Preparing for university can be a paradox of thrill and anxiety. The PREPARING FOR UNIVERSITY 101webinar was hosted and facilitated by Mavis Elias on 8 August 2021, alongside a host of present and ex-scholars, stemming from Harvard University, Cambridge University, the University of Aberdeen and Sussex University.
The webinar covered a range of topics, to help the present-day prospective scholar prepare for undergraduate or postgraduate studies. The presentation is available below.
Preparing for university 101
The first presentation was delivered by Hafeni Motsi, a Chevening Scholar from the class of 2019 and a graduate from Aberdeen University shared on student accommodation; packing hacks; navigating and facilitating your way through the transportation systems of the UK and integrating yourself into a new environment. Motsi urged prospective scholars to ensure they take up the baton of trying new things and step outside the confines of their comfort zone.
Living life on a budget
Joshua Okoduwa, a 2020 Chevening scholar presently at the University of Sussex facilitated the second session speaking on the essence of the quality of life for students studying in the diaspora. Okoduwa touched on elements of budgeting with a 4 rule guide. Finance and budgeting he stresses would have to cater to all living expenses and would need meticulous foreplanning.
Looking for alternative means of income, particularly for those who are without a scholarship, would require looking for part-time jobs in the UK market. Okuduwa shared resources through which one could gain student discounts or find student-friendly jobs.
● Rule one; honestly evaluate your income flow
● Rule two; 50-30-20 rule
● Rule three; Discount are your best friends
● Student jobs.
Hacking the UK system
Graduate studies present an opportunity for a new experience. The third speaker, Robyn Cooper, a Cambridge and Sussex University scholar, highlighted some strategies and techniques to use in one's academic journey.
The UK system requires extensive self-taught reading from supplementary reading lists which are availed to the scholar. In sharing her academic experiences, Cooper presented ways in which one can hack the system and ensure adequate planning and organization, by sharing slides of her note-taking technique.
Cooper encouraged scholars to download academic tools such as - Microsoft OneNote, Google Scholar, PDF annotator, Sumnote and Zotero.
● Turning up
● Study strategy
● Essay writing
● Collaborating techniques
Anxiety and Triggering
The final session was facilitated by, Taimi Itembu, a Harvard University graduate who shared on overcoming imposter syndrome, dealing with anxiety and prioritizing mental health.
Itembu shared “5 things I wish I knew” prior to starting her academic journey.
We’ve all been caught up in that state of “am I good enough?” in one way or the other!
Itembu stressed that the feeling of belonging will need to be cultivated by creating a strong support system, a network of friends and taking up the mental health services available through the university system. Additionally, Itembu stressed a life of balance, including nutrition, exercise, down-time and academics. The balance of the soul and body are essential (https://classpass.com).
● Conquering imposter syndrome
● The balancing act
● Make your circle bigger
● Mind Body and Soul
● Abundant learning
"If you can't fly then run if you can't run then walk if you can't walk then crawl but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
The presentation is available below.
The YOUTUBE video below.
Written by Alex Akorli and Mavis Elias
Mechanical Engineer In Training
Freelance Research Assistant
Founder: Thesis Consortium
Student Trustee at Sussex University
MA in Globalisation, Business and Development
Chevening Scholar 2020/21
Find her on Twitter - @MavisElias_