If you are reading this, you are probably an incoming freshman, who like me, not too long ago, has collywobbles about embarking on this new chapter in your lives. You could also be a senior, who like me, has suffered a bout of schadenfreude and have come here to reminisce about a younger you.
Either way, before we go on, I think it is important that you run down to your local supermarket, and pick up these essential ingredients to survive university:
A lifetime supply of caffeine
3 cups of patience
5 tablespoons of thinking on your feet
½ teaspoon of “extraversion oil”
A pinch of intelligence
Have them? Great. Now listen closely because what I’m about to tell you will keep you sane for years to come: university is hell on earth. Bear with me —
It’s no secret that Singapore Management University (SMU) is infamous for being a stressful place to earn your degree, but that’s just it; you have to earn it. There will be nights when you will have to sacrifice going out with your friends, nights where you have to sacrifice your sleep, and many more when you will want to burn the 80 pages of readings you have to complete by your 8:00 am class the next morning. But every step you take, no matter how hard, will bring you one step closer to earning your degree. They say that diamonds can only be made under immense pressure, and diamonds you will emerge — I guarantee it.
Source: Singapore Management University/Shing Thu Ya
So yes, university life is indeed hell, but hitting the ground running by knowing that it will be difficult will be your greatest advantage. In 2016, The Blue and Gold published its very first Freshman Survival Guide. This year, my team and I want to continue this tradition of giving freshmen a head start to the ins and outs of SMU by presenting you with the Freshman Survival Guide 2017. Within it, you will find everything you need to get by, and more!
Before I go though, here are a few pearls of wisdom:
On GPA: It rises, and it falls; focus on learning and broadening your worldview instead.
On stress: It’s okay to be stressed. Find a healthy and consistent outlet to take your mind off school to destress — did someone say exercise Netflix?
On CCAs: The Blue and Gold is pretty darn awesome…
On internships: Well worth the time and effort…and if it isn’t, take solace at the fact that you’re finally overcoming poverty.
On modules: Bid for classes that you like, not what your friends are bidding for.
On class participation: Voice your opinion, it’ll not only help you learn, but also bolster your final grades for that exam you didn’t study for.
On group projects: Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Utilise your strengths, forgo the weaknesses.
On exchange: Don’t be afraid, the world is your oyster.
On community service: It may seem like a chore, but it’s definitely an intrinsically rewarding one.
On food: Two words: Tea Party
On exams: No matter what, try your best.
On behalf of my team and I, we hope you not only garner gems of advice from the following pages, but a few laughs as well. And with that, I bid you adieu. Good luck, and may the force be with you.