A little guide to survive tertiary education from a trade school graduate

 1.  You don’t want to be that lost soul who realises he has nothing useful to contribute when the assignment period comes. Or that guy who feels the weight of a common test three days before. The anxiety and stress will be crippling. At this stage in school, you’ll want to avoid as much unnecessary anxiety as much as possible.

 2.  The pace is A LOT faster in poly. I’m talking about one topic for each module PER WEEK. If you’re taking let’s say 7 modules for a certain semester that is 7 topics per week. So in 7 weeks, you’re gonna have to study 49 topics in total. If you have been slacking off, well, you’re in for a lot of stress and anxiety. Try not to miss class. 

 3. You’ll need and want friends at some point, trust me on this. Especially once you see close-knit cliques of friends doing cool stuff together- be it getting mala hotpot for lunch and dinner or studying a tough module together before having deep chit chats. 

 4.  With that said, don’t lose yourself trying to be accepted, don’t lose sight of your goals (and GPA). It’s a fine line to walk, ultimately.

 5. If you want to be the popular kid, make sure you are popular for the right reasons. However, remember: Whatever popularity you amass would go all up in smoke the moment you graduate. What sticks with you for sure is your diploma, your knowledge and your experience. I’ve met popular kids that became popular for being high scorers and who have their shit together in general.

 6. Make sure you have a good relationship with your lecturers and course mentor. They are your lecturers, who you know, determine whether you fail or pass their class. That should be reason enough.  

 7.  Contribute. Contribute. Contribute.

 8.  Keep your opinions about other people to yourself. It’s good practice for the workforce. Remember that your friends have friends too.

 9. Expect a fair share of snakes. (Especially if u r in a business course, from what I’ve heard)

10. You best get a planner.

11. If you have any emotional issues or whatever, nip it in the bud as soon as possible. Seek a counsellor, talk to people you can trust before it festers. Your friends will only want to hear your vents for so long, you don’t want to ruin your relationships with people, especially at this point of your life where it is harder to make friends. 

12. Work your ass off. You’ll want to stand out for being a good student who has gone above and beyond what is expected, remember what I said in part 5. Trust me, the security of having a stellar GPA, being in the good graces of lecturers, and having a decorated resume with all sorts of extra credit is a very sweet feeling. Employers LOVE decorated resumes. Remember, polytechnic is a trade school that prepares you for the workforce.

13. 99 out of 100 students cheat in poly. No doubt about that. The real questions are 1. Who doesn’t  2. Whether they get caught 3. When do they start? You’ll be surprised to see the kids who could lie straight in a crooked bed in secondary school turning to cheating in poly

14. Cheating is a serious transgression, if caught, can lead to suspension, expulsion as well as a big dirty ass black mark. You have been warned.

15. If u r written off as creepy, toxic, or lazy by the people around you, you are done.  

16. Don’t fail any module. Do not fail at any cost, no matter what. Remodding and overloading modules isn’t nice at all.

17. If you are the kind of person who likes to study the entire school textbook before the school term starts- I got bad news for you. Your lecture notes and slides will be released on time. When I say this I mean that if you want to study from week one to five two weeks at week one, welp, too bad, you’ll only have week one. Still, if you are serious about being a GPA contender, you shouldn’t let that stop you. 

18. A man’s gotta know his limitations, especially when graduation and GPA is on the line. Remember, not all polytechnic students get to go to university. You don’t take on too much than you can handle and end up having to drop modules or flunk. 

19. If you know you cannot stay the course because you hate it/ it’s not your first choice/ you hate the lecturers or *insert reason*, make sure you think it through , talk to your family.

20. There is no faster way to burn bridges by: 

Screwing people over 

 Letting ego and anger get the better of you. 

      –     Being poorly behaved – you are considered an adult at this point, behave.

      –     Being a crybaby – like I’ve said, you are already an adult. Deal with things like an adult

      –     Money disputes

      –     Romantic issues

21. During semester breaks find some work, make some money, get some taste of the workforce. It builds up your testicular fortitude and gives you a little taste test of how earning money feels like. 

22. Many lecturers simply read off the slides but should you still go? Yes.  You need to make attendance because your record does matter.

23. You cannot be weak. I don’t just mean that in a physical way, but also, if your capabilities are weak, you are going to struggle.

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