OK, the title suggests that I will make this a four-series thing, about my life in university and what not. Probably. Well, almost one year has passed ever since university intake, back in September 2012. Way before the so-called Apocalypse and the hoax of impeding doom. One year in university has thought me things to view reality and life in different ways. Things that teachers don't chant to you like a mantra from holy books or grimoire but things that you have to discern with your five senses, at times, using your sixth sense or seventh sense or your n-th sense (in terms of mathematics). While some of the experience I have had here are good ones, there are things that happened that are less-than-what-Marilyn-Monroe-would-ask-for-when-her-skirt-got-blown-upwards.
I'm about to share my experience in university (about only a year's worth) and hopefully it will be a guide for you to use in your life in your future later on. Most of these tips are applied for local, public tertiary institutions.
GETTING A UNIVERSITY OFFER:
When I got my university offer back in late July 2012, I did not feel very excited, now was I disappointed. I took it with an open heart and probably it was part of His plans that I am placed in the current university I am at. So, I was satisfied. To you guys who get you you applied for, then happiness be unto you! :) But to those who did not receive offers that you applied for in the first place, don't be upset. If you are offered courses other than your interest, try to look at the positive side. Things will not always dance to your tune, but you can always dance to theirs. If you find that you have two left feet, try another course. Always keep an open mind and you'll see things in a different light.
PREPARING FOR UNIVERSITY:
Okay, this is fun. When it came to packing stuffs for university, I almost (ALMOST) moved everything from my lovely home to my hostel room. Everyone wants a piece of home to be with them, be it their pets, guitar, a pair of lucky socks, laundry basket or even Santa's gnome. Truth is, you may not find the time to mess with these things in university because you might be swamped with tonnes upon tonnes of assignments. No harm having these stuffs around though. Pack light and you make things much easier for yourself. As of now, my hostel room is almost like my own home (I have too many things here :D )
Personally, orientation week in my university was HELL. The seniors made us stay up to almost 1 to 2 in the morning almost everyday. Sick people. But nevertheless, enjoy your orientation week. Take this opportunity to make friends and see who you can gel with effortlessly. This will be very important and I will stress about this in a later paragraph. ;) Anything other than friends-making will be nothing but a bore. Happens EVERYWHERE.
Contrary to the Asian-style teaching in schools, university lecturers expect you to work for yourself and survive on yourself. Lecturers are not like school teachers that feed you everything. If teaching was akin to breastfeeding, school teachers are like mothers shoving their breasts at you. Lecturers expect you to walk up to them and then (AHEM) and you know the rest. No more things like "Do you understand?" and the like. No time for such childishness. >:(
Many universities in Malaysia have tests and these tests contribute towards your final marks at the end of your semester. Do very well for each of these tests. Sure, they make look like cheap dresses at a flea market. But when it comes to your finals, you'll be stripped skin-naked and you'll need everything you can, even cheap dresses, to keep you covered. Don't underestimate tests. Study in groups when necessary. COMPLETE YOUR TUTORIALS. Ask your lecturers immediately if you have any doubts in classes. Friendly lecturers tend to drop tips in classes so keep your ears its toes (pinna, if you're wanting a more physiological term). During a test, if you're really in need for help, smile at the lecturer and say you need help. :D YOU NEED TEH SKILLZ THO.
"NOOOOO, I SCREWED MY TEST! MY LIFE IS OVER!"
No. You'll still be alive to read this post again. And also to read it to your grandchildren and your grandchildren's friends and your grandchildren's friends' cat and (....). Basically, you're not going to die. Lecturers are not trained assassins (I cannot say for certain that this is true, if he or she is, then... I don't know). Talk to them and see what you can do to improve your grades. Alter your schedule so you can improve your studies. Cut down on play when necessary. Mix with the right group of students to inculcate good study habits. A trick here is to adjust to university quickly, don't take too long. DON'T RESORT TO CHEATING IN EXAMS AND TESTS.
LOVE LIFE IN UNIVERSITY, IS IT OKAY?
Come back next year and see if there's any updates for this section.
There'll be so many activities in university that you might not have enough bodies to join them all. That very moment, you'll wish that you can multiply like bacteria but the fact remains that you are homo sapiens, incapable or binary fission or vegetative reproduction and must resort to reproduction via sexual means. With that bullshit aside, choose activities that you can handle WITHOUT JEOPARDISING YOUR STUDIES. Yes, the stress is on your studies. The whole point of entering university is to graduate with a degree and at the same time, learning things about life, NOT the other way around. Learn to prioritise. At the end of the day, you can be the most active person in the university, but if are not what the industry wants in terms of educational standards, you're not better than people without a degree.
This is just the same as the section regarding you tests. The only difference is that if you fail this, you are in deep shit. DEEP. I can't help you, get help from a plumber or from the local waterworks department.
With all the babbling about academics explained, now come the things of the heart and mind.
HAVE DISCERNMENT BETWEEN GROUPMATES AND FRIENDS
Groupmates are people that cooperate and liaise with each other in order to achieve a common goal or vision (usually a group work or assignment). Friends are people that you can rely on, people who respect you even though you have differing ideals, someone you can count on to hold you when you fall. If your groupmates are your friends, then it's a thing to be happy for! When you have people in your group that cannot get along with you, especially if they have no respect for your principals and ideals, it's best to just keep them in your circle of groupmates, not friends. After all, the definition of "friends" isn't fulfilled.
AN EXTENSION FROM THE TOP, CHOOSE THE RIGHT FRIENDS
Throughout my one year staying in the university hostel, I have learned how to choose the right people to be my friends. Now, I'm not choosy when it comes to making friends but there are people out there that are like greedy moguls, ready to squeeze everything out of you like a juiced lemon and then throwing you aside. What I'm saying is, people who make use of others in university is more than the word "common" can describe. More accurately, universities are infested with these of people. The kiasu types, the kiasi types and many more types of people. Maybe one day, they can be classes into a separate species, Homo kiasiuens and Homo kiasiens. Avoid these people at ALL costs. You can smile at them, have small chats with them but NEVER become close to them. This is my personal opinion, because I have been made use by several people before. Some of these primitive organisms (Homo kiasuens and Homo kiasiens) show no guilt in making use of others for their own personal gains. CAREFUL, I SAY TO YOU.
YOU'RE NOT HERE TO IMPRESS ANYONE, BUT YOURSELF
University is a place for you to express yourself in the course that you chose. Express yourself freely but rationally. Never let haters pull you down just because they can't keep up with your awesomeness. There will be haters that can't see others progress. Let them wade in their pool of hate and envy while you enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Always be enthusiastic with your studies, even when others make you look stupid. Chances are, they'll be licking faeces out of your (AHEM) at the end of the day. Be yourself at all costs and never give in to the pressure of friends or normalcy.
ALWAYS AVOID LALANGs AND HYPOCRITES
This is a serious matter. Lalangs (people without a firm standing on their words and tend to get easily swayed by rumours, word-of-mouths, crowd-inclination and coolness factors) are creatures without backbones and do not stick to their guns because they are afraid to bear the consequences (much alike Homo kiasiens). Be careful of these breed of people because they may hurt you very badly. Likewise, hypocrites are to be avoided. It's for your own emotional health. Sometimes, university life can be very stressful, so you need to surround yourself with positive vibes all the time. At some crucial moments, if you meet with these bunch of losers, they say something stupid and it can ruin your mood for the whole (insert time frame). Associate yourself with people who care for you and people that you are willing to invest time for.
This is my advice to you juniors. I hope the following year will be better to me. :) And may the best be with you guys. Love you guys lots.