5 Steps to a better student life in 2014

By admin
29 January 2014

As post-matric celebrations become memories to treasure, 2013’s school-leavers stand on the threshold of their next big life adventure – starting their post-school studies.

Going from home and school to a new environment and tertiary education is daunting, and the University of Life is set to hand out a few unexpected lessons on the way.

“Unfortunately, the business of life and living sometimes overwhelms young people as they enter this new period. So much so that the business of studying and achieving the longed-for qualification sometimes disappears into thin air, often with disastrous consequences,” says Dr Anne-Ka van den Hoek, academic manager at The Independent Institute of Education, South Africa’s largest and most accredited private higher education institution with campuses nationwide.

“It is therefore important that soon-to-be students get their heads in the right space, to create the healthy environment that will assist them in achieving the strong grades they intend to reap at the end of the year,” says Dr Van den Hoek.

She says there are a few common-sense resolutions that will stand new students in good stead and lay the foundation for success in 2014.

“By all means, go all out to enjoy being a student and the wonderful new experiences this life stage brings, but at the same time commit to taking at least one step towards self-empowerment and improvement every day. These small daily commitments will add up and, over the next three or four years, will accrue compound interest which will set you apart from your peers at the end of your studies.”

Van den Hoek says these small acts of daily empowerment will translate into a more manageable life and environment, which will have a positive knock-on effect in many aspects of students’ lives, including their studies.

New students should promise themselves the following in 2014:

  1. I’ll monitor the way I use my time. I’ll break up my free time into blocks allocated to relaxing with friends and family, to exercising my mind and body, and to following my passions. This will help me to find an appropriate balance between work and pleasure.
  2. I’ll write down the three things I should have done differently in my studies last year and check back each week that I’m not falling into those habits again.
  3. I’ll find at least one community-based activity to support, because I acknowledge I have a responsibility to give back to those less fortunate than me.
  4. I’ll take “one app at a time”, by learning one new technological skill (that isn’t about gaming or social media) every month, even if it’s only the shortcut keys on my keyboard. It all adds up to making me more effective.
  5. I’ll eat and exercise properly, not because I hope to be the centre of attention wherever I go, but because if I feel good and am healthy, I’ll look good, be more confident, and be able to deliver my best.

Dr Anne-ka van den Hoek

Dr Anne-Ka van den Hoek is the academic manager at The Independent Institute of Education

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