Gaining admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria (as we all know) isn’t a walk in the park. The process is so tedious and complicated that parents or students end up testifying in churches and other places of worship when they realize that they’ve been offered provisional admission into the institution they applied for.
Like attending a secondary school for the first time, the first month or 2 always seems to be confusing for every new student, the same thing applies to students who just gain admission into the higher institutions, oftentimes it takes them up to a year to get settled in.
These students are often tagged “Freshers” by their predecessors and basically everyone in the school community why? Because they are fresh into the system. This post is to guide every newly admitted student settling into your new school. It’s a long journey ahead so brace yourself.
4 Things to Know As A New Student In Nigeria’s Higher Institutions.
1. There’s more to school life than class and tests
2. Don’t join bad gangs
3. Become popular or fairly popular
4. Know your surroundings well & Fast.
There is more to school life than class & tests –
like every normal thinking student, when they start a new journey they want to jump right into making notes and reading for tests that the timetable isn’t even out yet. Hear me out, these are amazing habits and the Student Village advises every student to always prepare ahead of tests and exams. But Freshers always have a heart-wrenching moment in their final year or third year when they realize that school life is beyond class, notes and tests. There’s way more to it than the four walls and the school gate.
So the question is, what else is left? Let’s see…
2. Acquiring skills
3. Making meaningful connections with coursemates, other students & school staff
5. Making positive memories – healthy outings with friends.
6. Avoiding nervous breakdowns by keeping your mental health in check.
Now you have it, Hope you realize as a fresher that Higher Institutions come with an extra package beyond class, notes and tests.
Don’t Join Bad Gangs –
There are bad influences everywhere, right from primary school you have been faced with decisions of good and evil but in higher institutions, it’s somewhat different. Unlike before where your parents/guardians will notice a change in your behaviour in the university you are left with little supervision or no supervision at all.
From experience, schools don’t do justice to the menace that gangs cause in the School culture beyond posters and threats in handbooks. I’ll list a few things that might happen if you get into these gangs.
1. You could die, either through initiation or from a rival gang
2. You could be arrested and spend many years in prison for crimes you committed and didn’t commit.
3. You could lose your chance at getting a conventional education ever again.
In simpler terms, stay away from gangs. I’ll make a post on how to avoid being initiated into a school gang.
Become popular or fairly popular
Often times Freshers fail to realize that they won’t be in school forever but it’s the legacy & connections that they create for themselves that will be with them forever. This isn’t to convince you to start making plans to get into School politics (Even if it’s not a terrible idea) but for you to realize that you should not just pass through school the way you came. I’ve come across brilliant students who know every name in their class but no one knows them beyond the nickname “scholar” even their lecturers (who always love brilliant students) only know them by their matriculation number.
As a fresher you need to get right into meeting people, being knows for something good, get involved in-class activities and also take leadership roles when given the chance. This doesn’t mean you have to be the poster student for the entire school or department, just ensure that when 5-10 of your colleagues are asked questions about you, they can say enough things and also remember how you look like. Don’t forget, joining school politics isn’t a bad move, but dear fresher don’t forget to do everything in moderation.
Know your surroundings, know them fast
You know that saying that goes ” when you go to Rome, behave like a Roman” yeah the man or woman who said it wasn’t kidding. Most students prefer to have their higher education in states farther than where they grew up and it takes them time to get into the norms of the new environment. Now this delay doesn’t happen because the new location isn’t welcoming but because the student assumes that this new place is just like home.
Please don’t think like that if you are moving to a different state to study I’ll advise you to open your eyes and your mind and assimilate the new culture. You don’t want to get on the bad side of the natives living there, for some weird reason there’s always a clash between natives and students and I can sum these clashes to two things
Ignorance, on the part of the students.
Get into the system, know the places you shouldn’t walk into, know your curfews, keep yourself out of trouble, mom and dad are 5 – 11hrs drive away. Live smart.
Being a fresher is an amazing feat to achieve and you deserve all the accolades, I hope this post answers one out of your thousand questions. Feel free to let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading this piece, please share it with any fresher or fresher to be.