BY ALİ ADEEB (ARCH/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, Helin Hocaoğlu, a fourth-year Molecular Biology and Genetics student, gives advice as to how this year’s freshmen can make their university lives a bit easier and less complicated.
Here’s a guide to learn how not to go crazy at Bilkent. You should start by figuring out whether or not you like your department. If you hate what you’re doing, if what you’re learning doesn’t excite you, consider changing your department before it’s too late. You should always have friends from your department. If you’re struggling in a particular subject, they’re the ones who can help you. I know you feel like many of your courses are unnecessary, but they’re generally offered for a reason. Accept that fact, and try your best even if you hate them.
Don’t have time for yourself because of coursework? Let’s be honest, you never work nonstop. With a little bit of time management, you can do so many other things. This is the key to your mental health. In your freshman year, find a club or an activity you’re passionate about. Once you know what you love doing, you can practice that thing to relax during stressful times, and attend little events to boost your mood. Ankara may seem like a boring city, but there are so many concerts, plays and workshops going on every day.
Be productive in the summer. Do internships and work. Experience is really important in every field. Start thinking about what you’re going to do when you graduate. Meet some seniors and ask questions. They’ll understand why you’re asking and will definitely help you, because I bet they’ve often said “I wish I’d known this before” about so many things. Don’t freak out if things don’t go as planned, because nothing does. Even if you’ve already forgotten everything you’ve read up to now, please don’t forget this: Networking is everything! You’ll realize later on how people you meet by chance can change your life completely.