Warning! It is a prophet speaking here, who can see your problems a few years down the road after you get into a local university. The prophet doesn’t know you personally, but he knows enough university students to make an observation of the 10 problems that you may run into on campus.
Prophet being prophet, he is not a fortune teller and does not make a living by making prediction. Hence he is kind enough to share with us the 10 problems he sees and some quick tips to fix them.
Sorry, your application has been rejected/put on the wait list
That is the email you may receive after you have applied for an overseas exchange program. Going for exchange is always a big thing, and it is just exciting. But some people have to be disappointed because of the limited vacancies. Goodbye, Switzerland! Goodbye, Boston!
Don’t want that to happen to you? Aim to get a higher GPA then. A lot of emphasis is placed on one’s GPA when making selection. Of course, one’s year of study, scholarship status and nationality also come into play. But focus on what you can control.
Sorry, your application has been rejected/put on the wait list
Wait, again? Yes, when it rains, it pours. Now it may be your hall application. Points no enough? Didn’t get the recommendation? Ah, I have to be a squatter or travel to school every day!
To avoid the situation, at the start of each academic year, you can try to become a member of a large student club, or secure a leadership position in a club that awards you enough point. Or be an active member of your hall committee. Enjoy the late night outing and supper.
Next bus, please!
This is what you may hear when you are queuing up at the campus bus stop during peak hours. An army of students will be waiting for buses that seem to take forever to arrive. Once you board, you can also be amazed how elastic the capacity of the bus is. You can always squeeze a little bit more for a few others to board. Probably this is how SMRT (and the like) earn their profit.
If you don’t particularly enjoy such exercise, select your timetable wisely. Avoid early morning class. After school, stay on campus for a while, have dinner and do some work. Bus would be quite empty after 8PM.
Sleep can be privilege to university students. Study, friends and sleep, choose two! (And most of you would choose the first two.)Your campus activities, hall activities and study may all eat into your sleeping time. Or you may have heart-to-heart talk with your roomie at night, and forget you have a quiz tomorrow morning.
Don’t want to sleep so late? Learn to say no, in a polite way, at late night activities. Set expectation early among your friends so they would respect your choice. Having a plan for your study also prevents you from working into the midnight, because you are assured that as long as you stick to the plan, you will be fine.
Do you like to watch the movie Interstellar? If you do, how about watching it for 50 times? If that happens, enjoyment becomes endurance. And the same logic may apply to the food on campus. Yes, there may be an awesome Korean food stall in one of the canteens, but how awesome can it still be after 2 years?
How to rediscover the awesomeness of food? Well, you can try campus food delivery services if you are really desperate. But I would suggest that you be a bit more explorative and visit different canteens at different halls. Do it with your friends, so it becomes more fun search! Food intelligence is pretty important if you don’t want your stomach to complaint.
Yes, university textbooks can no longer be found in Popular. You have to buy them on campus bookstore at a price usually higher than S$40. That’s a lot of money. Sometimes even buying a textbook is compulsory because it comes with a product code for you to access online tutorial questions. How smart the publishers are!
But don’t worry. If you don’t want to buy a textbook, you can still find one in the Reserve section in the school library. You can borrow from there for a limited number of hours. But that would be sufficient for you to read a few chapters.
Or try second-hand book marketplaces. A simple Googling “second-hand textbook, Singapore” will return you many surprises.
Project work and free riders
In the fight to get an A for your project work, there may be a few foot soldiers who find every opportunity to “relax”. Yes, not replying email fast enough. Not picking up calls. Sending a document labelled as “the final edition”, but which really looks like “the first draft”. It seems the greatest “enemies” are not your competitor groups, but your own group mates.
The idea of working with such people is terrifying. You are doing more, but not necessarily getting more. One simple tip: try to work with people who are more active or attentive in class. They are more likely to take their grades seriously. Do your observation!
Where is my offer?
As you progress to more senior years in university, you will start to think about getting an internship or finding a full-time job. You would always hope to open an email that begins with “Congratulations”. But somehow, such an email likes to go into other people’s mailbox.
There are 3 rules that you can follow. First, maintain a good grade. Second, create a good resume. Ask your career officer for resume screening. Lastly, know the industry that interests you. Simple googling, attending career events and talking to people inside the industry can give you an edge in your job search.
I want to watch the movie, but with whom?
One key question that you may be wondering in university is “when can I find a girlfriend/boyfriend?” You may want to go for a movie, or check out the newly opened restaurant in the neighborhood, but with whom do you go? Your friends? Or just you alone? You may be hoping for a partner that you can hold hand with and confide in.
Finding the other half is not as easy as getting an A grade for your subject. It is not about hard work. It is about opportunity. Go for more social events, join more clubs and make more friends. It is not uncommon to see that you friends’ friend may become your “best friend”.
The feeling of getting old
I guess there is nothing more striking than having the feeling of getting old for the first time in your life. When you are graduating and seeing the freshmen cheering and dancing during their orientation camp, you are suddenly reminded that you were once like them. Life was much simpler back then. But you are also happy that you have grown and made a few achievements that you can relish on.
You know you cannot go back to the time. But you can always enjoy the moment. So do so NOW! Bear the problems above in mind, but go out and experience life! Life is larger than the 10 problems.
Are there problems you face or potentially face in university ? Tell us in the comments box below !