For last year’s matrics, it’s time to ditch your school uniform, lunch box and pencil case and enter the world of campus life. LIVE SA has turned to some new and returning students for a few short tips on how to survive your first-year-at-varsity anxieties.
Ghaneef Ismail matriculated from Lotus River High School last year and has decided to enroll in an IT course at Damelin College. Speaking from his experience of matric, he advises this year’s matrics to work hard from the start of the year. “I decided to study IT after doing a lot of research and ensuring that I meet the requirements to pursue my studies in the field”, he says. He encourages the youth to do volunteer work while they’re still at school so that they can experience the industries in depth before making a final decision.
Shannon Peterson, a 2nd year PR student at Damelin, says her biggest concern is the heavy workload that is expected at this stage of her studies. “I’ll make sure that I manage to keep up with my assigned work and balance my social life according to my academic workload,” she explains.
Varsity is any socialite’s dream. But be careful not to get too sucked into the tornado of good times as it’s difficult to escape from. Instead of attending every social event and attending your classes in the cafeteria and doing your homework on the bus to campus, try to complete your work in a bubble of concentration as this will almost certainly guarantee success. After all, no one wants to be a first-year for three years!
For those who are socially-awkward and prefer to be engaged in conversations with their books, our advice is to start making small-talk with fellow classmates. Try something like: “Could I borrow a pencil?” or “Where is our Sociology lecture?” It’s always easier to form friendships at the beginning of the year when everyone is new and vulnerable, than to wait in your comfort zone until everyone has found the people they sit with at lunch.
Damelin is one of the largest private colleges in South Africa – the Mowbray campus alone has an approximate amount of 500 new students enrolled for the new academic year, which started on Monday, 24 February. The social orientation day, held on Friday, 21 February, allowed for new students to visit the campus and casually created a space for the new students to mingle. The college offers a range of academic courses ranging from diplomas to degrees, but potential students can be guaranteed that the courses are legit. Pandu Magobolo, a second year student at the Mowbray campus,the organiser of the event as well as a radio host, reassures us that Damelin “is a FET and a HET college.”
By hosting various talent acts such as rappers, models and even poets, Damelin managed to start the academic year on a relaxed note. The festivities began at 09h00 and were expected to last throughout the day. Standard Bank was also present at the event in order to advice the youth on which loans to accept and to ensure that all financial worries are dealt with before the academic year begins.
Photographer: Ashleigh Swartz