I don’t intend on being your father or pastor or elder or that old wise man in your village from where you come from or stay.
I am sorry you won’t be hearing things like, study hard, build your CGPA, get a first class, pray every second, don’t go out and all those they tell us. They have said theirs and all they’ve said you must heed anyway. However, I will be telling you 6 important things to do in the university that I think they might have left out and why you must do them in my opinion.
- Join at least one university approved society/association on campus
The university is like a big town with many communities. The communities on campuses mostly referred to as societies or associations range from social ones to religious ones. Make sure to get membership with at least one of the many approved societies on campus as they will give you an opportunity to develop some life skills, meet people, support you in most ways (sometimes even financially). If you want to reap the most out of your membership be a participating member not just a member. If you have no idea which community to join at first, here are a few suggestions: Your church’s association, faculty or school association. These are usually good starters until you are well aware of the environment and want to join some more depending on your interests and passion.
- Go for at least one fun trip every year.
We know you want to be that serious student who moves from lecture hall to hostel/hall and back to lecture hall. It’s a good thing. I myself, I’d love to father a son like that but honestly, all work and no fun makes you a dull boy. Fun trips though termed ‘fun’ are avenues to also learn. If not for some fun trips I embarked on, I wouldn’t have known a better part of the Ashanti History, I wouldn’t have seen a peacock and peahen, I wouldn’t have seen gold or even touched it, I wouldn’t have known many other things I know today.
If you want to have some exposure and learn and unlearn while you take some time of your books and have fun make sure to take a fun trip at least once every year.
- Do an internship
Everyone hates working and not getting paid or doing ‘junky’ jobs. Steve Jobs, Jack Ma, Dr. Kwabena Duedu and the likes all did ‘junky’ jobs and never got paid. What followed however afterward was more rewarding. Being an intern gives you the opportunity to acquire skills in your area of study as well as give you exposure to the kind of job you may be doing. Least I forget interning is a sell-out of your skill, character and personality to potential employers 3,2 0r 1 year before your graduation given you a better stake of being employed in the place you interned.
Be an intern during vacation periods regardless of whether you are paid or what ‘junky’ job you are given. You will reap the benefits much later.
- Get innovative and start a business
No pressure here at all but I hope you have heard about the sad rate at which unemployment is on the proliferate. You are new in the system and I wouldn’t urge you to rush to start anything. What I will however stress on for you to do is to start putting your ideas together so when you are well abreast with the environment and the rules of your institution you can fly. Don’t say you don’t have ideas friends. The thing you are passionate about, that skill you were naturally born with, the talent; that’s what you must be innovative about and make it into a business. Thank me later when after many years it begins to pay you. And oh! a word of advice, you don’t need to start big, small beginnings bring the best of returns if you don’t believe me ask Dangote.
- Take a part time job.
Maybe it’s true that there are no jobs in this country and you being an undergraduate student your chances of landing a job and even more a part-time one is very slim. I am not asking that you apply to be the Chief operations officer for BOST or a Manager at Ghana Commercial Bank on a part time basis.
You will be surprised how much some of your colleague students will be willing to pay for you to clean their rooms, cook for them type for them (not do their assignments), fix their broken down gadgets, teach them among others. There is no shame in it. If you are being paid and its safe and legal do it. That extra cash can buy you airtime, a pair of trousers or even help you set up your own business. You never know.
- Make as many friends as you can
Be wise and circumspect about them though. Make friends but make sure that you are benefitting from the friendship more, rather than you are not. No man is an island and regardless of where you go in life you will need people, to help you. There is nothing much better than for those people to be friends from yester days. Plus, some of these friends will be a pillar of support during your stay in school and some even till you draw your last breath. Choose many but choose well.
I always say, “there is no formula for life, no formula for success just principles which work differently for everyone” Make sure to discover how these principles work for you and use them to your advantage. I wish you the very best in your journey and congratulations!
Amemo Raphael Eyram