Where to Find Perspective Before Going to University?August 20, 2018

You gain perspective from an experience, but it's not the case with someone bound to university. The bush poets may have found what they are looking for, while spending some time in the bush. A teenager could see something else, and it might be a case of adventure. The same thing applies to the sea, with or without a surfboard. There's no need to see the iconic landmarks that define Oz, though.

Going to university can overwhelm anyone, everyone. Can you cope with the coursework? Can you manage yourself without your parents (or closest sibling)? Can you handle your finances? You may be tempted to ask those questions during O-Week, but you can do it way ahead of it. Think of your younger self.

What's Special About this Place?

Your own room. You must be able to study every detail of your room, and think of the features that make it special. This should keep you from getting homesick while adapting to your new room, which is far away from home. You can add a personal touch to your (new) room if reminiscing won't be good enough. However, these memories might come handy when you write your essay. (If you're a huge fan of scary films, then you might have posters of your favourite titles from that genre. It should be a plus if you're studying Gothic fiction.) Familiarity should help you settle down, if not inspire you when you're hard pressed to think of hundreds of words to complete your paper.

Home. Your mother's boundless energy should have rubbed off you, as you decide if you clean your room (or your side of your room) every week or every other week. You must have used the laundry machine once, which should give you less trepidation when you wash your own clothes (away from home). If you haven't tried preparing your own food, then you have to ask Mum about it. (Start with a sandwich.) Don't hesitate to ask your parents about budgeting, though. It should keep you from falling into debt, if not forcing yourself to spend little until your next allowance. It could affect your focus (on the coursework).

Your mates. You may miss your old mates, but it's expected. Think of making new friends before your first week at the university. You could look forward to a meet up, where you talk about anything but the coursework. (If you're heading to the English Department, then you don't want to talk about books. You might plan about a weekday holiday instead.) You could see them in a different light, a reminder that you mustn't think of your studies (and nothing else). It doesn't mean that you won't be a diligent student, but it would be better to be a well-rounded individual. Your folks may not relate to it, if not forgot it, but you only need to think of the (good) memories that you share with your mates.

University. It can be your school of choice, if not an institution that is your second (or third) preference. Something would come to mind during your first campus visit, and it doesn't have to be the reason why you're attending the university. Can the scenery inspire you? It should depend on the students you meet often, when you share a common goal. (Earning your undergraduate degree could be the only one.) It may also be your first meeting with your tutor, who would utter encouraging words. Don't worry if you end up talking with your tutor and professors more than your parents. After all, they would be your guardians.

Park. This could be unexpected, but the manicured field should give you some hints. If you could imagine the work that would be needed to maintain such an image, then you know how to manage the coursework. You're also reminded of the things that make this public place such a sight. It should be similar to your reasons behind your desire to attend the university. It's not about a party, though. (Think of your poor folks.) It applies to your studies as well. This should be a real incentive.

What Would You Make of All of It?

This perspective, which comes from different places, should guide you while writing the draft (of your essay). It could be different for the next one, if not related at all. This would be one aspect of your life. The university has lots to offer, and your tutor (or professor) could remind you of a few things. The rest is up to you. In this regard, you must learn the value of time. (Time lost won't be regained.) Reading should come to mind, which might keep you from socialising as frequent as possible. Don't worry if you're lagging in this other aspect. (You're not the only one.) You would sense it while studying in high school, though. If your parents haven't noticed it, then let your admissions essay(s) prove it.

Are you ready for the university? If not, then you may have to read some news features about it (and glean some insights).

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