Student success: why university is easy

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A person with a backpack walking away from random advice and questions about their college experience and future.
There should be a law about how every person giving unsolicited advice must commit to paying off one of your bills. mohamed_hassan via Pixabay, manipulated by Lee Lim

University, just like life, is so darn simple

Why is university easy? It’s a walk in the park, really.  

How simple it is to say that. Ah, the classic case of unsolicited advice from some people. Before you even apply to university, they will say that it’s so hard and a complete waste of time, money, and energy. “Why bother,” they tell you, “Just get married and settle down like everyone else.” But the moment you get that acceptance letter, suddenly it’s no big deal. “Oh, everyone gets in nowadays,” they’ll say. It’s like they can’t make up their minds about whether university is worth it or not. 

Some people claim that there is no scope in a particular field. Yes, because all the majors and programs in the world are just there to waste your time and money. Forget about your passions, interests, and career aspirations. Just pick something random, close your eyes, and hope for the best. At least, that’s what some nosy acquaintances want you to believe, right? “Why are you studying art history? There is no money in that. You should be a doctor, a lawyer, or a banker. Those are the only careers worth pursuing.”  

Oh, and while we are at it, let’s talk about working part-time in the summer to cover the entire cost of tuition. Sure, because tuition fees are just negligible, right? Just work for a few months, and voila! You’ve paid off your entire tuition for the year. Except, that’s not exactly how it works.  

In reality, you will be working two or three jobs while sacrificing your leisure and sleep. But hey, who needs sleep and free time when you have the pleasure of paying for your education? At least you have a degree. But now you’re drowning in debt and can barely afford rent or groceries. Perhaps you ought to have focused on something more practical like finance or engineering. Something that can pay the bills, you know. 

Living with roommates can be an absolute blast when you’re studying in a foreign country and need some friendly faces to rely on. There is always someone to chat with, laugh with, and split rent and bills with. Sure, you might have to deal with their weird habits and quirks such as cooking fish in the microwave at 1:00 a.m., but who needs peace, anyway? You’re paying for the privilege of being woken up at odd hours by your roommates snoring or the bonanza of having to navigate a minefield of dirty dishes just to make yourself a sandwich. But who needs personal space or cleanliness anyway when you have the thrill of living with roommates?  

And let’s not forget their unsolicited advice when exams are around the corner. Colour-code your notes with some fancy pens, use a Pomodoro timer, chew gum, or have a piece of dark chocolate while studying and you’re good to go. But at least you have some mental support and someone to commiserate with when you’re feeling homesick. 

But wait, there’s more! Let’s not forget the advice of some family members on how to ace university life. “Just study hard and you’ll do great! Make sure you get involved in extracurriculars,” they say, as if there’s enough time in the day to strike a balance between a full course load and a social life. Who needs rest and a healthy work-life balance when you can study 24/7? Let’s not disregard the struggle of maintaining a high GPA while juggling a dozen responsibilities. Just one slip-up and you will be on academic probation. But hey, at least you will have a list of achievements to show off on your resume, right? Who cares if you haven’t slept in three days or had a proper meal in weeks? As long as you’re doing well in exams, you’re good to go. 

But let’s end on a serious note. University life is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Yes, it can get overwhelming, and there is ultimately not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person may not work for another. Some students thrive under pressure, while others crumble. University life is a rollercoaster ride with its highs and lows and it’s normal to occasionally feel lost or uncertain.  

It’s okay to ask for help when you need it, whether it’s from a professor, counselor, trusted friend, or family member. Don’t be reluctant to use the resources at your disposal, whether it’s a tutoring service or a mental health center. Be kind to yourself and approach university life with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow. So, while it may not always be easy, do know that your efforts and sacrifices will ultimately pay off! 

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