearing that coveted cap and gown ready to walk up the stairs… But wait a minute, let’s back up a bit and go back to the beginning. You have received your acceptance letter and you are actually standing there, totally clueless of what life will be like when you finally head off all alone to university!
Of course, your first few months might be confusing and may make you feel anxious and homesick. Just relax and give yourself time to be able to get the hang of it and enjoy your new freedom. Having been where you are now, I understand that mixed emotion of excitement and dread in the pit of your stomach. So don’t fret yourself, here are a few things I would have advised myself back in the day:
1. Prepare yourself for independent living
For years, you might have been raring for the independence of living alone, with none of your parents meddling in your affairs. However, independence is not something you will enjoy if you haven’t prepared for it.
If you are used to having your parents to do your laundry, cook your food, and even pack your lunch for you, then you are in for a big shocker. These last few months at home would be a great time to learn house chores like laundry and cooking. Ask your parents to teach you the basics so that you can be able to fend for yourself when you get to be on your own.
2. Be a budget wizard
Learning how to handle your money will not only affect your student life but will also impact how you handle your money as an adult after graduation. As a student, you now have the freedom on how you would use your student loan. There are those that have blown through their money a week after classes start!
Your loan cannot carry you through graduation, so it is best to spend it wisely and frugally. Use it for where you really need it. A bulk of your loan can go to your accommodation expenses and will leave little for your daily expenses. Having a part time job can help meet your basic needs, and this is also a way of learning to stand on your own.
3. Get to know your campus doctor and nurse
No matter how well we may take care of ourselves, there are just some days that we cannot avoid getting sick. Before any mysterious ailment befalls you, it would be best to register with a GP or try to find where your campus clinic might be. There is no need to be afraid or to be shy about anything.
Your clinic staff have probably seen it all and are most equipped to handle whatever you might have. And if it is something beyond them, they can always refer you to a local hospital that can take care of you.
4. Keep your family closer
While it may be easy to get caught up in your new study load and activities, it would be helpful to keep your relationship with your family and closest friends strong.
There would be times when you would feel homesick and alone while you juggle through multiple projects and exams, and the best comfort can come from knowing that you have a strong support system behind you, even if they may be far away.
You may not know it, but your family might also be worrying about how you are doing, and a call from you can also ease their anxiety, knowing that you are okay.
Even simple things like sending them a postcard or letter from a nearby town can help you feel more connected and it’s nice for both them and you to get something physical in the post to remind you of their presence and vice-versa (if like me you have no idea where to buy stamps from, who uses stamps these days eh, check out stamphelper.com for some guidance).
5. Think ahead
It is never too early for you to think and plan for the future. Start researching what societies you might like to get involved in, and explore other venues of learning. You might be surprised to learn that what you may have planned a year ago might not be what you envision yourself after graduation.
While you may still be a fresher, you can try to map out how you want your life to be after graduation. You might start considering where you might want to work and how you might start a new life in a particular area. You can even make a hobby of going around in your free time and checking out some nice, but affordable accommodation that can be available for you when you graduate. This is a great way to fuel your drive to finish and reach your goals.
When you have everything ready and planned, starting university will not be such a daunting task. Enjoy the excitement of starting a new chapter in your life and soak in as much as you can from your years in school. All of these will eventually lead and pay off to a better and brighter future for you.
Joanne Davidson is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs helping property owners who encounter problems with the vacancy of their buildings. Check out her company here: loweguardians.com/