1st Year Student Realities

By February 25, 2019Prestigio


Setting-off and starting your post-matric educational studies is an exciting, daunting, and amazing time in your life. No matter what type of secondary education you’ve decided to pursue it’s likely to hold moments of joy, experiences of disappointment, and plenty of challenges.

In many ways your academic career is your first job. It should be approached professionally, take pride in your work – for it will shape your future!

While you can’t always choose what happens to you and how you are received. One nearly always has a choice in how they respond to events and emotions. To be adequately prepared for the challenges this new phase of life ushers in – one must recognize that changes are coming and respect the inherent opportunities and risks.

Rather than resisting difficult elements, accept that change is a constant, ask questions, and seek support when you need it!

Your first year within your adult academic career might take the following directions, we recommend that you recognise these possibilities such that you can mindfully shape both the experience & the outcome.

Balance is Beauty: Finding the Middle Road

In this new adventure there are many roads you may choose from. Prestigio advises the balanced approach. What do we mean? Please allow us to explain & take them with a pinch of salt – for we all have different perspectives and it’s worth considering them all to learn from them all:


An Option: The Road of Procrastination, Avoidance & Disengagement

Despite a strong start, the social opportunities and energy-intensive mental work start exhausting you. What began as dedicated attendance begins to drop off as late nights lead to less motivation for structured days.

“It’s just one lecture…”
“Yeah, but you or your parents have paid for each one.”

Socialising becomes the only priority. Academic performance begins to drop and you lose track of your courses. Soon it seems like you may not pass one, or maybe even more than one, of your classes. Things have gone from awesome to bleak!

If this happens to you, don’t give up! Ask for help, find a mentor, and speak with your parents about getting yourself back on track. It is possible to re-calculate and refocus. Breaking down & building back up happens to most of us, more than once, regardless of age.

For a guiding article on: “Focus & Time management” – simply click here.


Another Option: Purely Quantitative, no qualitative

Not everyone has the luxury of gambling with the outcomes of their academic careers – bursaries requirements &/ student loans are no joke. “We are here to learn, not to socialise”. However, one can take dedication to the extreme whereby the pressure become detrimental rather than useful.

This way focuses purely on the CV and academic achievement but neglects caring for self holistically. You become a workaholic & neglect forming any friendships and experience very little personal growth – because after all, enriching experiences are not seen as opportunities but as mere distractions from your focus.

Your hard work pays off in high grades [ it might not, you might isolate yourself therefore learning from no one &/ burn-out-perfectionism fails to hand in assignments ] but your experience of post-matric education is one of yourself inside a pressure cooker with ever-mounting self-critical expectations to meet.

Social isolation is the background from which you graduate devoid of close personal friendships and a scarcity of personal growth, may mean your degree somehow doesn’t seem as sweet as you thought it would. You basically have the same world-view & emotional-maturity of when you matriculated.

Yes, academic success is a top priority, but you do not have to become a recluse to achieve it. Remember that you can always join a sports-society, invest in physical health & socialise with team members!


Our Advice: The Enriching Way

Prestigio’s advice is to enrich both your mind and your heart. This involves prioritizing classes and study objectives but also being creative about how this happens.

Taking class seriously doesn’t mean digging a hole to sit alone and study from. Why not experiment with study-group options, online study chats, study café afternoons, or other creative approaches.

The vital element of this approach is getting work done in a way that values both process and outcome. Invest and build friendships with those studying in your field and with those that you challenge your perspectives, values & beliefs.

Sharpen critical thinking skills, practice discernment, and develop problem-solving skills. All of these will serve you your whole life. Seek to be the type of friend you long for and make self-care a priority.


Tips for Student Life

• Communicate with your family. They love you and miss you. They want to know how you are. Find data friendly communications apps here.
• Communicate with other students in your field. Having trouble with a course? Find a student who is acing it. Don’t let problems build up, be pro-active and deal with obstacles.
• If you doubt your course choice – talk to a guidance counsellor. Investigate whether your credits are transferrable to the course that you are thinking of changing to but remember that sometimes it’s worth finishing what you’ve begun – you can always add to it in the future. Remember, building a CV is important.
• Note: Having a degree is valuable to your CV & increases the chances of being employed; it is not always essential to have a specific degree – sometimes it is just a signifier to potential employers to the fact that you can learn something new & complete a 3-4 year commitment.
Working part-time & studying? – click here.
Here’s How to Construct a CV – start now & keep updating it.


What Equals Winning Adulting?

Think long-term, regardless of what is happening, the old adage remains true. “This too shall pass”. Be willing to adapt, live your lessons & honour yourself.

Find More on Student Life
Read Student Apps designed to help you
Read Recognizing Time and Focus as a Commodity
• Read #HaveWantNeed on getting the correct tech device for Student Life and enter our online competition!

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