Going to University for the First Time? Here’s What You Should Get Ready For!

It’s been a while since I posted on Glebe House Dowth, but I have some free time so here we go. The stories of friends of mine and my own experience have given me a good picture of what you should get ready for if you’re going to university for the first time. Hopefully you’re going because you’re sincerely interested in a certain topic. However if you’re not interested in anything and you’re just going because your parents want you to, then things might be a little tougher. My friend is going to university at a rather late age because she finally found something she’s passionate about that she can pursue. She studies Renaissance history, and doesn’t mind if I share what she’s learned with you guys.

If you don’t care what you’re studying for, that is you find it boring, this may or may not affect your final grades. It’s true that if you love what you’re studying, if you would read about it anyways even if you weren’t going to school, then you’re more likely to get good grades because you’re so engaged with the material. It’s still possible to get straight As without being passionate. But this takes conscious effort. You got to push past the boredom to learn everything needed for the exams.

Assuming that you have at least some interest in your academic pursuits, let’s ask the question: What should you expect?

A lot of people go to school with a hope on the side. They want to meet new people or maybe get a boyfriend. The truth is people at school are very busy. It’s not a good place to promote a new book for example. Everyone’s already got enough to read. So if you’re looking to make friends, the easiest way to do so is to find study partners. A lot of people work as soon as they’re done class, so if you could somehow find an activity that helps them and doesn’t waste their time, it’ll be easier to get that date you’re hoping for. Maybe suggest studying at a restaurant, then buy them a few drinks. That’s just a suggestion. I’ve seen it work.

For teachers you can expect a wide range of characters. There’s a good chance you’ll have a teacher you love as well as a teacher you hate. I think it’s fair to say there’s a higher chance that you’ll love all your teachers rather than hate them all. If you’re taking a filler class, perhaps look into the teacher’s personality and teaching style during the first week. If you find that they’re just reading from the book or perhaps not giving much effort to getting students excited about what they’re teaching, it might be wise to drop the class and enter a different one before it’s too late. Nothing’s worse than getting stuck with a teacher you don’t like, especially when you could’ve done something about it.

Expect a lot of reading. Some programs require more reading than others. My friend for example has a ton of reading to do because she’s in history. But she loves it. Math and science may have less reading, but my friend despises math. She’d much rather have to read for 4 hours a day than do math for 20 minutes. You might be the other way around. In that case don’t take history and most humanities. Reading is very good for you in general, but not if you find it so boring that it makes you depressed and stressed.

Depending on which university you’re going to, expect jammed hallways and crowded rooms. My friend tries her hardest to do her reading on campus but she finds it hard to find a nice quiet spot to read, even in the library. As soon as she finds an empty area and gets into her books, some annoying chatters come and sit right beside her. It might be easier for you to study at home. Anyways, it’s smart to prepare for this. If you find it’s not a problem to study while people are chatting right beside you, you won’t have a problem.

In late Fall, it’s flue season. And campuses are hosts to hundreds of sick people who come to class no matter what because they need to know what’s on the exam. When this time of years comes around, make sure to never touch your orifices before washing your hands, and be aware of people who cough without covering their mouth. Don’t be afraid to call out on sick people who are sneezing right behind you. My friend got rather sick this year because a guy behind her coughed his heart out without covering his mouth. There wasn’t much she could do. I know what I would’ve done though. I would’ve looked that guy in the eyes and told him straight up to respect my health and stop coughing on me.

Staying organized is important on campus. If you’re doing full time studies, it might be wise to keep a planner or agenda to keep track of due assignments. More importantly though, a planner can help you to remind yourself do do things. For example a lot of university tuition covers dental and eye care. Remind yourself to take advantage of this in your planner. Also you can use a planner to organize tasks. My friend sets up her planner task by task, hour by hour, so at every moment of the day she knows exactly what she should be doing. This is a lot easier and more efficient that winging it everyday. Doing this, you’ll find that you get a lot more done.

Don’t spend so much time on thinking about what you’re going to wear. University for some is just a social playground. They treat it like highschool and want to fit in and be cool. Serious people looking to make a career, however, walk faster and ignore pointless conversations. I don’t recommend spending an hour on your makeup every morning when you could be reading. Learn to respect the people who are serious about their studies, not the ones who are serious about their appeal.

I could go on for hours about this topic, but I hope I shared enough info to give a you a summary of what you should expect. If you’re an older person, expect to be among a lot of 19-year-olds fresh out of high school. Don’t give yourself a course load you can’t handle. Stay wise, stay healthy and you’ll do great. Good luck!



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