BY DANIYAL ADMANY (CTIS/II)
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, Ali Mammadov, a fourth-year Industrial Engineering student, gives advice as to how this year’s freshmen can make their university lives a bit easier and less complicated.
Q. What advice would you give freshmen about the Bilkent experience?
I would like to say that every period (time interval) of your life is important and special in its own way. It’s your duty to make these segments of your life as successful, as positive and happy, as effective and as undreamt of as possible. Go to your lectures, talk to your professors, get into discussions and arguments with other students, get as much professional knowledge and experience as you can! Sign up for social clubs, do sports, travel, explore, don’t waste your time; be a dynamo of energy and enthusiasm! Time is the synonym of life; the way you use your time is the way you create your life itself.
Q. What’s something students should keep in mind throughout their time at Bilkent?
Bilkent is a place where you can find almost any kind of activity for any taste. Find out what things you like the most and work on them. Bilkent has a great library and many places around campus you can explore. The name Bilkent itself is the Turkish abbreviation for “city of knowledge,” and I would like to add that it’s the city of the young and eager spirit. You can get to know people from different backgrounds, cultures and countries. You can find professionals who are able to share their knowledge and experience from various perspectives, so don’t miss the chance to take classes from other departments and get coaching in sports. There have been some instructors who became real friends to me and supported my classmates and me in tough times in both our studies and our personal lives. Furthermore, try to go for the Erasmus program and do as many internships as possible, which will help you both professionally and socially.
Q. Any tips or tricks to surviving life at Bilkent?
Bilkent offers many opportunities in many senses, but it’s your responsibility to find them and make the best use of them. This isn’t high school anymore; no one is going to take you by the hand – you’re the captain of your own ship. If you want to combine studies, sports, social life and many other things in the most efficient way, manage your time and follow your schedule minute by minute. As Muhammad Ali once said, “Don’t count the days; make the days count.” Figured that out? Great!
Q. One word about your experience at Bilkent so far?