Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Tips for your new journey as a Freshman

Most teenagers leave high school with a sense of complete relief and excitement. I left high school as a sour plum because I didn't want to leave my friends. Really Yulli? Yes I said it. Almost three years out of high school and I still miss it. Whenever I see a student in my old school uniform, I go off remembering my days in that blue and white uniform. Dwelling in the past much. I'm amazed that I can say I'm a university student because it's been hard for my single parent. God is good and greatly to be praised. A year has finished so quickly as such I'd like to share what I've learnt with you and suggestions from a few friends and family.

1. It's official you're a freshie. New faces, new environment, new everything. Everything appears scary but don't worry you'll be fine. This was my very first time going off on my own and I literally walked around campus feeling confused and scared. It's absolutely normal to feel this way. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you're feeling a little lost.

2. IAMKSI suggests being knowledgeable of the career of which you are interested in. Know the intricacies, availability of jobs in the specialty area, requirements, and income just to name a few. It is also essential to have a back up plan in cases where things don't necessarily go as planned.

3. JsnJWlsn propounds: Be Honest With Yourself About Your Abilities

Please do not think that you are the first person to struggle with school. There are so many new situations for freshmen to take in that it can sometimes be difficult to concentrate on the actual reason why you are there. There are several options available to help you do well; however, the first is to make sure you're in a program you like. Often times we choose a program based on pressure from our parents or a need to make excessive amounts of money. Success is better achieved if you enjoy what you are doing, so choosing a major that makes sense to you is the first step towards that. 

4. Be prepared for class. As simply as it sounds it's truly important. Ensure that you have all the necessary tools at hand and know where your classes are so as not to be late. Some lecturers do permit audio recording of classes while others are not fans of this. Do seek permission just to be on the safe side.

5. Keep up with your course outline/s. During my first semester we got our course outlines online and for me I felt as though I didn't keep up with the work I needed to do because I didn't have physical papers. (I could have printed them, I know). If you're like me and prefer having papers in hand print the necessary copies and make note of your course work and due dates.

6. IAMKSI : Networking is also important. With thousands of students on campus it's normal for us shy bugs to panic just a little. But don't be afraid to make friends, they may be the same ones who'll comfort you in a time of distress or assist with an assignment. Joining a club can be the first step.

7. Dwayne K Smith: Manage your time. There's a time to work hard, a time to play, a time to laugh, a time to eat and sleep. School can be demanding and it's important to have both leisure and work time. Always bare in mind your purpose for being at university and what you're aiming for. A few social events are great for de-stressing: in moderation.

8. Make use of office hours (Lecturers consultation hours). Lecturers normally offer students the opportunity to come in and inquiry or speak of difficulties they may be facing. Do not be afraid to utilize this; however, be sure of the purpose of your visit.

9. College/ university in entirety is all about working in groups. You may have the opportunity to experience working with some wonderful group members who are innovative, hard-working and focused. On the other hand, there are some group members who provide no means of contribution. Thus leaving more work for one or two of the group members. Dwayne K Smith recommends assessing classmates in the case where you are granted the opportunity to choose group members. If not granted this advantage, place yourself in the frame of mind that you may need to pull some extra weight. Additionally, don't be apprehensive when it comes onto making our lecturer aware of this.

10. JsnJWlsn: Study groups and assistants are available at most schools and if not, then tutors certainly are. Anyone one of these outlets can help assess what your weakness is and help you determine how to improve. Dropping a course in favour for another you are better suited for is a very difficult but equally important thing to do.

11. Have backup files of your work. Prepare for the possibility of crashing laptop systems and/or malfunctioning flash drives. Some lecturers are not open to excuses for late assignments so ensure you have access to your work. A simply back up can be to email the assignment to yourself. If you already have a gmail account you can store your work in google drive and share with your group or class members. Alternately, you can create a Dropbox account which, simply put is saving your work online.
For more detailed info and instructions.

12. JsnJWlsn: Proper Nutrition
Eating properly is quintessential to brain function. Of course it is simple and possible to survive on pasta or salad for meals.  Is this the right choice? Probably not if you wish to process the information with ease. 

A) Folic Acid (B6) This is crucial for brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. One of the more important duties it performs is to regulate the homocysteine levels in your blood plasma. Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid (building block) that while important must be controlled. Too much can cause mental retardation in young adults and Alzheimer's in the elderly. Fortunately, Folic Acid is already in many of the foods we eat such as: turnips, oranges, avocados, dark green vegetables, salmon and cow liver.  The trouble for most people is that they do not eat enough of these food and as a result slowly impair their faculties. 

B) Vitamin C This vitamin is the most readily available of them all and for good reason. It's well known advantages for immune system health are well documented but there are more benefits to having a diet high in this vitamin. It is an anti-oxidant which combats free radicals within the body. Being that the brain does not receive light exposure, it is uniquely vulnerable to oxidative injury caused by free radicals.

C) Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cell formation and neurological function. In case of the brain, red blood cells carry oxygen and the necessary vitamins to the brain. This vitamin also has a inversely positive relationship with Folic Acid; damage caused by one is masked by the other while both fight homocysteine levels. It is primarily found in meat and protein products such as chicken, fish, eggs and milk. It is not found in many plants. 

13. Relaxing is almost as important as studying, taking a moment to relax can boost processing abilities. Just like computer RAM, our brains "forget" information we no longer need. Our brain however works slightly differently in that redundancies can cause a "numbing" affect. Constant activation by a singular stimulus can inhibit the storage of new information. Scheduled sleep, recreation and exercise are all great means to relax your brain and give it the opportunity to process and store. This can be compared to saying a single word repeatedly until the word begins to lose meaning. 
 The road to success is paved with many obstacles but you owe it to yourself to make it through. 

Philippians 3:13

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before."