If you have just finished writing your UTME or JAMB, your next step is preparing for university. Like you, other freshmen (also-known-as Jambites in Nigerian lingo) are getting ready to start their journey as university students, everyone has dreamt of this moment. But the question now is how should you start the preparations? And what do you need to know about entering and preparing for university in Nigeria?
Keep reading to find out more, we have 10 tips and advice for aspiring university students of 2021.
After you are done with all the hassle of writing and passing your O’level and UTME exams, and of graduating from senior secondary school, you are expected to begin preparations for Uni while you wait for admissions.
The university is a tricky place for newcomers, the environment is different from what you are used to in secondary school, the teachers (known as lecturers) will teach you differently and almost everything else is different, your success will depend on how you approach things, if you approach it with the right tools and mindset, you will find it easy no matter what.
Here to help are some tips below. Let’s start.
Perhaps the first thing you are going to learn at the university isn’t maths equations or statistics, it is how to “manage” things, you will be living on your own throughout most of the year, so you will need to become responsible, with supplies, with money, etc, and how to do that is by creating a student budget.
A student budget is an amount you set aside for spending throughout a semester. At the university, you will have to learn how to be money-wise, because unlike in secondary school where you are not given all your money at once, here, you will most likely be given the whole money you need for a semester, you will have to figure out how to make it last. That’s the use of a student budget.
For those of us that have not been to boarding school, university life is just like boarding school when it comes to the feeding part, you will need to cook for yourself. If you don’t know how to cook, we suggest you learn quickly.
There are many quick student meals you can learn that can be satisfying and equally nutritious. You can look up a few cooking videos on YouTube or even better, learn from your home.
You will need a pot and a few other utensils, food ingredients, a gas cooker, and so on. However, some schools forbid the use of gas cookers in hostel buildings, so make sure you find out beforehand and follow the rules of the institution.
If you do a quick search on Facebook, you will find many groups that are dedicated to helping university aspirants. Each major university in Nigeria has its group, you will find groups for ABU Zaria, University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, ATBU Bauchi, Uni Illorin, and so on.
These groups on Facebook, and on other social platforms, are a good place to start your research about the university of your dreams. Members of these groups often include students who are already enrolled in the university, or those who are going through the enrolment process, they provide useful information about that particular university in the group, besides, it helps to connect and know someone from the same university you are planning to go.
You can use these forums to ask questions online and get helpful tips.
No matter how ready you think you are, nothing will prepare you for the admission process in a university, it often takes weeks and is very gruesome. You will need all the motivation you can muster to go out there again and again for registration.
You may be required to get signatures from different members of staff, whose availability is not guaranteed, they usually include the dean, faculty head, HOD, etc.
The only respite is that most of the registration is done online these days, but still, the physical part is hectic, so be prepared.
While registering for a university, the school will demand to see a lot of your documents, from your JAMB results to O’level documents, to personal documents such as birth certificates and indigene, they will want it all, so you will need to put together your documents and organise them in one place, before registration starts.
Most of the time, you will end up studying by yourself in the university, because no one is there to tell you what to do, so expect a lot of self-study. The lecturers will guide you but the bulk of the reading and practicing, you will be doing by yourself in the university.
Whether you are aspiring to be a new student at a certain university, or you have already been given admission into that uni, you should make it a habit to check the university’s website every now and then.
Important updates are often, always added to the websites. If you make it a habit, there is a good chance you won’t miss anything important.
Sometimes the accommodations are a bit too crowded and insufficient at the hostels, so students need to find suitable and cheap accommodation elsewhere, while it is tempting to get the house of your dreams, it is advisable you stay close to the school. Why? Because most of your waking hours will now be spent at the university.
You will be learning and studying almost all the time, and if you live near the university, you don’t have to worry about additional costs of transport and the time you will waste in transit to get to the school.
If your course requires some tools to study, make sure you get them before you start attending lectures, be it a drawing board, a lab coat, or a laptop. Don’t wait till you have begun taking lessons, that may affect your progress drastically, whereas getting the tools you need will ensure you are following the lessons 100%.
The university is one of the most interesting times of a person’s life, don’t get so caught up in pursuing your studies that you end up not living at all. Allow yourself to make good friends, and have fun when you are free. It will ease up some of the tension.
Friends will encourage you along the way, make you tolerate homesickness and be there for you when you need them. The university is a place you will meet a lot of interesting people, so it will be wise to make good use of that time to gain quality friends.