University blues

A friend of mine developed university blues in her first year of study. I don’t really know how to help. Whenever you know your friend is upset with school work, there are only two options you probably can do. One is that you just console and say things that you know will not have much effect. The second is to say things that hurt a lot, but is the best advice.

Which one would you choose to do? Before you choose, you would also have to see the person too. Some people just like you to console and not do anything useful. Some people don’t mind you saying all the hurtful things, because they know its true. After saying the things, it hurts, but you will still be good friends. Motivation, is something that is perhapes something I struggle to do. How to balance it such that it sounds good and yet delivers the most effective message?

I still believe that the most effective medicine would be the most bitter. And the most effective help would be the most hurtful, to cause the person to think and ponder and grow as a thinker and as a person.

So I’m going to write how I feel, and it might hurt so if anyone doesn’t like to read such things, you can just skip this entire post. But things must be said, and I will say it in a better way than how I would have said if I were younger, for I have mellowed much in the past years.

Basically, my friend feels that her module is tough. I can understand because the course she is in is an extremely competitive one. And to survive in such a course and do well, perhaps one has to be extremely confident and motivated. Someone of the elite breed. Else, you could just be contented with what you have and still do average. It’s not a bad thing.

But in university, the number one lesson is independence. We change from the JC system to the University system, and we must adapt to survive. I do not know how the girls will feel, suddenly thrust into such a system, whereas the guys had 2 years of regimentation and training in the army, which could or could not have helped in university.

The university is a sad place. You have to learn certain strategies in order to survive. I didn’t have any seniors that I spoke to to teach me anything, but I survived well. I came out with my own strategies of university.

The first thing I created was a clique. Someone to spend time with you in or outside of classes. They form your support bridge, giving you strength to continue your classes even when you feel drained out. You can plan classes together, and you can study together. You put in effort into building this thing, and in the future it will reward you.

The second thing to learn was to bid smart. Although you still can’t eliminate cores, but you could put easier electives in and not focus so much on them.

The third thing is our own responsibility in whatever we do. We are ultimately responsible for our own degree. Our lecturers and tutors are not. Their primary job is a researcher. Lecturing and tutoring is only a secondary job. What we can hope for is guidance, but we have to ask for it ourselves. Granted, some lecturers are too lazy to help, but even if that is the case, we are still responsible for ourselves. We can blame the lecturer and the tutors, but then, what real use is there? Can we do more to save ourselves?

Can we ask friends? Can we find seniors? Can we change tutorial slots? Can we self study? Are we willing to invest in a textbook and read? Are we willing to go home and revise and watch an hour less of TV? Are we willing to find out what it is that we do not know?

There’s always a path we can take. But we just don’t like to take it. We don’t see it because we don’t open our eyes. We love to walk the path we always walked. It’s smooth, nice and relaxing. We may be unhappy, but we never walk the rough path. We never try, and we’ll never know.

I hope my friend would be happy. I hope she’ll grow up to be a wonderful person, confident of her abilities and knowing what she wants. I hope she’ll not let herself fall into despair and disappear.

Prove that you are worthy.

3 thoughts on “University blues

  1. Hi there,

    Me again.

    Though I agree with most of what you said, but I still think that good advices need not always hurt.

    Because most of the time we just succumb into peer influence. When everyone around us are procasinating, naturally you don’t feel that motivated to work hard. So yah, choosing the right peers to hang around with is pretty important too. Sadly not everyone is lucky enough to be able to find a clique.

    And I’ve just realized that, actually learning in university is not that independent as I thought it was. At least things are being taught systematically.

  2. Hello. Nice to hear from yo, though you still never told me who you are. Haha. It makes me just want to find out more about you.

    I agree good advices need not always hurt. I just tend to do it in a way where it sounded bad and straightforward. A bitter pill. That’s me. I don’t like to make it sound very good when I don’t feel particularly optimistic.

    I agree with peer influence. Most of us are just contented with our current way of life so we just follow our peers.

    University is not really very independent learning in a way that the details are still given, and if we have questions we just ask our tutors or shoot an email. We don’t do independent study. We don’t study in greater depth on our own. But still it is quite different from A levels. To score well, it’s a different strategy used to play the game. We still have to rely on ourselves to go and do things. We have to be responsible and change our circumstances. Sometimes hope is always around the corner. We just have to take another step in a different direction.


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