Class of 2013, seems like ages ago to be honest. It’s amazing how fast a year has gone by.

I remember being told that if you can survive the first week and month of university, you will be on a smooth ride for the rest on the months. To an extent that is slightly true, as the first week which is not only an introductory week, but are wild hectic seven days, as they do test your ‘independence’ skills from decision making to your choice of actions.  Though regardless of how you have been spending your first month, by the end of it, it will be likely you will experience your first ever ‘fresher’s flu’; which is basically a couple of days that involves you in bed, quite ill as your energy levels have been dropped and drained out of you completely; which will eventually end up resulting into the common cold or flu.

However once this week or month is over, the real seriousness starts. University work will pile on you, hidden deadlines will start to show up, test dates will suddenly appear, and there you will be sitting with a calendar in your hand trying to figure out how to time manage yourself.
So now moving onto what you will expect in your first year of change:

 

The Farewells
The biggest emotional farewell will be, is leaving your family behind. Your parents are happy for you to start a new life, as your entering young adult hood, but it’s the letting go part which will always be hard for them. I guarantee your farewell will be involving their big long hugs, kisses and also those few lines reminding you to behave yourself properly. Some may find it annoying, but remember they also are taking a big step by trusting you to leave you and live on your own. So just listen and accept.

 

Friends/ Social Life
Most of you new university students will know very few people or none when you arrive. It may be difficult at first to make new friends which may cause you to feel lonely until you find some. To be honest mostly everyone has something in common, it’s just the personality types you meet that are different, and the way they approach to handle things maybe slightly dissimilar. Though the point of having these differences is to teach you to accept different perspectives and acknowledge the wide variety of opinions put out there, compared to your own.

 

Culture Change
To which ever place you are planning to study, one of the main changes you will experience is the social and cultural background of that region. What students like to call the ‘culture shock’? All of a sudden you might move from a conservative culture to one which is free or vice versa. Regardless of what you are to expect, it is important to do some research of how the society works and living lifestyle over there, so you have a bit of an idea what to expect when you reach there.  There will also be slight pressure present towards you, but that level of pressure will depend on how you view it. If there is something in their culture/lifestyle which is common for them, but that is against your belief, don’t let it get to you, or influence you to do something that is out of your comfort zone to feel fitted in. Just be yourself.

 

Lectures
I can tell you its nothing like school! Sometimes you won’t have lectures every day of the week. Also rather than getting up at six in the morning everyday, your lecture might only start in the afternoon. Some of you might only have three to four hour lectures everyday or all day lectures, this depends on the course you study. Lecturers are there to teach, help and guide you, not do your work for you that is your responsibility. Even if it requires you to gain the knowledge by writing pages of notes and  involving you staying up all night researching , printing papers and going through several isles’ in the library finding books, so let it be.

 

Assignments
When producing or handing in coursework or reports, the process of documentation and format plays an important role in the structure of your work. Remember, there are several students around you trying to achieve a high mark; it is like one big competition. It is the way you market yourself to the marker that will gain you a high grade .When referencing, as tempting as it is to use Wikipedia, it’s not a favourable source at university. Look instead at sites that are recommended by your university and have high value and importance to make your research stand out. Pay very close attention to the required structure and format your university wants you to present your work in, because if not penalization will occur.

 

Opportunities

At university there will be various open and career days for you to have a look at and see what profession you might take up after your degree. It’s important that you carry around your CV so you can give it to them, if they are looking for interns. Not only will this provide you a great opportunity, but also having the chance to intern in a firm other than one in your home town, will give you a great international exposure and understanding to how various customs work and handle situations in their region. Most importantly, you will actually gain an understanding of how the subjects you study at college are applied to cases in the office, and where which subject has a significant role and importance.