16 Things you need to know about Uni

Okay, so I thought I’d jot down a list of things to expect when you’re in university! It’s a wonderful time because (if you stay in res and are away from from home) you get afforded freedom! You’re your own boss and you have to make decisions that will help you get through the 3/4 or even 7 years of studying (if you’re a medical student). 

Here’s what to expect: 

1. As a distance learner, you automatically qualify for exams (this is at Varsity college) otherwise you have to qualify to write exams - which can be truly stressful! So make sure you put in 110% when it comes to your assignments! 

2. Classes are as early as 8! So don’t think you can sleep the whole day! 

3. Budgeting is a must (if you’re at a non-catering res) you have to find an affordable place to buy groceries so you can have money left over to go out with friends etc. some affordable places would be Pic ‘n pay and shoprite! 

4. Most UNISA assignments are multiple choice - Thank you UNISA. At varsity college they are not multiple choice. You have to do calculations, write essays etc - very time consuming but important in helping you pass your modules. 

5. Modules are like subjects! Year modules are taken for the whole year and sometimes you have to pass the first part of your year module before you can start with the second part 

6. The year is divided into First & second semester! So you take modules (subjects) for a period of 6 months! 

7. If you fail an exam (not less than 30%) causing you to fail the module (subject), you can write the exam again. This is called a supplementary exam. At varsity college it costs R500,00 and at other universities it’s free. Be warned, supplementary exams are said to be hard. Just a tip: they won’t completely repeat what was in the first exam so study the stuff that wasn’t covered in your first exam. 

8. Sometimes res food can get tiring. You will most likely get the same menu more or less. 

9. No one cares what you wear to campus because we’re all dealing with our own struggles. So, feel free to repeat clothing! 

10. If you’re studying in another province, away from home - flight tickets during semester breaks can be very expensive so either book in advance or take a bus! 

11. You will get homesick (unless like, you really hate home) 

12. Beware of the friends you make because they can either encourage you to finish the degree or lead you astray so you don’t! 

13. Sharing a toilet, kitchen and shower can be a painful time. You will meet house mates who have disgusting and filthy living habits. 

14. Everyone is looking for a part time job in Uni, you should too! It’s great to build up experience for your Cv and it’s extra money on the side. Most students do promotions or work at retail shops. 

15. Cape Town student accomodation is ridiculously expensive. 

16. You can get expelled for plagiarism (copying people’s work from the internet) it’s a serious offense at universities so learn how to reference correctly for your assignments.

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