Successfully entering into a tertiary institution to in pursuit of a degree is always accompanied with a thrilling feeling. Change of status; new level of adventure, believe it or not, the feeling is indescribable. Well, now you’re “an undergraduate” with an increased level of freedom and independence. You are in a new environment with new people all around. This is a tabula rasa. What are you going to do with it? Well, for one, you are going to be making major decisions for yourself. Here are some of the issues you might face in your first year and how you can overcome them:
Many first-year students are eager to explore and have adventures. Most times, these so-called “adventures” involve vices. As soon as you get admission into the university as a freshman/woman, the right thing to do is to sit down and plan your entire stay in school; what you want to achieve at the end. You will meet many students who seem to be having the best time of their lives which would tempt you; know that not all that glitters is gold. Indulging in some activities that youths consider to be fun these days will do more harm than good. This is why having an end goal is very important. When you know what you want, you would be able to stand your ground.
It may be a cliche but it would interest you to know that birds of the same feather still flock together. Some freshmen may be lucky enough to have friends from their secondary school but others may be starting university in an entirely new environment without any “carry over” friends. You need to surround yourself with people that have similar goals as you, people that would inspire you to make great strides for your future. Companions can make or break you. Choose that circle carefully.
As a fresher, other students would want to take advantage of you, especially if you appear to be timid. Do not let any student bully you. Higher institutions take this issue very seriously and as such, the penalty for bullying is expulsion. Know your rights as a student and at the same time, do not disrespect anyone. Have common courtesy, be nice but do not let anyone push you around.
In cases where it is an entirely new environment, getting used to the environment may pose a challenge. Getting around would most likely be an issue. Feel free to ask around for directions – but ask more than one person, just to be safe. Do not trust too easily and at the same time, do not make trusting people a problem. Develop your emotional intelligence so that you can be able to understand people and build relationships.
This may not be an issue if you are getting into a private university. In federal universities, the school hostel facilities may not be the best in the world so do prior research to get a good place that is accessible and safe. This is going to be your temporary home, okay? So make it to be as “home” as possible. Imagine when you have a bad day (it is university, it happens), you get to go home to a place you like. I am not saying you should live in paradise. All I am saying is that when you are selecting a place to live, make it count.
You have about 4-6 years to be at university. That is 4 to 6 years to grow. It should be enough to know what you want for yourself. It cannot be overstated that the decisions you make in the university are essential. Welcome to new challenges, say hello to fresh adventures!