Survival Theory: Welcome to University

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      Hey. You’re not in high school anymore.

      Let me be the first to welcome you to the University of Technology, Jamaica. It’s a whole new ball game – new experiences, new perspectives, a new place and a chance at discovering and/or creating yourself.

      You have started a new chapter in your story with great dreams and aspirations. Eager to meet new friends and/or to keep the old; eager to meet the Dumbledores to help pave your futures. Like any other well guided tour, it’s easy for a curious customer to stray with the different activities that our culturally drizzled University has to offer.

So here’s some inside tips to surviving this new chapter.

     Tip #1: Breathe. Whatever you’re pursuing, whether it be a diploma, bachelor’s or higher, you’re doing this for YOU. Keep abreast with your own progress and focus on what’s best for you. Get to know your Academic Advisor and your Programme Director, as well as the office hours for your lecturers. These individuals can make things a lot easier for you. Make the effort to be in the know of who you need to go to when you have a problem. Hype nuh cute. Period.

    You’ll hear your lecturers say that it’s not a competition, that there are enough degrees for everyone. They’re right. Don’t let your pride stop you from seeking the help you need. No man is an island. Make the connections in your classrooms you need. Never forget your goals, your ambitions and what brought you here in the first place. Strive to excel in your school work. The number of modules may be small but don’t be fooled, the workload is #overloading. Work smart and do what you can.

    Tip #2. Destress. Meet new people, whether it be in class or at school functions (which you’re gonna have to actually attend to meet new people). It really helps when you see a familiar face every step of the way. The University has different functions hosted by UTech, Ja. Students’ Union, the respective Faculties and the University, itself. Events varies from Orientation to Parties to Spiritual Events to Culture Awareness – find your calling and participate. I promise you, it ah play. Take advantage of the events – you did pay for them.

    Tip #3. Even though the first two seem easy, they won’t work in your favour if you don’t have Time Management. This, my friends, is the most major key to surviving University. As the saying goes, “There is a time and place for everything”. Set a time for school and the workload, but also take time out to relax and most importantly, set time aside for your mental. Can’t finish Uni if you’re locked up in an asylum. Trust me on this.

    Tip #4. Scholarships, grants, bursaries. Please, I cannot stress this enough. They exist to help you. Take advantage of them. Take special care to look into ones offered for your specific circumstance and apply. Yes, I know and I can hear you coming up with all the reasons you won’t get it. But nothing ventured, nothing gain. What do you really have to lose?

   University life is the best of times; it is the worst of times. The upcoming years will test you in ways would have never imagined. You will lose/gain friends (sometimes simultaneously), discover your weaknesses and strengths, cry (yes, it’s inevitable), laugh, enjoy yourself, never want to leave your room, have no choice but to leave your room, etc. You’ll realize you’re not as smart as you think you are; you’ll realize you’re smarter than you thought you were.

   But most importantly, you’ll be growing.

   At the end of the day, that’s what University is about – challenging our boundaries, venturing beyond our comfort zones and transforming into our best self. Plus a little self-discovery here and there. Because, in the words of Master Shiifu, if we never challenge ourselves, we’ll never be more than we are. And isn’t that the point?

  Welcome to University.


Kriss-Ann Haughton

USU Editorial Committee

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