So you just got into the University. Great, what next? All you have is a time table with strange course names and halls. That's what every freshman (new university student) has faced at one point in time. It's easy to march into University with no plan at all, in fact the plan that everybody takes is that after High-School you write a bunch of generic Concours, if you pass any then great, if you don't pass any, you look for the easiest thing you can do in the Faculty and after 3 years you're back in the streets as a Marlian selling Bitcoin. So here is a list of the things I wish I knew before I got into the University.
1) IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT SCHOOL.
If anyone told you that going to the University was the key to success, I'll be happy to wreck your dreams and let you know that the Government changes the locks like slay queens change boyfriends. Going to the University is important, but while at it, be sure to learn a set of extra skills not related to school. Find things you are naturally talented at and perfect it (photography, dancing, singing, painting, writing, drawing, hairdressing, make up, acting etc etc etc) and also learn the other set of skills that are not taught in school (public speaking, relating with people, IT skills etc etc) These skills will go a long way to help you after University and will sure make your CV stand out. It could be what will take you to your next epiphany, or put food on your table. So while going to school, take out time to learn those extra stuff. It could also be like a side hustle for you and get you some cash and being a student, trust me, some extra cash is always a plus.
2) PEER PRESSURE IS MUCH WORSE HERE.
Peer pressure will make you flunk all your courses with flying F grades. A University area is filled with so many different people, from so many different backgrounds. If you have friends who want you to do things that you won't normally do in your home, then probably don't. It's easy to lose focus with all the excitement and distractions constantly being shot at you. Late night parties, drugs, liquor, wearing new clothes, new shoes, latest phones yidi yadi yada, just be yourself. Don't let anyone make you live a lifestyle that you aren't used to living. Don't feel like anyone is better than you because they dress better or they attract more people, that's not gonna matter in 10 years time when everyone is jobless and probably doing Call Box at some unknown place. LOL. Of course that won't happen to you, but be careful who you associate with and don't forget when you leave this place, your life is your own and who wore the best shoe or who had the most clothes won't matter at that time.
3) KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND GET PROPER ORIENTATION.
Knowing what you want is key to knowing what to study at the University. A lot of high-school students enter University with no orientation at all, they hardly even know where school halls are located. When I got into the University, I didn't attend a single class for like a week because I didn't take out the time to know my way around school...but I sure knew all the bars already. If you want to save yourself the trouble, take out a little time and research about career options that you are interested in and the various degrees you need for that. It'll help guide you on what to study. Also, try to know your way around campus, it'll make things a lot easier for you.
4) GET A MENTOR.
A mentor is someone who has gone through what you are currently facing and was successful in it. A mentor will be able to guide you and save you the trouble of not making the same mistakes they did while undertaking the journey. After knowing what you want to do, next thing is to find a mentor. If you don't know where to get a mentor or what qualities make a good mentor, you should check out my other blog post about the TOP QUALITIES OF A GOOD MENTOR. https://schoolfaqs.net/p/top-qualities-of-a-good-mentor
5) KNOW YOUR STUDENT ASSOCIATION/UNION LEADERS.
Your Student Union leaders are the bridge between you and the school administration. They are there to help solve some of the issues you can't take directly to the school administration. Some of which may be aiding you in compiling documents, processing these documents for you and even helping you with complains concerning your marks, etc. Know your Student Union leaders and don't hesitate to go to them if you have any school-related trouble.
6) KNOW YOUR CLASS COORDINATORS (CC's).
Class Coordinators are like what you knew in high-school as class prefects. They are the ones who work with Lecturers to schedule classes, distribute handouts (notes), prepare class list, mark names (if requested by the lecturer) and also relay information from the Department office. Most at times, halls allocated on the timetable are never respected. Lecturers work on a First-Come-First-Use basis meaning the first person to meet the hall empty is the one to use it. This means that your CC is the one who will be charged with the task of looking for an alternative hall, and after that informing all students and the Lecturer where the new venue is. Be sure they have your number so you get to receive these updates. Know your classmates and if your class has a WhatsApp group, be sure to be a part of it.
7) C.A's DO MATTER.
Continuous Assessments (C.A) are what you refer to in high-school as TEST. Most at times it's easy for new students to relax during C.A's and when they don't perform well, they think they can make up for it at the exam. After all C.A's are 30 marks and Exams are 70 marks...it's easy to score high right? Well you should know that in the University 1 mark can be the reason you don't have an A grade, 1 mark can be the reason you fail a course totally, 1 mark can be the reason you don't graduate. So be sure to pass well at the C.A, it'll greatly improve on your grades. If you are reading this post then it means you are serious about scoring high in the university, utilize our questions section well, revise all the C.A papers you can find there, it'll help you greatly.
8) YES, ZERO IS A MARK.
In the University, having zero in the C.A is better than having no mark at all. Don't ever be absent from a C.A or skip a C.A because you feel like you will have zero in it, trust me it's better to have zero. When you don't have a C.A mark, even if you have 70/70 in the exam it will be cancelled and recorded as you didn't take the course for that year. You must be thinking that you can just write it at the resit?? well that too will be cancelled. When you don't have a C.A mark, you are not eligible to write the Exam or Resit for that particular course and the only way you can ever validate or pass the course is if you carry it over (repeat the course when you are promoted to the next level). So always try to have a C.A mark, even if it's a zero.
9) AVOID RESITS.
When writing the GCE if you fail a paper, that's it you failed. At the University, if you fail a course at the Exam, you have a second chance to write that course, which is what is normally referred to as Resits. Although resits help, they suck. While everyone is on holidays having fun, you have to spend your holiday studying so you can sit for the resit exam. There's no worst feeling than that. Holidays are precious and if your home is far, you'll have to leave and come back to school just to write that paper. So try to avoid resits. Be sure to validate your courses at the normal exam session. You'll be glad you did.
10) NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK.
Networking here means meeting people and making yourself acquainted with them. Meet your lecturers, school administrators, etc. When you go for internships be sure to make connections with the managers and people there. Attend conferences, seminars, etc. Meet people who are succeeding more than you are. In the long run all these connections will help you one way or another. Be it getting a job, or getting a Lecturer to sign you an excellent recommendation letter you plan on using for that scholarship. Make connections, Network.
So that's it, we are at the end of this blog post. Congratulations for reading through. . All what is written above are things I've personally experienced and I hope you find it useful. If you have any more points, let us know in the comments section below and like always share with your friends. See you next time.
Muluh MG Godson.
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