• 25 Tips to Help You Survive Your First Year in School

    Advice for Post-UTME Aspirants and Potential Undergraduates (First Year Students)

    Maybe you were class president in secondary school. Alternately maybe you were very well-privileged. You may have graduated in the top percentile of your graduating class; maybe you were even valedictorian. Possibly you were class or group of high scorers. Really, it doesn’t generally make a difference what you did in secondary school as you make the move to school. Secondary school achievement (or the absence of it) doesn’t consequently apply to school.
     
    You begin school with a clean scholastic slate, alongside a great deal of freedom and a bunch of discriminating choices as you start the move into adulthood. The choices that you make and the moves you make amid this first year of school will have a noteworthy effect on whatever remains of your school experience.

    Some Educational Statistics in Nigeria You Should Know

    Consistently around 600,000 Nigerians are conceived who never find the opportunity to venture into a classroom. These Nigerians speak to around 10 percent of the six million that get into the world through the Nigerian conception course.
    Of the remaining that make that progression into the classroom, numerous never find the opportunity to stroll into the four dividers of a tertiary organization. The tale of these missing students in the school stepping stool is one of the fascinating discoveries in the report “Nigeria’s Human Capital Challenges: Insights from HR Professionals” as of late distributed by BusinessDay Research.
    Information got from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) demonstrate that a normal of 20 million students are selected out in the open elementary schools in any school year in Nigeria. This goes to a normal of 3.3 million students for every level, realizing that we have a six-year school stepping stool at the elementary school level.
    At the auxiliary school level, in any case, this figure drops significantly to a normal of five million students enlisted or around 833,000 for every level since we additionally have a six-year school stepping stool at the optional school level. This method for the 3.3 million that selected at the elementary school level in any specific year, only a normal 833,000 in the long run made it to the auxiliary school level in any specific year, inferring a normal drop-out rate of around 2.47 million for each annum or 75 percent between grade schools and optional schools in Nigeria. More than a six-year cycle, this could mean around 15 million students out of the educational system, expecting these figures stay unaltered.
    The figures from the NBS according to nigeriaintel.com demonstrate that on the normal just around 700,000 students get selected in all Nigerian colleges in any year. Given a normal of four years study period in Nigerian colleges, this infers a normal of 175,000 students at any level. Another 600,000 are enlisted in polytechnics and schools of instruction in any year. There is additionally a normal of four-year study period in our polytechnics, so this means a normal 150,000 students at any level, suggesting that of the normal of 833,000 prepared for tertiary training in any year, just around 39 percent really select in any tertiary establishment in any specific year.

    What’s the Point?

    Be that as it may, hold on! This article is not intended to drive you away in despair or remove any of the delight, fervor, and expectation you feel about attending a university. An incredible inverse. The statistics are meant to show you how lucky you are to be a potential undergraduate about to be admitted into the university despite the deplorable situation of the educational system in Nigeria. This article is about the things you have to do to survive your first year of school, as well as to flourish and thrive in school. Also, a hefty portion of the apparatuses or tools, abilities, and propensities or skills you grow through this article can not just be utilized to help you succeed in school, yet in your future vocation too.
    The initial couple of weeks on the school campus are to a great degree critical for every single new student. It is amid this time that you settle on a lot of critical and important choices that will have an impact on the remaining part of your life. Some of these 25 tips are basic during your first weeks, while the others are implied for long term direction and survival. Whatever you do, make sure to act naturally and attempt to make the most of your school encounter however much as could reasonably be expected. Expect to feel some anxiety and itchiness to want to be home again, yet don’t let these issues wear you out.

    Strategies to Help You Survive Your First Year in School

    1. Go to all introductory ceremonies and orientations organized by the school authorities.

    Do you truly need to attend yet another school orientation or tour? Yes. The quicker you learn your way around the campus – and around all the formality – the more calm you’ll feel and the better set up you’ll be when issues emerge.

    2. Become more acquainted with your room mates and others in your residential area.

    The individuals you live with, a large portion of whom are experiencing comparable and similar encounters and feelings, are your primary safety net – this first year, as well as for every one of your years. You may change room mates as time goes on, yet, simply take the time to become acquainted with your kindred first-year undergraduates.

    3. Become more organized.

    In secondary school, your tutors had a tendency to lead you through all the homework and deadlines for submission. In the university, your lectures will not give a damn whether you do your assignments or not and this can be cause a lot of students to lack seriousness in school. Lecturers post the assignments – frequently for the whole semester – and anticipate that you will be ready. Purchase a big wall calendar or plan book – whatever it takes for you to plan more effectively and be organized.

    4. Locate the perfect spots for you to study.

    It might be your hostel or apartment or a comfy corner of the library, yet discover a place that works best for you to accomplish your work effectively – while evading however many distractions as would be possible.

    5. Go to class and attend lectures.

    Self-evident and obvious, isn’t that so? Possibly, however resting in a little more on your bed and avoiding that 8 am class will be enticing on some occasion. Stay away from the temptation and ensure you don’t miss classes as much as you can. Other than assimilating the material by going to classes, you’ll likewise get basic data from the lecturers about what’s in store on tests, changes in deadlines, and so forth.

    6. Turn into a specialist when it comes to course necessities and deadlines.

    Lecturers especially university professors put in a long stretch of time planning course syllabi and timetables so you will know precisely what is anticipated from you – and when. One of the lamest reasons an undergraduate student can give a lecturer for not being able to meet a deadline is: “I didn’t have any knowledge that it was due today.”

    7. Meet with your lecturers and get to know them.

    Talking as one who has experience with lecturers, I can guarantee you there are only advantages of becoming acquainted with your teachers – no downsides, particularly if later in the semester you run into a few obstacles. Lecturers plan available time called office hours for the sole motivation behind meeting with students – exploit that time as much as you can and you won’t regret it.

    8. Become more acquainted with your academic adviser.

    This is the individual who will help you with course clashes and conflicts, adding or dropping courses, booking of classes for future semesters, deciding on specializations. This individual is a key asset for you – and ought to be the individual you swing to with any academic issues or clashes. What’s more, don’t be apprehensive about asking for another adviser in the event that you don’t click with the one initially allotted to you.

    9. Endeavor to find a balance.

    School life is a blend of social and academic happenings and events. Try not to tip the equalization too far in either bearing. A particular student constantly used to say her saying was to “study hard so she could play hard.”

    10. Be involved on campus.

    A major issue for a considerable measure of new undergraduates is a blend of nostalgia and an inclination of not exactly having a place. An answer? Think about joining a select group – and be mindful so as not to go over the edge – of student associations and clubs. It is also highly advisable to be active spiritually depending on your religious inclinations. I am a Christian so I advocate joining a Church or Christian fellowship. You’ll make new companions, learn new aptitudes, and feel more connected with your school.

    11. Do your best to get good grades from the start.

    Another clear one here, isn’t that so? Keep in mind the expressions in the opening section of this article; while good grades might have worked out easily for you in secondary school, you will need to acquire them with more effort in the university – and that implies setting a few goals and objectives for yourself and doing all you possibly can to accomplish them.

    12. Exploit the study assets and resources available on campus.

    Pretty much, all schools and institutions have libraries, learning labs and mentors accessible. In case you’re having a few troubles, these assets are another apparatus accessible to you. Another thought: form study groups.

    13. Set aside time for you.

    Make sure you put aside time and activities that help you unwind and take the stress of your day or week. Whether its enrolling in a gym or fitness center for weekly exercise, viewing your most loved TV programs, or writing in a diary, be kind to yourself.

    14. Don’t feel compelled to make any hasty decision about aselective course.

    It doesn’t matter if it seems as though everyone else seems to know what they’re doing with their lives, many don’t, trust me, the university is the time and place for you to really discover who you are, what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and what you want to be. It’s not a race; take your time and enjoy exploring your options.

    15. Take complete responsibility for everything you do.

    Don’t look to place the blame on others for whatever mistakes you make in school while trying to find your bearing in life; own up to them and move on. Being an adult means taking responsibility for everything that happens to you.

    16. Make connections with your classmates.

    A particular said his technique in the first week of classes was to meet at least one new person in each of his classes. It expanded his network of friends and was a crucial resource at times when he had to miss a class and needed to be kept informed or update his notes. Besides, no one knows tomorrow, you never know when you may need the other person’s help.

    17. Start preparing your career path on time.

    Regardless of whether you are entering the university with your entire future mapped out, don’t hesitate to seek and explore fresh information about yourself with professional advice as well and get started on planning, preparing, and acting on your future.

    18. Don’t procrastinate; prioritize your life and manage your time.

    It may have been easy in secondary school to wait until the last minute to complete an assignment and still get a good grade, but that kind of stuff will not work for you in the university. Give yourself deadlines — and make sure stick to them. You are now responsible for yourself.

    19. Eat right and stay healthy

    A lot of problems first-year students face can be traced back to an illness that kept them away from classes for an extended period of time that led to a downward spiraling effect. Get enough sleep, exercise, take your vitamins, and eat right. If you haven’t heard the jokes about university food, you soon will. And without mom or dad there to serve you a balanced meal, you may be tempted to go for those extra fries or junk food. Stay healthy and try as much as possible to eat balanced meals.

    20.  Learn how you can cope with homesickness.

    It’s only natural that there will be times when you miss your family, even if you were one of those category of youth who couldn’t wait to get away. Find a way to deal with those feelings of home-sickness, such as making a phone call to those at home often.

    21. Stay on campus as much as you can.

    Whether it’s wanting to get a better feeling of independence, homesickness, a job or business, or a boyfriend or girlfriend from home, try not to leave campus too soon or too often. The closer you are to the hub, the easier it will be to cope and thrive. The more time you spend on getting to know the campus and your new friends, the more you’ll feel at home at school. And why not take advantage of all the educative, cultural and social events that happen on campus?

    22. Seek professional help when in need of it.

    Most universities are expected to have health and counseling centers. If you’re sick or feeling isolated or depressed, please take advantage of the many health care services these offices provide students. You don’t have to face these issues by yourself or prescribe solutions based on speculations.

    23. Keep track of your money with as much discipline as possible.

    If you’ve never had to create a budget, now is the time to do so. Find ways to stretch your money – and as best you can, avoid all those unnecessary expenses that come as a result of temptation to “try out”. Spend frugally and wisely. Managing your money well is a skill you will benefit from in the future, so take the time to develop it now.

    24.Don’t cut corners for any reasons.

    University is all about learning. If you procrastinate and cram, you may still do well on tests, but you’ll learn very little. Even worse, don’t cheat on term papers, tests and exams. These things have a way of catching up with us in future. Discipline yourself to do things the right way.

    25. Be prepared to feel overwhelmed and overstressed.

    There’s likely going to be a lot going on in your life right now as you make the transition into the university. Expect to have moments where it seems a bit too much. As one student says, be prepared to feel completely unprepared. The trick is knowing that you’re not the only one feeling that way and feeling optimistic that “I can do this”.

    Final Words of Advice for First-Year University Students

    You’ve done all the preparatory work — you’ve gotten good grades in your secondary school certificate examinations, scored well on on your UTME and post UTME screening examinations and have been accepted into the university you want to attend — so enjoy all your hard work while laying the groundwork for a successful university academic career. Don’t be a statistic; be determined to make it through your freshman / first year — and beyond. Take advantage of your social network of classmates, new friends, lecturers and professors, have fun while learning as much as you can, and get the most out of your university experience. Most of what you get from the university and what the university imparts on you are what will make or mar you for the rest of your life.
    © 2015. Courtesy: Nigerian Scholars
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