I remember the smile on my face when I received my admission letter. I received it with such a great demeanor and pride that I was now an undergraduate, even though I had no idea what undergraduates do in a university. Because it was a school in a Francophone country, we had to undergo an orientation program, and in no time I knew what I was in for as an undergraduate.
Getting admission into a tertiary institution is a great deal, and it is a milestone. The first step into greatness and educational success. This article had been on my subconscious for a few weeks now.
However, I have decided to write down a few questions teenagers like you want to ask about the university, and the right answers to your various questions.
1. How different is a university from a high school?
When I was growing up, I had a cousin who was in a tertiary institution,. She was running a part time course in a public polytechnic in Lagos. I knew she had tons of assignments to do, handouts to purchase, register to fill, but that was not all.
A high school or secondary school is a place where you are prepared for your university education. The difference between these two is that, the University prepares you solely for your career path.Tweet
Apart from that, the structure of a university is totally different from a high school. There are different levels of educators; junior lecturers (those with probably a Master’s degree), senior lecturers (the PhD holders) and Professors.
You will hardly find a professor teaching Secondary School Students.
2. Can I do a part time job as an undergraduate?
Yes, but this depends on the structure of the country where your school is located, and the structure of the school itself.
If you school in the UK or USA, you can get some part time jobs as a student, depending on your curriculum in school, and the regulations laid down by your school.
Here in Nigeria, it is quite difficult to have a part time job as an undergraduate. As much as we cannot out rightly rule out the possibility of working part time as an undergraduate in Nigeria, you need to understand the structure of your department.
If you want to work part time, the following will help you achieve your goal:
- What kind of part time job do you want? It is a soft skill job, or 9-5
- How much time can you spare after your school work?
- Can you balance both your school and work?
If you have the right answers to these questions, then you are good to go.
3. How can I manage my passion effectively as an undergraduate?
Recently, I was in a conversation with a teenager taking a course on agriculture but she has a passion for cooking. As a fresh graduate, she still cooks, participates in cooking competitions, and also attend lectures.
I have met few teenagers who have no plans of becoming a professional in the course they are studying in school, although their course is a compliment to their passion.
The best way to manage your passion is to understand what you want, and start developing yourself in it.Tweet
You have 4 years to prepare perfectly well for whatever you are passionate about. You can also join clubs, volunteer for organizations that will help you narrow your passion and become better.
4. Will I have my freedom as an undergraduate?
When I was in high school, I often heard the statement, “I can’t wait to get into the University”. It was said by my classmates who were either not comfortable with the regulations in the school as at then, or they had a hidden agenda to do the moment they become an undergraduate.
These are seen immediately young people get into the University. Some do not want to live in the hostel because they are not ready to abide by instructions or because they do not want their parents to stalk them.
The level and discipline of each university varies from each other, a private university is bound to place more discipline and orderliness on their students because of their image and prestige than a government university.
Freedom in a university does not support or mean you should stab classes for unknown reasons, get addicted to drugs, become a night crawler or fail woefully in your test and have a low grade.Tweet
If you think this is what freedom means to you, you are definitely preparing to be served a withdrawal by the school’s management or a very low grade.
Freedom simply means you are not obliged to wake up at a certain time, sleep at a certain time, eat a certain kind of food, use a certain kind of school bag, socks, and maybe shoes. You have the freedom to wear any outfit or make a hairstyle of your choice provided it is suitable to the ethics of your school or department.
I hope this will help you and your friends who are preparing to get into a tertiary institution.
What other questions do you need answers to? Feel free to drop them in the comments, and I will attend to them.
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