You’ve been looking forward to this forever – no more horrid school uniform, annoying curfew and parents on your case about everything. Now, finally, you are free to be the adult you know you are… except that this building’s numbering system makes no sense at all, your work load for the term is insane, and – though you wouldn’t admit to anyone – you really miss your mom. Starting varsity or tech is an exciting, challenging and pretty terrifying time. Here, Birgit Schreiber, psychologist and director of the Centre for Student Support Services at the University of the Western Cape gives some tips on how to cope.
|Am I Doing The Right Course?||You probably feel totally alone, but, as Birgit explains, ‘Everyone feels this way, and it’s entirely normal. Students make friends in the same way they made friends at school: through their study groups, tutorials, residences, sports activities and co-curricular engagements, hobbies and student societies. The key is that students need to get involved. Student Development and Support Services at universities offer a range of co-curricular activities, from social and peer-driven support to leadership training and volunteer projects, aiming to develop a range of skills.
Students should use these opportunities to improve their employability after graduation because employers are looking for evidence of "soft skills" – not only excellent marks. Co-curricular involvement allows for social integration, and also gives opportunities to develop those skills, which will improve overall functioning (social, personal and academic) and also chances of employment.’ Before you can say Jimmy-no-mates you’ll be joining your growing circle of friends and getting up to all kinds of student shenanigans and these early, scary, lonesome days will become a distant memory.
|Was Res The Right Option?|
|This Workload Is Insane – How Am I Going To Cope?|
|Am I Going To Be Able To Stick To My Budget?|
|I Don’t Know Anybody Here – How Am I Going To Make Friends?|