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, Sergen Paul Göktaş, a fourth-year International Relations student, has some words of wisdom for this year’s freshmen.Q. What advice would you give freshmen about the Bilkent experience?
Seek assistance or help before it gets too late. As long as you try and make an effort in your classes, and your professors know who you are and that you’re committed, no one will actively try to fail you. A lower grade on a project/essay/exam early in the semester shouldn’t tempt you to withdraw from a course right away; if you show you’re making an effort, you’ll be surprised how much of an initiative some professors can take to help you pass.
Q. What’s something students should keep in mind throughout their time at Bilkent?
Your studies are supposed to be fun, and Bilkent offers you amazing opportunities to make them fun (I know it also makes it difficult at times to enjoy them). Join clubs, volunteer, meet as many exchange or international students as you can if you’re a local, and vice versa. There is much to learn. Always remember that moderation in the balance between your studies and extracurricular activities is key. Also, in your fourth year, when you’re about to seek a job or graduate education, you may sometimes regret not having done as many internships/extracurricular activities as you could have.
Q. Any tips or tricks to surviving life at Bilkent?
Moderation is also key concerning what you eat and drink. Don’t forget to maintain a healthy diet now that you’re away from home. For sleep, the quality, not the quantity, is key; try to sleep in sleep cycles (Google it), and you’ll be surprised how much more rested you feel.
Q. One word about your experience at Bilkent so far?