If you are soon to embark upon your journey as a varsity student in South Africa you need some tips on surviving first year. You probably have visions of chilling with friends on the varsity lawns for hours on end. Maybe you even picture yourself hanging out with your roommate every weekend and hitting as many trendy restaurants, bars, and clubs as you possibly can? Well, you will quickly come to find that varsity life might not be quite what you expected!
Here is a light-hearted look at just a few truths that you would have wished you had confronted from the start.
Balance is more important than you think
You will be drunk with power when it comes to revelling in your new-found freedom. Unfortunately, this can lead to you indulging in certain pleasures and behaviours (such as getting properly drunk as often as possible, staying up all night, and eating ice cream for breakfast). Behaviours that wouldn’t have gone down well when living under mom and dad’s roof! It will become evident over the course of that first year that this sort of lifestyle isn’t sustainable, and your lifelong search for balance will commence!
Everything is crazy expensive
You will now realise why your parents would freak out on you when you didn’t finish your dinner. Or when you were producing far too much laundry every week – the cost of living ain’t no joke!
Rather than allowing your pockets to empty faster than they should, do your best to begin student life with a budget firmly in place, and get a part-time job as quickly as you can.
Your marks likely won’t be what you’d hoped for
If you are used to excelling at school, or even if you are used to getting fairly average, yet consistent marks, the chances are good that they will drop significantly during your first year at varsity. For some, this will simply be because they have been enjoying student life a little too much, but for others, it is because making the transition from matric to university is a massive leap.
So, while it is important not to let a low mark or a failure shake you, it is important to seek support from lecturers and peers as you adjust to new demands and expectations. Remember – if you don’t feel challenged during your studies, you aren’t really learning anything!
Best of luck on this exciting new journey.