University Life: Unbearable?

Oh well the holidays had to end sooner or later; though I won't say I had much of one (with debating tournaments here & there), I can sympathize with my fellow uni mates groaning as 6th July looms closer...I sympathize even more with the newbies, some of whom may be living out of home for the very 1st time...

*recalls arriving at UMP at night after PDPSZA
*chuckling as the gang teased the newbies walking out 
"Tahan ye, 1 minggu je" (Hang on, just 1 week)
Well I completely understand why people would dread returning to university...less than magnificient living quarters, the stress, the people...it may be hard to adjust back to the hectic schedule. However, we must do what we must & coping is the best solution.

Let's do a quick & hopefully fun review of what to do to get back in gear:

1. Pace yourself
We get that it's tough to juggle so many things at one time but that doesn't mean you've to do work continuously! Make time every day to chill out & to relax. It's not just about how many hours you sleep in a day, rather it's about how you rest throughout the day, be it with music, light exercise, a short drive out of campus, etc. Relaxing & pacing yourself allows you to reflect on your experiences & plan what to do next.

2. Get organized
It's important to organize your time; after all, time is your worst enemy but if you organize it right, it can be your best friend. Prioritize activities/homework & plan your time wisely. Make sure you know the due dates for every assignment, having a huge annual calendar can help you to visualize your schedule, especially if you're involved in co-curricular activities. This way, you can finish all your work in time, get active & have time to relax!

3. Make friends
Friendship can be a make-or-break deal here; if you have sucky friends, your grades & psyche will suffer. If you have good friends, they'll get a boost. It's also natural to experience culture shock but that's to be expected; university is where youths from different backgrounds come together to learn something. Learn to adapt to different cultures & be proactive to understand other people's traditions & beliefs; it will be useful to you when you go out to work in the future.

4. Don't be pressured!
If there's something you can't do, DON'T DO IT. Do not push your limits; everyone has their own threshold of stress & do not let yourself be bullied/pressurized into doing more than what you can handle. In the end your health is at stake & you won't be of any good to anyone, especially yourself, if you're sick in bed with assignments & projects piling up. Study the options available within your course; selection of elective subjects, for example, would require you to understand the syllabus & the work load associated with the subject(s) & it would be good for you to know which subject you can manage best.

5. Don't close up!
If you have problems, do not bottle them up! Talking helps, whether it is to a friend, your family or the university counselor. Do not keep your problems to yourself; the stress that entails can affect your health & your performance. Determine the root of the problem & study all the available options. This is a taste of what adulthood is like; you have to take care of yourself & your problems. The latter, however, doesn't mean solving it all by yourself. Relieve stress by taking a walk in the beach, therapeutic shopping, etc. Don't keep it in for fear you may implode!

At the end of the day, reflect on what you're doing at university: gaining knowledge & the qualification to earn a job when you graduate. Learning can be a tedious process so you need to be alert & well-rested so as to not burn yourself out. Plus the stress you're exposed you is a hint of things to come; learn to handle them for you'll have bigger problems to handle later. Every experience should leave you with new knowledge & awareness. Health 1st, wealth later. Study smart, not smart. Finally, enjoy yourself & step into the shoes of adulthood for only you can fit the size.

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