Surviving University 101


So you did well enough to become one of the few or many that made it to university. Despite what you think varsity is certainly different to high school in many ways. So here are some tips to help you survive.

  1. Stick to your values. By sticking to your values, you do not have to compromise and do things that you actually would not like to do thus making you unhappy.
  2. Most of the time, the friends you started with at the beginning of the year are not the same friends you end the year with.
  3. Just because everyone is going out all the time, it does not mean that they are not studying. So do not be shocked when the guy you thought parties the hardest passes with A+ . People broadcast their party times not their study times.
  4. Respect all degrees. Everyone worked hard to get to university and many students are still working hard to earn that 50%.
  5. University is a time to reinvent yourself and experiment with hairstyles and discovering a bit of who you are without your parents are a certain institution behind your back. So make mistakes but good mistakes.
  6. You are your own responsibility. Now that there’s no report card going to mummy and daddy be sure to be responsible of how you use your time and getting good grades. Do not let the university lawns be your kryptonite.
  7. Education first, wives and husbands last. Focus on what you came to do in university that does not do not have a social life it only means know what to prioritise.
  8. Live within your means. If you do not have money to flash around like everyone else that is okay, someone who is not friends with you because you do not buy your lunch at the expensive shop is not in your side.
  9. Universities have long holiday breaks so within that break try to get a part job or do community work that you are interested in. Doing this is beneficial for working experience, discovering your passion and for a bit of pocket money.


Some fun advice: On the real.

  • Go to a protest and learn the protest song Iyoh Solomon ( whilst at that learn about Solomon Mahlangu)
  • Sadly no one cares about how distinctions you got in matric. (well done for the achievements though)
  • Even though you have learned something in high school do not block your ears. When in university assume that you know nothing.
  • Read ahead so you have an idea what your lecturer is speaking about in the lecture.
  • Create a dream board for all the things you would like to achieve. ( Do strive to make those dreams a reality)
  • Go to orientation week. This way you become familiar with the university and make a few friends
  • When unsure about something, ask the lecturer or your tutor.
  • Sir and mam no longer exist. Its professor or doctor at the most however your lecturer will inform you as to how to address them.
  • Join a society in order to do something other than academics and in order to make friends and relax.
  • Thou shalt NOT wear thy student card around thy neck.
  • Make the assignment due date one day before the actual due date in order to eliminate the stress on the actual due date.
  • Random conversations with people are the most helpful.
  • Make friends with people you do not know. Meaning, make friends with people who are not from your high school by doing this you stand the opportunity to meet people to come from a background than you.


*Written by Nelisiwe Mkhele, 2nd Year Student at WITS