BY YAREN SAĞLIK (TRIN/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, İpek Işık, a fourth-year Psychology student, has some words of wisdom for this year’s freshmen.
Q. What advice would you give freshmen about the Bilkent experience?
Take a deep breath! At first, meeting different people, having a busy schedule and stepping into a new environment might seem like an overwhelming experience. However, you’ll get used to it sooner than you think. Don’t worry if you can’t get high grades on the first couple of exams and assignments. As time goes by, you’ll learn how to study for different courses and develop strategies to do better in your exams. Don’t forget, every professor has different expectations for you. So, pay attention to the details your professors share with you in class, and don’t forget to check your mailbox a couple of times a day. Also, open yourself up to new experiences, because Bilkent isn’t only about classes. I strongly recommend attending seminars and conferences and participating in extracurricular activities. Doing these things will help you discover your interests and provide ways to meet new people.
Q. What’s something students should keep in mind throughout their time at Bilkent?
I believe that time management is a very important issue. Many Bilkent students complain about how busy they are. I think being organized and using time efficiently will help ease your heavy course load. If you don’t have a planner, get yourself one. Plan your day and list the things you must do that day. However, remember to set realistic goals for yourself – everyone knows that it’s impossible to study 10 chapters in three hours, so be honest with yourself if you want to meet your goals. If you can manage your time well, I promise that you’ll find plenty of time to spend with your friends and will enjoy being on campus.
Q. Any tips or tricks to surviving life at Bilkent?
Don’t forget that nothing is more important than your health, both physical and mental. Make sure that you get enough sleep and stay hydrated all the time. Whenever you feel overwhelmed and tired, take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee with your friends. Use every resource available to you; Bilkent offers a variety of opportunities. Personally, I really enjoy going to the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra concerts and checking out the exhibitions in the Bilkent Library Art Gallery. Also, don’t forget to join clubs. Besides all the fun, make plans concerning your career and what you hope to achieve in the future. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your professors and ask them questions. They’ll help guide you in finding the right career path.
Q. One word about your experience at Bilkent so far?