It’s time to pack your bags and head off to varsity – a whole different world to the one you’ve been used to at school. There’s loads more people to meet, places to go, and things to do… which could all be a little intimidating as you take your first step toward young adulthood and independence.
Respublica, South Africa’s leading student accommodation provider, has welcomed thousands of first years to its halls over the last nine years, and offers the following tips to crushing your first year at varsity!
Dare to dive right in
Carpe the heck out of that diem and take part in as many activities and events as you can. While you may feel safe signing up for activities similar to those you aced in high school, now’s the time to try something different! Stretch your skills across the arts and culture, student traditions or even new sports that you’ve always wanted to try. There are also many different ways to serve your fellow students through fundraising or Students Representative Council activities.
Friends are the family you get to choose
They say the friends you meet at varsity will stick with you through life, and while it may be easy to stick with that one person you know from home who’s at varsity with you, take the chance to broaden your friendship circle and meet new friends from all walks of life! Strike up a conversation with the person you probably wouldn’t have spoken to at school, socialise with class mates, hang out with other students in your res who are studying completely different degrees. If you’re a gamer, chat to a rugby player, if you’re an arts major, chat to an accounting or law major– you’ll be surprised just how much you have in common! Varsity is the place where lifelong friendships are built, most often through chance encounters in unexpected places
Work hard and play hard
While you’ve been looking forward to the varsity social scene since you first filled in your application, don’t forget that your studies are the main reason you’re here – and you need to give them as much (if not more) attention. When you’re looking for accommodation, choose a res that gives you the perfect combination of entertainment areas and study spaces and academic support – with the best being those that offer a res-life programme to help you achieve that perfect balance between work and play.
Avoid the budget blues
If you’ve moved away from home for your studies, chances are that this is the first time you’ll be completely responsible for your own budget. Now’s the time to make sure you’re fully aware of all your costs, so that unexpected surprises like laundry costs or Wi-Fi in res don’t break the bank. Better yet, choose a residence that offers all-inclusive packages that cover all the essentials (including uncapped WiFi, on-site gym, laundry service and weekly housekeeping) in the monthly cost, and you’ll avoid having to choose between food and clean clothes at the end of the month.
Healthy body = healthy mind
The mythical first year fifteen is more of reality than many expect as many students find themselves stopping all physical activity once they get to varsity to attend classes, study and embrace newfound social lives. Remember to keep up with your exercise regime, even it’s an early-morning run around campus a few times a week. Alternately, choose a res that has an in-house gym with no extra membership fees, and you can make sure that you get a full-body workout, when it suits you.
All Respublica residences include free uncapped WiFi, a computer lab and study rooms, a gym, a games room, a chill room, laundry facilities and a swimming pool, making sure that there is space to do anything you choose – whether it’s socialising, studying, or keeping fit and healthy.