Lanre Sulaiman of Sugarbrands, one of UNILAG’s formost campus journalist in this post shares from his 5 year experience in UNILAG, Four Things He Wish Had Known As A Fresher
Looking back, there are so many things I wish I had known during my first year in the University. If you could do something over again with the knowledge you have now, wouldn’t you do it? Without a doubt right? Your stay on campus has the potential to be one of the most amazing years of your life. However, be prepared to be faced with new situations that you may not know how to handle as a fresher.
1. Take it seriously.
You’re on your own and you can make your own decisions, like partying all night and skipping class the next day. Respect the fact that you worked hard to get admitted to the university and that your future is right around the corner. Have fun when you can, but prioritize your schoolwork. Contrary to popular belief, you are really at a university to get an education and in the future your grades will matter. So try not to slack off your fresher year and then have to spend the rest of your undergraduate years trying to make up for that rough first session. The first session of a university is the most important in terms of building grades. You will want to make sure you start on a high note as it gets more difficult maintaining your CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) as you go higher. It’s a myth that the workload in year one is the highest. While it may appear as such, in reality, the workload never ends. Infact, year one is the easiest as what you will be doing wouldn’t be strange to you. Courses will be more like what you’ve learned in high school.
2. If you don’t like your course, change it. Or at least try to.
This cannot be taken lightly as a lot of the courses people are admitted in for are not their courses of first choice. Look, if you know the course you’re taking now is not for you, please apply for change of department. It’s even easy now to change departments within a faculty. Even if it means you may have to restart, it will be worth it at the end. You don’t want to spend the rest of your 3 or 4 years in school lamenting about how you don’t like maths or how the number of courses you offer in a semester is too many. When you resume, look at your department handbook. If it’s not what you thought it’ll be, you are still a fresher and now is the time to do something about it. You don’t want to join the 90% of Unilag students who are not happy with their course of study.
3. Befriend your 4Cs
Your 4Cs are your Course Advisor, Course Representative, Course Seniors and Course Lecturers.
Course advisor: Meeting with your course advisor is important. He/She is the one who sign off your academic evaluation, which lets you know which courses you’ve already taken and how many credit units you still need to graduate. Every course has a curriculum model, usually pre-arranged with a class schedule for each semester. Some classes have pre-requisites, but you can usually play around with the order. Your course advisor is your go-to when you have any questions regarding your academics. Trust me, you will want to be in a good relationship with whoever the person is. The person can make or mar your career in the University.
Course Representative AKA Class rep AKA Class governor: If you’re not going to be friends with anybody, at least be friends with your class rep (Class captain). He is the primary source of information. Remember…
Information = knowledge
Knowledge = Power
Power = Favour
Favour = Good grades
Therefore, Information = Good grades
This is even more prominent when you befriend your..
Course Lecturers: This one is a no-brainer. When you get the favour of lecturers, it can transmit to good grades directly or indirectly. Although it is rare for professors to lecture freshers, if it happens, you will want to make him/her your friend. Hell no! Make him your bestie. You cannot joke with the kind of influence professors have.
Course Seniors: Your course seniors can guide you through out your Fresher year. They can provide you with materials and reality checks you’ll need to progress to the next level.
P:S You’ll also want to be careful with both your course lecturers and seniors. You’re a fresher and whether you admit it or not, you’re bit vulnerable. So ladies, beware of those lecturers that call you to their offices all the time and seniors that always want to meet up at night.
4. Do All What You can do Now.
Infact do all what is available to do now. Your year 1 is the time of your schooling when you’re most full of energy; when your expectations have not yet been dashed. In clearer Yoruba terms, when “tișa o ti fő ę lę epon”. So your medicals, bio data forms, especially your medicals… complete it. Meet with a program counsellor at least once to make sure you’re on track to satisfy all of the requirements for graduation (like your medicals). Many people end up taking a huge chunk of their valuable final year time completing their medicals or more costly having an extra year of school because they misunderstood what counted as a science elective for a history compulsory course. You don’t want to make that mistake. Other students get stuck because they don’t realize that the courses required for graduation may be there one semester but *poof* are gone the next. Sure, they’ll be offered again, but sometimes not in time to fit in with your master plan for life. So, if a prerequisite is available now, take it now!
Have any thing you know now you wished you had known as a fresher? Share with us through the comment section below.
By Lanre Sulaiman
Lanre co-founded Sugarbrands Nigeria and works as the Editor-in-Chief of Sugarbrands Campus Magazine. He also oversees the administration of this E-Mag. He is also currently a Final year student in the department of Estate Management, University of Lagos and hopes to bring about a dynamic positive change in Nigeria’s real estate industry. Lanre is passionate about Leadership and Justice and hopes to build a massive empire that will empower people all over the world especially in his home country, Nigeria. He also will be Nigeria’s BEST-Ever President (hopefully, we’ll still remain Nigeria) in his late 40s.
Read more www.sugarbrandsonlinemag.com
Used with permission
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