BY TASNEEM AL-GHAMDI (COMD/IV)
For most of us, a new role in life presents a variety of challenges and some surprises, too. Advice from someone who’s already been there can help get us through the rough spots. In the case of university students, who better than seniors to offer the benefit of their experience?
This week, Zainab Haroon, a fourth-year Economics student from Pakistan, gives advice as to how this year’s freshmen can make their university lives a bit easier and less complicated.
I think the most important piece of advice for the freshmen out there is to maintain balance between their social and academic lives: in other words, being able to make time for yourself, friends and family, but also putting emphasis on your academic career.
Life at Bilkent can get pretty tough when you have a bunch of presentations, research papers and midterms coming up all at once. It’s really easy to feel overwhelmed at that point. But I guess the key is just to stay focused from the beginning so that you don’t have to deal with all the pressure in a short amount of time, and to never underestimate yourself. At the same time, you should understand that the results you get will reflect the amount of work you’ve put in. So aim high, but be prepared to work your tail off!
Having said that, these four years won’t be all about your grades. There’s a lot more you’re going to learn about yourself and about others. In this respect, it’s essential for you to spare time for yourself and for your friends. Spend some time doing something you’re passionate about, eat well, work out or play some sport, explore the countless beautiful tourist attractions that Turkey has to offer, and savor the little things that bring you joy.
To end this piece of advice, I’d say you should never be too hard on yourself; let yourself grow, and don’t ever be afraid to be the only one doing what you’re doing or believing what you believe in. This is what distinguishes you from others and makes you who you are. Most importantly, always give your family the time they deserve, since they’re the ones you’ll be sure to find by your side at the end of these four years.
Bilkent is great university and I’m definitely going to miss it. Even though there will be times when you’ll say the complete opposite, you’ll find yourself feeling the same way when you graduate! Good luck to you all!