Campus life affords students the unique opportunity to be part of a community that will enhance their tertiary experience outside of the classroom – spiritually, socially and physically. From joining a club to learning the new “lingo” or getting involved in a sport or community engagement programme, campus life is sure to give students a sense of a home away from home while building a robust academic legacy.
The transition from high school to tertiary along with the various changes in both personal and academic lives can be daunting for a first-year student. Apart from gaining the opportunity to explore their newfound freedom, students might be left with lingering questions with the most popular one being ‘what can I expect from campus life?’.
André Lubbe, Campus Head at IIE MSA – a leading brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) shares some tips on how to get the best out of your time on campus as a student.
Join a club or association
Joining a club is a great way to meet new people and network. Becoming a part of a club or association will grant you the opportunity to give back to the community; widen your expertise and of course, to gain new skills. Some clubs or associations to consider are the Debating Union, Public Health Club, Finance and Investment Society, Engineering Society and various church societies.
IIE MSA also places a big focus on community engagement and volunteering forms a big part of life on campus. Students can use the skills they gain through volunteering during their time at IIE MSA to bring change and upskilling to people’s lives.
Get ready for action.
It’s great to be involved in some sport as a student. Exercise is a great outlet to release tension or stress while allowing an excellent opportunity to socialise with your peers. Some sporting activities that may be on offer, but may differ from campus to campus are basketball, volleyball, tennis, netball, rugby, soccer and a campus gym.
Stay at student accommodation/residence
A sure way to quickly feel at home, make friends and adjust to campus life is to live at a student residence where you are studying. This way, you are surrounded by your peers, and there’s a sense of camaraderie. Student residences will allow you to collaborate, participate, connect, contribute and interact with people your age while learning from those older than you, who will be able to guide you during your academic journey.
Understand the Campus “Lingo”
Not sure what the people around you are talking about? This might be because some campus terminology is different from high school. We have put together a few terms that might come up during conversation and their meanings to help you understand the campus “lingo” a little bit better:
● SRC: The Students’ Representative Council is the highest decision-making structure of student governance.
● Swot: This term is used by students when they are referring to studying very hard, especially in preparation for an exam.
● Res: The place where you will be living if you choose to live on-campus – residence.
● Supp: This refers to a supplementary exam. A supplementary exam is written in the event that a student does not perform well during their initial exam.
● Tuts (or Tutorials): This is a small group that meets to discuss a particular module in a more intimate setting with fellow students and a lecturer or tutor. The lecture material is discussed and debated. The smaller class setting allows students to ask questions and allows the lecturer or tutor to break new learning down into smaller pieces to make the learning process more manageable.
● Tutor: Person responsible for delivery of tutorials, usually a student.
● Vac: This term refers to vacation.
● Canteen: The canteen or cafeteria is a store that sells food and beverages within the campus premises.
Says Lubbe, “At IIE MSA, students are treated as young adults, which brings about a certain amount of responsibility when managing time and workload. Some other responsibilities to be made aware of include managing finances and possibly living away from home. It’s important to maintain a good balance between academic work and social life. Students are encouraged to consider the possibility of joining one of the many student clubs and societies. These fun and inspiring outlets can assist students to maintain balance.”