Wednesday 21 November 2012

10 tips on making good choices while studying - how the choices you make today will affect your tomorrows

1. Choose responsibility
Although heading off to the next chapter in your life can feel like a coming-of-age moment, it doesn’t mean that campus life is one long holiday.

Ever wonder why the older generation are so serious sometimes? It’s because they’ve come to realise that they spent their whole childhoods thinking that it would be amazing to be an adult, and their whole adulthood wishing they could go back to childhood, when everything was so much more fun…

Don’t put yourself at risk of losing focus and always put your studies first. Hanging out with the wrong crowd could have disastrous consequences, so think before you do something that could jeopardise your dreams for the future!

The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life, is the moment you can change anything in your life. – Hal Elrod

2. Choose balance
A large number of first-year students drop out because they haven’t found a balance between getting out there and socialising and the hard work that goes into graduating. There’s nothing wrong with going out with friends to experience the night life of the city, but doing so the day before an exam, or the night you were supposed to work on an assignment could end up dealing your career path a cruel blow. Make time to live your social life and time to study, and never give your social life preference over your studies.

3. Choose family time
If home is where the heart is, then don’t allow yourself to get distanced from it. If you can’t visit home, call home. Tell your family that you love them. They will help you to remember why you are doing what you’re doing.

4. Be careful with your heart
Hearts are pretty fragile things, and when things go wrong, it can affect your studies badly. So don’t give your heart to someone who doesn’t deserve it, and don’t get serious too quickly – if your significant other really loves you, they’ll wait for you, but your lecturers won’t.

5. Choose leadership
Forget what you learned in school - leadership isn’t just about wearing shiny badges and acting as though you’re more important that anyone else. Instead of others leading you astray, why not lead others in the right direction? Set up study groups and collaborate with other students who are serious about their studies.

6. Choose a cause
Campus life is the perfect place to find out what’s going on in the world, and getting involved with student unions, exercise groups, environmental causes and many other types of extra-mural activities can be beneficial to you and those around you.

7. Put your thinking cap on
Universities and colleges are different from secondary schools in one distinct way: they teach you how to think for yourself and use reason and logic in your arguments. If you can find a way of making a rational argument on any topic then you’ve won half the battle.

8. Choose bedtime
It’s easy to stay up late for any reason, whether it’s having a few more with some buddies or studying through the night for an exam. But if you don’t have regular sleep of between 6 to 8 hours long, your health and your brain’s ability to function under pressure could be impaired as a result. On a school night, try to get to bed before ten so that you can stock up on your beauty sleep.

9. Choose originality
In universities, plagiarism is a massive problem due to the availability of information on the internet and the ease with which it can be copied and pasted into an assignment. Yes, it’s safe to say that everyone researches their work on the internet, but resorting to copying someone else’s words may result in some serious consequences someday. Read and research, let the information sink in, then close your books and start writing on a blank page.
Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

10. Courage, not fear
Tertiary education can be a daunting thing once reality sets in and the pressure starts to build, but it’s important to never give up and continue to believe in yourself. Make yourself a visual board that explains who you are, where you’ve come from and where it is that you want to go and every time you’re feeling afraid that you won’t be able to do this, just take out that vision board and remind yourself of who you are and where you’re going to. Tell yourself that you’re not going to let anyone or anything get in the way of your future. You can do it!

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