Mistakes Freshers Make in the University - Philip Abayomi

The first day for Freshers in the University is a day of excitement and joy. You have crossed the hurdle of WAEC, JAMB, and Post-UTME, and a new chapter has just been opened.  You are now in a life of your dream and a community that is far different from your high school or secondary school.

I can’t deny the fact that some freshers may not be 100% happy because they were unable to be offered their preferred course of study. However, the joy of being in a university sometimes erodes such sad feeling of not studying the chosen field.

Parents and guardians are happy for your success, and their expectation is for you to make the best use of the new life you just found yourself.

As a fresher or first-year student, you have to manage this excitement so that it won’t rob you of your primary aim in the school.

I remember one of our best students when I was in secondary school gained admission into the University of Ibadan (UI) to study medicine. Because of his inexperience of how to survive in the University, he joined bad gangs, and it hurts his life. The expectation on him was so high that we thought he would outshine his peers in medical school, but he just managed to graduate.

Here are some Mistakes Freshers Make:

1. Forgetting the essentials

Packing your whole life into the back of a car is a daunting task. We're sorry, but the risk is high that your favourite stapler will be left behind in the mayhem.

Most things aren't really that important and can be bought at the University.

2. Bringing pointless things you don't need.

By the same token, don't pack every single thing you own into the back of your parents' car.

You're not moving to Mars (there will be shops), and there's a good chance you'll be struggling for storage in your new student room.

Trust us – if you're studying English at the University, you really won't be needing your secondary school geometry kit 😂

3. Hiding in your room

When you first move into your new abode, and there are all these strange new people wandering around, it can be tempting to hide away in your room to avoid any awkward small talk.

But the fact of the matter is, you need to make friends at uni and you're going to be living with these people for an entire year, so it's best to bite the bullet ASAP.

Move-in day is the ideal time to bond, so prop open your door and be a friendly face – offer to carry boxes or make a cup of tea for everyone.

4. Attending every single freshers' event.

Now, don't get us wrong, we are familiar with the phrase 'go hard or go home', but you know, sometimes sleep is pretty good too.

Freshers' week is billed as one of the most exciting, memorable weeks of your life, so it's understandable to feel the pressure to go to lots of events to feel you're getting the most out of it.

Yet, aside from leaving you cashless for the rest of the term and with a serious case of the freshers' flu, dragging yourself to every single party will only end up taking the fun out of the events you do actually want to go to.

We pinky-promise you'll still make friends even if you do miss the odd event, and you'll feel so much better for it. So put that FOMO to bed.

5. Joining too many societies.

Getting asked repeatedly for your autograph at the freshers' fair may give a warm fuzzy feeling, but your inbox will be jammed with society newsletters within a week.

And once freshers' week is over, you'll find you don't have as much spare time as you thought you did.

Some societies will have membership fees, so only cough up the cash if you're sure it's something you're going to commit to. Get yourself along to a few different (free) taster sessions if they're on offer first.

Finally, think about which societies will look good on future job applications – if you're after a career in journalism, you'd be silly not to sign up to the student newspaper, for instance.

6. Thinking you have to hang out with the first person you meet, forever

You've probably had everyone telling you that you'll meet your friends for life at university. As a result of this sort of chat, many freshers find themselves in a wild panic when they don't discover these special people in the first few days.

First of all, calm down! There's really no need to stay attached to the first friendly person you meet forever more – unless you do happen to become BFFs of course.

Though many great friendships are made in the first few weeks, many, many more are made throughout the year (and the years to come), and there will be plenty of opportunities to meet your future soulmates.

7. Never ringing home

You might have started your new exciting life at university now, but that doesn't mean you should forget the people who are important to you back home.

Your family and friends are (hopefully) missing you and would love to hear updates on how you're doing, as well as some reassurance that you haven't forgotten about them...

Parents are often a crucial source of funding at university and you might find yourself having to ask your parents for some money when times get tough – so stay in their good books!

8. Leaving everything until the night before

Contrary to popular belief, the best time to finish essays is not 3am the morning they're due. A little forward planning (and our productivity hacks) can help improve your grades and decrease your stress levels massively.

Unlike school, your university lecturers aren't going to be checking up on you to make sure you're getting the essay done, so you'll have to use self-discipline to get started early.

9. Not budgeting

Even if you're from a wealthy family and you have rich supplies, if you don't plan your spending, you'll end up soaking Garri for a long time 😂😂.

Seeing your parents hard earned money loaded in your bank is a HUGE test for new students. It will go far quicker than you think (especially during freshers' week) and it needs to see you through a full term.

Failing to make it last is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a fresher.

PLEASE set yourself a budget and grab yourself an app that'll help you stick to it.

10. Sleeping through your lectures

We all love sleep, but the harsh reality is that you came to uni to learn, not get a cheeky nap, so make it worth your time (and money!).

If you haven't quite perfected your morning-after survival routine yet, save your sanity and only go out on nights when you can lie-in without feeling guilty – or master the art of the hangover cure.

For some added motivation, you might want to calculate how much your degree is costing you per hour (or not).

Basic Tips For Fresher in Nigerian University

  1. Define your aim and objectives on your first day
Your goal is the expected result after your graduation, and your objectives are the steps to achieve the purpose. For example, you can say I want to be the best student in my department by having a CGPA of 4.9. Then you will now draw out steps on how to achieve the 4.9 CGPA.
As a fresher, if you don’t have an aim and objectives, you will be carried away with any form of wind on campus. Campus life in Nigeria is fun because it is loaded with different activities that can make you lose focus if you haven’t drawn the map of your life.
One of the things that almost affected me when I was on campus was that I did not draw the map for my life. I wasn’t 100% happy because I wanted to study Electrical/Electronics and I found myself studying Physics Electronics. I wasn’t excited, so I didn’t put in much effort. It was in the second year that I got things right, and I was able to graduate with Second Class Upper.
Regardless of the course of study, draw a plan for your life and follow through.
  1. Move with the right people
If you move with the wise, you will be wise, but the companion of fools shall be destroyed. It isn’t anybody that comes your way that you will become their friend. You have to decisively and intentionally choose your friend. Choose a friend that will add value to your life and not the ones that will take you out of your plan.
  1. Understand your new terrain
As a fresher, you must understand how things work in the school in your first year. Know where to go and where not to go, appreciate your lecturers and their style of setting questions. What I am driving at here is that you should get acquainted with the university environment as soon as possible.
  1. Play when it is right to do so
There are so many activities in the university that are very interesting. However, don’t allow them to affect your primary purpose.
One of the things I do recommend for students to participate in while at the university that will contribute positively to their life are a sport, politics, and social day

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