I have officially
survived completed my first year of college!! It wasn’t easy, especially after not studying for such a long time. I’m sure every guy in Singapore experienced this, 2 years of national service and your brain feels like it’s been coated with layers of dust and rust. For me, I even took a gap year before starting… so it has practically been almost 3 years!
Here are some of the things I learnt while cruising through freshmen year.
1. Freshmen Camps — useful, but may not be necessary
I didn’t sign up for freshmen camp when my enrolment package came. I was honestly panicking if I would make any friends during university, and I heard that orientation camps are the best way to get rid of that worry. However, I think as long you stick to being who you are and just be friendly, it shouldn’t be a problem. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Be Friendly — do not be afraid to approach people
If you didn’t attend a freshmen camp, chances are, there are plenty of people just like you! And these are the people that are looking for friends as well, whatever you’re worried about, they probably are worried about it too! I made friends just by attending classes and lab sessions, so don’t worry too much!
3. Plan Your Timetable Well
I cannot stress this enough. The entire ‘planning-my-own-schedule’ concept was still kind of new to me, so I asked friends who were already in university, and they gave lots of tips on how to go about using the school’s timetable system. The result? I managed to get a day without classes during my first semester! I don’t stay in hall as well, so a well-planned timetable helps to lessen the amount of time I waste on travelling. Learn your school’s timetable system well before the registration period!
As cliche as it may sound, the only way to get your grades to improve is to work hard. But personally, I think it’s more to do with working smart. For my first year, I think I played a lot instead of studying – so much that my friends said that it doesn’t feel like I’m in university. It took me so much effort to manage to even pass my accounting module (no prior background of business mods whatsoever) and my core modules were just horrendous. Try out different studying methods and know what works best for you.
I think working smart really helps in university, so a reminder to self – work hard, but also work smart for your sophomore year!!
5. Get Involved
Another way to know more people or the school better is to join a club! I hesitated during my first semester because I wanted to see how my workload would be like, but I went ahead with the NTU GEM Club Exco interview during my second semester. I got to meet people from all different faculties and even explored places I never knew existed in my school! But in all honesty, it was quite difficult to juggle an extra curriculum activity alongside the number of projects and tutorials, so time management is something you’ll learn along the way!
6. Cut Yourself Some Slack
University is more than just studying, it’s more than just getting good grades or that ideal GPA. Cut yourself some slack during this three or four years. Go and meet people, interact more with exchange students, learn a new language, do new things and most importantly, find yourself. Taking a weekend off from studying is ok, but be responsible with your deadlines.
College is filled with opportunities, open your eyes wide, look for them and don’t pay your school fees to just watch lectures online. Make use of school resources, explore your campus and make friends that will last a lifetime.