University life is challenging, how do you survive?

By Nur Asilah Ali Sabri

University life could be challenging. As my dad and lecturers have always said, university life is one of the best moments ever. That is the time where life experience starts to bloom as it is the transition of a phase of life in oneself. You experience new things, you learn new tricks of life, and you meet new people or your significant one and many more.

Somehow, university life could be very challenging for most of us. But, how do we survive in such a challenging environment?

Here are some tricks or secrets I would like to share:

1. Schedule your study plan wisely.

If you want to graduate on or before the time, make sure you schedule the subjects of your course properly. Ask the seniors on the subject and get a rough idea on what the subject is all about. It is better to take subjects according to its level as there are subjects that are sometimes related or a continuation of previous lessons.

2. It is pre-registration week again?

Get ready with a proper schedule. Jot down if necessary to make sure the subjects do not clash with one another. And be ready with a few back up subjects to replace if necessary.

3. Got problem with your study plan?

Consult your Academic Advisor to seek advice and help. Don’t worry, they won’t bite you.

4. It’s new semester again? New unfamiliar classes?

You don’t want to give bad impression to your lecturer on the first day of class. Take some time, probably a day before your classes start to look for the venue.

5. Plan your finance wisely.

For those who are taking PTPTN loan, do not fall on the trap of luxury at the beginning of semester. Some students would easily spend their PTPTN loan for unnecessary things. Learn to differentiate what are your needs and wants.

6. Know your lecturer’s style.

Different lecturers have different style of teaching or interaction. The study structure or approach will be different. It is best to observe your dress code and behaviour at all time.

7. Register / activate your Matric card at library to enjoy the facilities provided.

8. Build up your GPA in the beginning of the semester when subjects are easier.

The subjects usually get tougher as the level goes up. So, if you are a first year student and intend to take third or fourth level subject(s), you might want to reconsider.

9. Make a small study group for subjects that have a lot of topics to be covered or the tough ones.

You could divide the topics or subjects that need to be covered among all of you. This way, it will be more time efficient and easier to understand as it is more interactive.

10. For any subject(s) that need to be memorised, the Quranic verses, start early and do it consistently so that you will not be bothered when the due date approaches.

11. Do not believe in hearsay.

It is undeniable that sometimes it is good to have a rough idea about a particular lecturer from your friends or seniors, the teaching style, or about certain subjects. But sometimes the information given could be a little unreliable that are influenced by personal preferences or individual bias. It is best that you refer to your Academic Advisor or the lecturer concerned to be well prepared.

12. Be independent and self-equip with needed information.

Be clear about basic and important information. Do not rely on passing hearsay but make yourself clear by checking about it yourself.

13. Finish up your language subject(s) early.

It is advisable to finish your language related subject(s) early especially Arabic. On many occasions (for HS students), language subjects clash with other core courses.

14. You are a heavy sleeper? Try this trick.

Put your phone into an empty glass with maximum volume. The sound will amplify and you won’t be late or miss morning class anymore! (Or avoid morning class.)

15. Fight procrastination!

This is probably the highlight of all points (which I think even I, myself, am still struggling with it). As IIUM students, we all know that quizzes, tests, midterm exam and submission date for assignments will typically be around the same time. Make sure you plan your schedule well if you don’t want to be burdened by pile of works.

16. Get used textbook / notes from seniors with cheaper price.

This is the bright way of saving. You can get cheaper price for used or second hand textbook and notes from seniors. If you are lucky enough, some seniors might just give it away for free!

17. Do not follow people.

Do not fall into the bandwagon. Just because everybody else is doing it, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it. Simple example would be for HS students, you can easily minor in IRK (as far that I know from previous batch and mine). All you have to do is just complete all the 10 RK courses. But hey, if it is not really your thing, don’t worry. Find something else that suits your interest.

May the force be with you. ***

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