8 Things You Need to Know to Survive in University

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How I wish I could turn back time and advise myself these things. Maybe then, I could have scored better results..

  1. Independence


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You need to do everything on your own! Lectures will be long, average of 2 to 3 hours (it is as long as watching a movie). Trust me when I say even with long lectures, it will not cover all chapters and topics. You have to read extra information and decipher the difficult topics by yourself. Notes will be simple and brief. Find your own information using university’s database and library because textbooks are helpful for about 50% of the time.

  1. Marking style


No more end of year exams, say yes to final exams every 4 or 6 months. Each subject are still worth 100% but how you score the marks will be different.


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You also need to find out which grading system your university is using – 5 points, 7 points, CGPA, percentage, etc. It is a big headache to calculate your marks and your classification honours. Don’t know what I am talking about? Ask your admin, lecturers, or university counsellors immediately!

  1. Groupmates


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One of the reasons for poor marks can be traced back to poor choice of groupmates. Don’t believe everything I see. Google and read the stories that will give you nightmares. Ask your friends or older siblings on this. Find good reliable groupmates that will submit work on time and KEEP THEM!

  1. Learning styles


You think you know what you are supposed to know from class but you actually don’t know what you really know. In other words, you will forget what you learn from class even though you thought you understood what your lecturer is saying. So, learn to write key points and revise before and after classes. You will be surprised that you don’t remember anything during exam time

  1. Activities are important


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As busy as you are, try to find the time to join a club or society in university. Find recognized activities such as student council, AIESEC, or Toastmasters. Not only does it make your resume look more accomplished, it is a place for you to network with others. I mean it when I say these networks will take you far, if only I realize this sooner.

  1. Multiple deadlines


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You will find yourself trying to survive 5 assignments, 4 tutorial homework, 3 class tests, 3 presentations, and 2 unexpected pop quiz in one month. Am I scaring you? I apologize but there is a logical but not-too-happy reason for setting all the deadlines at the same time – it is because you will have a lot of work and you cannot choose your deadlines in the working world. An alternate reason would because the lecturers just want to make your life difficult. Just kidding.

  1. Application and case studies


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As much as you try to memorize the theories, you will have a hard time answering class tests or final exams. I have news for you – memorization technique works for certain subjects only. You will need to apply the theories onto real-life scenarios or examples to explain why the situation happens. For example, why do you think the purple friend decided to lend the money to his friend? Google rationalization (psychology) for the answer.

  1. Network, network, network!

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Did I mention how important networking will be in university? It is important to know and develop friendships with seniors and professional executives. Get to know your lecturers and department administrators. Participate in university-level or fresh graduate activities. Attend free seminars and conference. Sometimes, it is not about what you know but instead, it is who you know that can help you.

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