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ALMOST 1 TERM IN - ARE YOU SURVIVING 1ST YEAR LIKE A PRO?

“Let’s clear the air first; you are a “nerd” because you made it to tertiary (uni, varsity, college or any institution of higher learning) when many didn’t. Congrats! This is going to be the BEST year of your life.”

By: MARTHA CHAUKE

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So, you’ve heard all kinds of weird and wonderful things about tertiary. Your folks lectured you on the importance of studying extremely hard and graduating in record time (they are right, it’s extremely important.) Let’s explore everything they didn’t tell you.

THIS IS A FRESHER’S GUIDE TO HELP YOU PREVENT FIRST YEAR FROM BEING THE BEST TWO (OR THREE) YEARS OF YOUR LIFE.

TERTIARY ISN’T HIGH SCHOOL

Of course, you know this already. In tertiary, no teacher or principal will ever call your parents or chase after you for bunking lectures or not submitting your work. In fact, in tertiary, the lecturer gets paid in full month-end whether you attended class, slept right through it or didn’t show up the entire semester or year. Simply put, lecturers act blind until you need 1% extra in order to qualify for your exams. Then, you’ll realise they also have eyes at the back of their heads.

LEARN TO COOK ASAP!

Eating takeaways every single day of your tertiary life is bad for your pocket and health. If you don’t know how to cook, take baby steps and learn how to prepare quick & easy meals first like eggs, canned food, carbs or microwaveable food. Anything home-made is a healthier and cheaper option for you than fast food. Guess what? You might even have leftovers to devour after class (more saving!). Learn to compile a grocery list then head to your nearest supermarket and compare prices before choosing what you want to buy. No name or “store brands” are usually cheaper and should save you money. Tip: always check the expiry date for every item before paying for it.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY BRAND NEW TEXTBOOKS

Textbooks are expensive! Only buy new textbooks if you REALLY have to. Buying second hand ones (in good condition) will stretch your budget enough to afford all your study material for the year. Second/third year students, doing the same course, should be selling these, as well as second hand bookshops.

REMEMBER: Don’t sell your textbooks next year, before asking your lecturers if you won’t be using them in 2nd year. (Sometimes you do!)

THE DREADED BUDGET

Do some research or simply ask your parent/guardian how much your tuition fees cost. You’ll find out its crazy expensive! That’s why you need to budget every month before spending your money. Put aside money for rent, electricity, grocery, transport etc. before hitting the clubs. If you are using the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS.) Don’t be fooled – every cent you use, you’re going to payback! Only use it for the important stuff and only payback for what you used, plus interest!

IF YOU PLAY HARD YOU NEED TO WORK EVEN HARDER

First year is mostly about adjusting to number of unlimited things like freedom, alcohol, sex, smoking and a whole lot of other crazy stuff. Student night can be every day of the week, Monday to Sunday. Not only on Wednesday or Thursday nights! So understandably, it’s tempting to want to party/club every single day of the week (who’s going to stop you?) Love yourself and avoid binge drinking! It’s going to leave you cashless, feeling miserable and regretful.

MAINTAIN YOUR NERD SWAG

Don’t “mix” drinks – stick to one type of alcohol throughout the night. Don’t move from beer to shooters to vodka & something interesting. It’s a blackout & TB (Terrible Babalas) application. If you feel like you had one too many, stop drinking and drink water. That’s what makes you cooler – You do cool things the right way. Now that’s beneficial swag! So, when the rest of the club/party is lighting up cigarettes and other stuff, maintain your Nerd Swag with an e-cigarette instead. Plus, they come in different flavours to pair up with your swag for the night.



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