You’ve survived the tedium of high school and the stress of the admissions process but now, it’s time to switch out of vacation mode—pronto – and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. The Ambassadors have just started college! Here’s Paakhi and Manav to give us an overview of how the first weeks of College life has been, and to give us some words of advice on that all-important prep.
Paakhi Bhatnagar, The Young Vision Ambassador( Since Sep 2018), Kings College London, International Relations
Starting university can be very daunting, especially if you’re going abroad as an undergraduate student. I, myself, was extremely nervous about moving to the UK for my further studies. There are, however, a few things that I think are worth doing before leaving for college that can help you prepare to leave the comfort of your home and hit the ground running.
The key to avoiding last minute stress is getting organised: creating lists, setting reminders, and jotting down all the important things that need to get done along with their deadlines.
My university helped me a lot with keeping me up to date with all the things I needed to do pre-arrival to UK. So, my advice would be to keep in touch with your university and regularly check you emails to see if they have written to you about any important documents that you need to submit.
Getting All Your Documents Ready
Speaking of documents, your visa is an obvious document that you will require along with your passport copy and any other documents sent to you by your university. Also, make sure to check in with your university to see if you need health insurance.
An important tip to ensure a smooth transition to your university: print out all the documents that you need like your passport copy, a dormitory pass, student ID etc. and keep a copy with you when you arrive. You can never know when you’ll need them.
Becoming Acquainted with the Transportation System
To avoid the stress of commuting from an area you have never lived in before, you should research the tram lines, bus routes, etc. before you arrive. You can also download apps like “Citymapper” which help you in planning out your trips in advance.
Also, do research on whether there are student transportation cards available that can help you cut the cost of travelling.
Staying on Top of Your Shopping List
Shopping for university can be both exciting and stressful. It’s always a good idea to make a list of all the things you would need from kitchen supplies and toiletries to dorm essentials and clothes. Make sure you keep an inventory of things that you already have so that you don’t unnecessarily spend money on things that you don’t need.
Connecting with Other University Students
I know it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious, but you should know that you are not alone. I was feeling quite anxious about the prospect of make new friends, so I joined a Facebook group chat for all the undergraduate students in my university. It was a relief to converse with people who were in the same boat as me.
Going abroad for university is a strong experience that shapes your personality as well as your future career path. So, remember to stay on the right track, study hard, and make the most of this exciting opportunity.
Manav Jha, The Young Vision Ambassador (Since Sep 2018),Medical Student, University Of Szeged- Hungary
You’ve dutifully worked through long years of meritorious grades, laboriously filled out lengthy application forms and even cleared your university’s entrance exams with flying colours. What more could medical school be, right? On the contrary, when you stand victorious over the herculean tasks and challenges of making it to medical school, the battle has only just begun. As a matter-of-fact, the metaphorical battle of college is not fought with sheer hard work and dedication alone but also with change. Hence, the very first attribute that must be acquired as a freshman in the first week is a healthy attitude of open-mindedness to people, places and culture. No matter how unfamiliar the place may feel or how intimidating new people may seem, such a comprehensive attitude is an irrefutable key in driving one through past the plethora of challenges and apprehensions that lie ahead.
Dauntingly unknown though it may seem, going to college is unequivocally a priceless experience that entails the greatest change in our social and academic lifestyle incomparable to any other point in life. With this realization in mind, the most pre-eminent task as a freshman is to make the most of this experience. The best way to do so is improving one’s skill sets and attaining mastery over our subject of study. From the academic perspective, this means changing our age-old school study habits and developing newer and more effective study skills by asking college seniors and professors on the same.
To cover an ever-expanding syllabus in a new environment is never an easy task and hence, I will recommend following the Ebbinghaus Method of revision. This method involves the break up of textual content into small and regular study sessions that will ensure a smooth transition through the first week and beyond. While it is most applicable to medical students, the technique is a great tool of revision for any college student. Above all, irrespective of how many lectures you attend or how many textbooks you cram, consistency in revision is paramount in college. It is natural for several students who grow accustomed to the incessant spoon-feeding from their parents and school teachers to move into their comfort zone after realising the absence of their parents and the complacency of their professors in college. There is no better ingredient to procrastination than this and therefore, I advise students to become independent-minded and self-motivated at all times. Remind yourself of where you are, why you are at college and who brought you to where you are and let that be an impetus to everlasting success at college.
Lastly, make sure you develop a social circle of friends, acquaintances and contacts. Networking in college not only helps us through college but also exposes us to new cultures, backgrounds and the insightful knowledge that comes with it. In addition, it provides a much-needed respite from a hectic study schedule and further motivates one to consistently move towards one’s goals. All in all, college is an experience to cherish with the right amount of perseverance and passion for your desirable subject.
So, all the luck to our Ambassadors! Do write in and share with us your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org