5 ways to prepare for varsity

Girl going to varsity
Girl going to varsity
Klaus Vedfelt/ Getty images

GOING to university can be an exciting time for you once you have passed matric. Your parents are also excited that you have passed matric, but there may be some anxiety as going to university may mean that you will be far from home.

1. Plan ahead

You and your parents should plan well for this phase of your life. One of the ways you can plan for varsity is by choosing school subjects that will help you get admitted into the course you wish to study for. Some young people end up choosing courses they do not want to study because of their subject choices. Sit down with your parents and discuss the career path you wish to follow and let them help you choose the subjects that you will need to further your studies. Aviwe Ngombane, a registered psychological counsellor based in Mthatha, advises parents to also establish a lifestyle of responsibility at home. “Your child should be prepared for independence. Start preparing them while they are young and add on responsibilities so that they are prepared as they get older,” she advises.

2. Know what you want

The most important thing is for you to know what you want out of life and not what your parents or friends want. This will help you set your goals. You also need to be content with your choices. These are not choices that you can make when you are already in varsity, but should plan for well ahead. You need to know your core values and understand what you want to achieve out of life. In that way, when temptations come your way, you will be reminded of your set goals.

3. Involve your parents

It is important to involve your parents in the planning of your future, but this does not mean they should impose themselves on your choices. One of your parents may have wanted to be a doctor or lawyer, but this does not mean that you should study to become a doctor or lawyer. Sit with your parents and research on the career path that you want to pursue. Maybe one of them knows someone at work or in the community who has followed the same career path you want to pursue and they can give you more information about it. Get their input as this may assist you in your decision-making. It is important that your parents show interest in what you are interested in.

4. Living alone for the first time

One of the things that most parents and children fear is the child being away from home. Your parents may wonder how you are going to cope being away from home and this may be the same for you. This is where the values they have taught you at home will be tested and practised. Aviwe adds that parents should also create a sense of openness. "The child may not be exposed to the reality of life and those are conversations that should happen," she says.

5. Putting safety first

You need to know that now that you are in varsity, you are responsible for yourself. You should be mindful of your safety by avoiding walking alone at night and being reckless at parties. Discuss subjects such as sex education with your parents before you leave home.

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