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By Bella Booysen
University is an exciting prospect. It is a new challenge in life for every matric who is finally going from daily school life to the adult world, and that in itself is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking for teens. However, if you are well prepared and ready for the real world, the prospect of applying and going to university should not be anxiety inducing. There are many ways that you can prepare for this new thrilling adventure that awaits.
First, you need to sit down and do your own research. Ask yourself questions. What field am I interested in? What do I love to do? How can I combine what I love with a prospective career one day? How will I go about doing this? Take a few weeks in the beginning of your matric year, even if you have been thinking about this for years, and fully decide on what you want to do. Research universities and see which of them have the resources and expertise you need to be able to make your dream career into a reality. If you do not know what you want to do, there are many tests and analyses out there that can help. In the end though, you have to make this decision for yourself. A good tip is to choose at least three universities and apply to all of them, just to be sure.
So, you have decided on your degree and chosen a university. What is next? Organisation. You need to apply to the university of your choice, which means there are documents that you have to send in along with your application. If you are moving to a different town or city, you also need to sort out your accommodation, finances and, if you are moving abroad, your visa and other documents. This all sounds like the most boring thing in the world and all you want to do is get to university and start living your new, independent life. However, the earlier you sort this out, the easier your life will be when you get to that point. Certain degrees only have a set number of places for students and I am sure you would not want to miss out on your dream degree because you procrastinated on doing the boring documentation early. Take it from someone who applied two weeks before the closing date – the stress is not worth it. Be prepared.
University is party central, but do not get too enthralled with the new scene. This a chance for you to find who you are. I am not saying study 24/7 but take time for yourself. Learn some new skills, like cooking. Discover new places. Meet new people. I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘high school is the best years of your life’. Whoever said that, did not go to university.
Congratulations, you are an adult now. Good luck and enjoy your new journey.