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THE ESSENTIAL FOR FIRST YEAR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Essentials for University student

Essentials for University student. The article provides the essential to first year students that is of great importance at campus. The article is indeed of paramount importance. Thus the article introduces you to the important tips when you will be at the university.

When Universities open their doors to receive new and continuing students, there is hope of the future. The community’s hope lies in the fact that these academics in the making are potential problem solvers of the problems facing our community. It is a hopeful moment for Tanzanian, African and world community in general as new solutions seekers, new academics are underway for training.

The moment is equally of great significance to the first year students as their dreams of a University education starts unfolding. And from the academic office we cherish their arrival and welcome them in the new community of learners. We congratulate them for having made it to the University.Congratulations to you! Felicitation à tous et à toutes!

Dr. Ben Carson, the famous African American medical doctor, who was a student at Yale University, in his book, entitled “Think Big”, treasures so much his experience of the first steps that he made at the University. He worked so hard and his hard work paid him well; I believe that he, just like many other graduate students so much treasures the University experience because he walked out of the university successfully. It is the same call and experience that you need to hear it ringing in your ears and whispering it in your hearts. You have come to the University to work, yes to work hard and walk out successfully. This should be your resolution as you commence an academic journey at the University level; for one to be successful, it calls for lots of hard work, discipline, and sacrifices and much more!

Dear student, joining a University is the beginning of a new era in the whole of your life – your ways of acting and conducting will never be the same again. It is now that begins your life as fully free thinking being and owner of one’s thoughts. For some of you, it is the first time that you are away from your parents; it is the first time for some of you to have a personal bank account with money in it, and so, that already calls for some management skills that should help you take care of your many precious gifts and assets that you possess. These underneath mentioned aspects and many more unmentioned will you help define your raison d’être at University.

Time: this is one of those precious endowments that mankind possesses; philosophers of different ages have defined it in different ways and you too can join them and do the same. In business they say money is made and lost in time, and yet again time is money! Or the more common English saying that goes; time and tides wait for no man! You can compose your own sayings such as “a degree is obtained or lost in three years”. Even as you come to the University your time of stay of which you want to obtain your degree, is very much limited. You only have three years for most programs.

Three years might sound big but in reality you only have about 102 weeks, which is about 15 weeks in each semester of an academic year of two semesters, plus 12 weeks of practical training in the field which makes it roughly 26 months in total. It is in this period of time that you need to accomplish your academic dream. The call here is make use of your time wisely. There are many issues that you will have to deal with as students; you will need to participate in social activities for we are social beings, and so socialize and make good friends as we are no islands.

Dear student, your social life is an important aspect of the academic life. There are different students’ organizations that you can join with for socializing positively and for your intellectual and psychological growth at the University. Make as many good friends as possible. Good friends have always been a great assert in life, for this you can have as many testimonies as there are people. “A friend in need is a friend indeed”, another saying goes “tell me who are your friends and I will tell you what your behavior is”! It is important to know the behavior of the people you befriend because this will as well determine the way you conduct yourself academically.

At this juncture, the state of affairs in the world comes in mind; a considerable number of youth (I have no current statistics) are involved in illicit drug business; we hear of youth caught as they deal in this illegal business, when they are held that becomes the end of their dreams and most plans become shuttered. John Grisham an American author in his title “The Innocent Man” narrates a true story of a talented American college young person, Ron Williams, who was lost in alcoholic drinks and so lost all his dreams…the town or city you find yourself in is not immunized to such problems and so beware in your dealings.

Dear students some of you will receive money from the Loan Board or from other sources. Let me remind you that the money you receive is a loan, and that means sometimes in the future you will have to repay it; so do not take it as a grant; it is a loan that you are receiving. Once you get it, use it wisely and for the intended purpose; do not make the book allowances for instance as a “drinking allowance” as some students call it; buy books and read them for enriching your knowledge – there are always novel ideas to learn from books.

Dear students, cultural shock will be another experience. I know many of you are completely new in town; you have come to the city for the first time. It is possible that you have come or you will come across some cultural shocks as you make yourself familiar in the town. It is true that each people and community have their unique ways of conduct, and so it is an opportunity for you to appreciate other peoples’ culture and learn from them; you may keep the good ones and discard the less good ones – “a true learned person does not limit himself/ herself in the classroom only – they go beyond the ordinary milieu of learning”

Dear students, another aspect to observe is that of ethical life. I believe that the quality of your life as an academic needs peace of mind – you need to be balanced in order for you to perform well in your studies. To obtain the said balance, you have to live an ethical life; there should be conformity between your deeds and your way of living. I know that you are all believers of one sort or another as John Mbiti, a well known African religious philosopher, puts it “an African is a notorious religious being.” Well and good then live according to the good teachings of your faith or simply do good and avoid evil or again follow what your informed conscious tells you to do… your inner harmony will help you lead a fruitful stay in the city and will give you a great academic experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Dear students, As I urge you to lead a religious life you need to lead a balanced religious and academic life; it is here that we can employ the argument of St. Thomas Aquinas; our faith needs to be accompanied by a dose of intellectual appetites; that is faith should go along with reasons; without reason we risk falling into fundamentalism; a situation that reduces a person into a non thinking being. When a human person, in the name of religion stops, employing reason, intelligence the results are what we observe with Boko Haram in Nigeria, LRA in Uganda, and so on. The call to you is lead a balanced life.

Moreover, we human beings are both body and soul as Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher puts it. We know that the body has its needs and the soul has its own; there are no moments when only a part of us acts-it is our whole being that works as a single unit to come up with a final product which in your case, you as a student, it is good performance in your studies.

All needs of our body and those of the soul should converge to academics nothing else but academics. But, make no mistakes, academics is not an end in itself; it is just a means to help you become a better person and so be able to serve your community and the society at large– your objective should be that of serving the community; serving it as an informed person.

Dear student, use this time too to develop your talents; get to know them better and invest in them. Talents are so important that actually, the selection of the program you wish to pursue should have been informed by your talent. Let me conclude this article with the wise words of Julius Nyerere on the meaning of University: “ A University is an institution of higher learning; a place where people’s minds are trained for clear thinking, for independent thinking, for analysis, and for problem solving at the highest level. This is the meaning of a university anywhere in the world”. Now that you know the meaning of University it is upon you to live fully your life at the campus.

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