BY NAUSHERWAN AZIZ (MAN/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, Baran Burgaz Ayaz, a fourth-year Management student, has some words of wisdom for this year’s freshmen.Q. What advice would you give freshmen about the Bilkent experience?
You need to have strong relationships with your professors, or at least some of them. For some of you, it may seem hard to do this, but not having had as many of these relationships as I could have is a thing that I regret. If your instructors know you, and especially if they like you, you’ll benefit from that. But please don’t have too much self-esteem and ask too many questions in class unless you’re a super genius, because there are “silly questions,” and if you’re asking a lot of questions, probably you’re asking one of them.
Q. What’s something students should keep in mind throughout their time at Bilkent?
I think it’s okay not to know what you’ll do after graduation, but while you’re here, do things that will help you in any path you may choose. That way, your career options won’t be limited to the fields that you study at Bilkent. Dream big. My time at Bilkent passed really quickly. Even though this is my fifth year here, I can’t believe how fast it’s gone. So my first piece of advice is, “Live every day like you’re never going to graduate, and work like you’re going to graduate tomorrow.” There will be times when you’ll fail classes and think that you’ll be trapped at Bilkent forever; get rid of those feelings. Last year a guy graduated in his thirteenth year. You’ll also graduate. Although the withdraw thing sounded stupid and useless to me at first, it didn’t take too much time for me to realize that it isn’t. So don’t use all four of your withdraws in your first semester. Build good friendships. Keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity. But of course sometimes quantity also matters.
Q. Any tips or tricks to surviving life at Bilkent?
Having a mug and bringing your own coffee to school will be a good investment. Your English skills are very important. Never forget that. Unless you’re a native speaker, you need to try to improve your English skills as soon as possible; that will be excellent capital for you and help you survive at Bilkent. Talking at study tables in common areas may be okay, but shouting is not; if you see a person studying, please show some respect and keep silent. And lastly, find some places where you feel comfortable, where you feel like you belong on campus.
Q. One word about your experience at Bilkent so far?