Surviving change in the transition from High School to University
The Changes a student might me challenged with:
It is seldom realized what challenges the transition from High School to University could hold. Students are not only faced with a new environment, new people, rules and regulations, but are additionally faced with a diversity of languages and cultures they might not have been used to back home. They might have to learn to live in a society which isn’t as conservative as what they were used to.
Then, apart from all that, they would be forced to learn to do things on their own. At University your parents and lovable, nagging teachers aren’t there to help you get through the work, attend your classes or to help you with your assignments. It is your own responsibility whether you attend your classes or not and to know when you have an assignment due. Students are also faced with an enormous amount of work and mostly the work is self-study, which means it is yet again your own responsibility to do it. Unlike your teachers in High School, your lecturers won’t beg you to finish or hand in the work. If you don’t do it, it’s an incomplete mark against your name which may result in a failed course.
5 Tips on how to handle these changes:
With all the work stress and the negativity caused by being away from home, it is important to stay busy. If you stay busy you don’t have time to feel homesick and in this way you stay on schedule with your work load.
2. Social Events
It is also a good thing to participate in social events or to become a part of the University’s societies. This will create opportunities for you to meet people and make new friends. By making new friends your new environment will become more like a home to you and you’ll feel less alone.
Becoming a member of a gym is another way to keep you positive about the changes you have to deal with and by staying fit will also make you feel better about yourself physically.
You could also put some time aside to explore your new environment by going to museums, art galleries, shopping malls, coffees shops and festivals. In this way you familiarize yourself with your new home and it will open your eyes to the beauty it has to offer.
As you explore your new environment and participate in some of the activities held by the University, make your parents or friends back home part of your new experiences by telling them about it. This will not only help you to stay in contact with them, but it will also help you avoid feeling as if you’ve lost them since you’ve moved away.
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Author: Irene van Staden
Irene van Staden is currently a second year student at the University of Stellenbosch, studying BA (Art and Culture). Her interests range from language dialects, visual art, literature, art festivals, theatre, cultural movements and student life.
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