How to Make A Uni Life Work For You.
You may not have even secured a place yet but it pays to be prepared to make the most of your years at university. After all, you will want some sort of payback for taking on GHS20,000 of your tuition fee loans and another GHS15,000 or so in loans to finance your living costs.
Below are some four ways listed to make a university life work for you the perfect way.
BOOST YOUR EMPLOYABILITY
If you are still going through clearing, do not forget to look at the employment stats for your university and course. Look out for the Higher Education Statistics Agency(HESA) figures for the number in work or further education six months after leaving. The average is 90 per cent and thus, you should aim for higher.
Then once you enrol, find out about workplace opportunities. Not only can they boost your employment prospects, they can also help finance your degree.
According to the High Fliers graduate market report, more than 90 per cent of graduate employers offer paid work experience. While many of these are for students in their second second year, increasing numbers offer work experience places for first year undergraduates – more than a quarter of organisations offer paid internships and two-fifths of employers run introductory courses, open days and other taster experience for first year students.
Be warned that half of the graduate recruiters surveyed by High Fliers said that graduates with no previous work experience are unlikely to be successful in the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer. While any job can help, one in three entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for the organisation either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work. Do your research now.
LEARN NEW SKILLS
University is more than just qualifications. Going away to university helps you be more independent and self-sufficient (even if you do resort to the Bank of Mum and Dad to buy your food shop and pay the rent). It is also an opportunity lifelong friendship. So as soon as you know which university you are going to, start investigating what extra-curricular activities are on offer. They are a great way to make friends, become part of a group and feel more settled. And it can boost your job prospects.
Joining a student society or sports team can show team working, communication, organisation and management skills. A sport can also keep you fit and healthy. Freshers’ week is hectic. You will be asked to join lots of societies and clubs. Think in advance which ones will suit you best and help you in the long-run and make it a priority to join them before you have too much to drink and sign up for something you are not really interested in. Also explore volunteering – it looks great on your CV.
KEEP YOURSELF HEALTH
Studying for a degree is hard work. But the pressure is not just from your academic deadlines.
You may think your life will be one-long party , but one in four undergraduates say that life at university is a struggle, with one in three female students and one in five male undergraduates reporting a mental health problem, according to a YouGov report.
That is why it is important to feel like you belong by joining societies and clubs. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help. Student welfare services at all universities are there to help and many have mental health drop-in centres. Also register with a GP in case you need to see a doctor.
WATCH OUT FOR FRAUDSTERS
The Student Loans Company has warned fraudsters are targeting students’ first loan installments. Watch out for phishing emails and do not disclose any personal or banking details.
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