September 18, 2013, by Yvonne Teoh

Tips for Freshers (Part 1)

So, it’s that time of the year again, the new academic year is about to start, and a few of us have decided to compile a list of (we guess you can call it comprehensive) tips that could come in handy for those who will be joining our small, and ever- growing Psychology department here in UNMC.

1.       “Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.”
Don’t be afraid or intimidated by the new environment, people, classes, or even teaching styles. Instead, dare to explore, and get to know the university grounds during your first week here. Just remember this is all part of the learning process, and being independent, which leads us to the next point…

Photo Credit: Campbell Rowley

Photo Credit: Campbell Rowley

2.       “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
This is a very multi-cultural campus, so, remember not to only get to know and hangout with your own fellow countrymen, try to mix about with people from other countries, and respect their cultures and differences. These 3 years will be one of your best chances to make friends from ALL over the world! Just remember to be open and friendly to all and remember that not everyone will respond, but don’t stop trying. Learn from these experiences, open your mind, and allow the diversity to enrich your life, not the opposite.

3.       “In a big school it was easy to fade into the background, but I didn’t know if that would be possible here. I tried not to think about it anymore.”
In your high school or college, you might have a reputation of being the popular/cool/attractive/smart one. You were a big frog in a small pond. Then, you join university, and find others who are equally or more of the traits that defined you, and this may make you feel uncertain of yourself. Our advice is to not let it affect you; instead take it as a character-building experience. It’s time to let a different side of you shine!

4.     “Whatever your beliefs and interests and problems, there are others who share them – possibly many people – and probably not that far away.”
Remember you’re NOT alone, don’t be afraid to approach others. Everyone experiences various problems, be it, relationships, financial troubles, studies, or even family problems. So, when you have a problem that is bothering you, DO NOT keep it to yourself. Approach a friend, your classmate, your Buddy, a lecturer, your tutor, the counselors, your hall tutors, or even a senior student. They are here to lend an ear and help lighten your burden.

Students sitting on steps

5.       “No one has ever become poor by giving.”
If your friend is stuck with an assignment or studies, and doesn’t quite understand something, help them. Give them a few tips on how they can start, which direction to take, etc. BUT remember giving them your completed assignment is NOT helping them in any way. Plagiarism is a very serious offense, it will not only affect your friend, but it will also affect you.

6.       “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
The style of working at university is very different from that which you are used to at high school or college. In university, you are expected to do more work outside of lectures, and this usually goes unasked by your lecturers. So, keep it in mind that even though you might have approximately 10 hours of lectures per week, this doesn’t mean that the remaining free time is to be spent fully on leisure.



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