After high school, the student is sent off to the university, which they quickly find out is quite different from what they are used to. Most times, there are no parents or guardians to help you make the right choices, and stop you from making choices that will come back to bite you. This new freedom is often intoxicating, and if not armed with the right survival tips, could mar your university experience.
Surviving university is not rocket science, but only the experienced know this, and some found out through the hard way. Here are 8 tips to help you survive the university.
- Budget! Budget! Budget!
The university is probably the first time of living independently, if you do not learn from the onset, how to budget your resources, you find yourself always in lack. Budgeting is not a Herculean task. It is simply, knowing how much money you will have and also the things you would need money for. It takes away unnecessary spending, and guess what, you would need this skill, even after your university days.
- Learn the art of networking and avoid making enemies.
The university gives you an opportunity of meeting diverse group of people, and at such, various networking opportunities. Socializing and networking will keep you abreast of development in the university, opportunities, and people you can learn life skills from. Avoid making enemies, as this is the fastest way of marring your university experience.
- Learn basic cooking.
This was one problem I had in the start of my university education, and this inability to cook basic meals created a dent in my finances and also made me malnourished. As a student going after your ambition, you need balanced nutrition which home-cooked meals will provide. Also, having basic cooking skills will prevent you from eating from restaurants and fast food joints. As a result, you will save more on living expenses.
- Learn to work independently.
In high school, you were probably used to class projects, but you will find out that the university is a different ball game. You would be expected to carry out independent research, and therefore, it is important that you learn to work independently. At the university, no one will spoon-feed you information, you would be expected to uncover things on your own. Running your own projects in your spare time is a great way to learn to work independently.
- Speak up and air your opinion.
What better way to build your confidence, other than speaking up and letting your opinion be heard. Do not be too opinionated, but do not take everything that comes to you. When you feel wronged, speak up for yourself. Not only will it build your confidence, which is another survival hack, but it will also earn you respect, and people will know not to treat you however they want. It is important to stamp this earlier on, as it will determine your later experience in the university.
- Beware of con artists.
There are those who are willing to get as much as they can from an unsuspecting student, so have a discerning mind, to know when you are being conned. Be aware of accurate bill charges, your rights as a tenant, what is obtainable in the university environment and what is not. Armed with the right information, it would be hard for anyone to play a fast one on you.
It all boils down to being confident. When people see you are not a squirmy fresher, they will be careful in their dealings with you.
- Take advantages of discounts.
The only time you would get amazing discounts is when you are a student, so take advantage of these discounts as they would help you save more money. If there are loyalty cards where you shop, by all means get one, to save you money. Subscribe to newsletters to keep abreast of awesome discounts available to students.
- Learn to ask for help.
A popular Nigerian proverb says, ‘He who asks questions, never miss their way’. The most important survival skill to have in the university is the ability to ask for help. When in doubt, ask. When in trouble, ask for help. When faced with difficult situations, ask for help.