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, Sinae Kim, a fourth-year International Relations student from Korea, gives advice as to how this year’s freshmen can get more out of their university lives.
One special thing about Bilkent is that we have a lot of international students coming from a variety of backgrounds. When I see people shying away from meeting new people from different cultures, I think it’s very unfortunate. The internationals should grab the opportunity to expand their social circles, making friends with Turks and other foreigners. My time here at Bilkent has been entertaining and full of surprises! I’ve learned to be flexible in my opinions, and many of my pre-existing stereotypes have disappeared. For the newbies who are just starting university, I challenge you all to step out of your comfort zones, and meet new people. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy it and how much you learn! Don’t just hang out with people from your own nationality or town that you’re comfortable with – that’s what we did in high school! We’re all here at university to learn about new things, and making foreign friends is a start. It will not only help you improve your English or Turkish, but will also help you in academia, in social life, and in finding possible working partners and friends for the future. Many of your fellow students would love the opportunity to make new friends, but may be too shy or intimidated to approach you. Dear Bilkent freshmen, don’t leave it to others to take the initiative – you should take it yourself, and approach others first!