Higher education is probably the turning point of a person’s life as they take the first step out of their comfort zone. College education paves the way for many opportunities and possibilities in the future. A college diploma serves as a key to many doors of the future.
And as a student, it is only right to prepare for it. Although a student’s shot for job opportunities heavily rely on his or her skills, experience, character, principles, and work ethics, the fact that a good higher education background has a significant bearing is undeniable.
It is why investing in the best university and college education is never worthless. In fact, some people study in the top IB school in Singapore to have better opportunities for prime and high-quality university and college education in the country and abroad.
Nevertheless, whether you are entering a prestigious school or a community college, freshman year can be overwhelming if you come unprepared. Here is a quick and helpful guide to university life for incoming freshmen.
5 Essential Things You Need To Prepare For Higher Education
Preparing for your tertiary education is your first giant leap to adulthood. Doing it right the first time reduces the risk of getting sidetracked throughout the university years. More than time management and less procrastination, here are the most essential things and activities you need to prepare before going to college.
Research About Your Prospective School
It is essential for high school students and secondary school students to at least have an idea about their prospective university and college schools. There are factors to consider when choosing a university. It includes the ideal programme or degree, location, tuition and miscellaneous fees, and school ranking and speciality.
● Programme and Degree
Generally, universities offer a wider range of programmes than colleges. Students can choose liberal arts programmes, maths and sciences degrees, and vocational education. It is advisable to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and consider the length of the programme to determine which degree to take.
Students are also encouraged to explore different studies and activities during secondary school years to make the selection process much easier.
Although the current situation only permits remote learning, not soon enough, face to face classes will return. Students may need housing facilities and residence halls for universities situated away from home.
It is also likely for students withinternational baccalaureate diplomas in Singaporeto become qualified to universities overseas, which provides broader opportunities.
● Tuition and Miscellaneous Fees
The school fees vary depending on the universities. There are government-subsidised schools, and there are also private colleges.
Students can also apply for financial aid from organisations, the government, or the university itself. There are universities abroad that offer full-scholarship grants for international baccalaureate diplomabearers, especially those who have shown excellent performance at an IBDP in Singapore.
● School Rankings and Speciality
Looking into schools’ rankings and speciality is optional. However, if you are particular to quality education, you may consider them as well. They are universities that have specialisation in engineering and architecture and other programmes.
Documents and Credentials
Once you are certain enough which path to take in college, it is better to gather valid documents and credentials and acquire skills and experiences you think you can use in university. Apart from excellent grades, extracurricular activities and relevant seminar attendance make you a desirable student for universities.
Getting aninternational baccalaureate diplomaincreases your shot for Ivy League universities and prestigious schools abroad. It is why many parents enrol their children in anIBDP in Singapore.
Student Financial Aid
One of the most important things to prepare for college is the tuition and miscellaneous fee; and school allowances. Looking for potential financial aid as early as possible will lessen the burden of these tertiary education fees. Generally, there are two most common student financial supports in Singapore and other countries.
● Grants and Scholarships
Scholarships and grants are often cash given to students to accommodate academic fees and school allowances. Government bodies, private organisations, charities, colleges and universities offer grants and scholarships to eligible students.
Usually, organisations take into consideration the student’s financial capacity, academic merit, talent and potential, and interests in specific fields before awarding scholarship grants.
For example, Ivy League universities may provide a full scholarship to international baccalaureate diploma bearers in Singapore or any eligible student with excellent academic merit for a particular specialised programme in the university.
● Student Loan
A student loan is a sum of money lent to students to cover their higher education expenses. Unlike grants and scholarships, student loans are not free and should be repaid afterwards. The interest rate varies depending on the provider.
Part-time Job Opportunities
Apart from student financial aid, incoming freshmen can help cover their other school expenses by finding job opportunities near their university.
There are universities in Singapore and abroad that offer part-time student assistant jobs within the campus. The students earn money by doing admin tasks in the university while studying.
Students should also consider job opportunities outside the campus when searching for prospective universities. A university nearby a strong economy provides various part-time job opportunities, from staff for shops and restaurants to apprenticeships in companies and businesses.
Since the current setup is remote working, students can also support themselves through online freelance jobs. Being resourceful and street smart is something that is learned outside thetop IB school in Singapore.
Safety and Security
Incoming freshmen students should also consider the safety and security of the campus. Preparation for unprecedented events and emergencies should not be seen as a negative omen but rather a tool to avoid danger.
Incoming college students need to be familiar with the safe and unsafe areas on the campus. Students should have a list of emergency hotline numbers and identify the nearest police stations, hospital and other essential establishments such as grocery stores and banks in case of urgent events.
This tip is not only applicable for freshmen students but also for high school students who are attending secondary school and IBDP in Singapore.
The Dos and Don’ts of a College Student
University life can be daunting and overwhelming than the old student life at thetop IB school in Singapore. With this simple dos and don’ts guide, you can certainly survive your first term in university.
Do Take Advantage of Campus Resources
Universities provide free use of campus facilities like library and research centres, internet connection, career centres, and other services, including medical and dental service, counselling, tutoring, recreational services. Even schools that offer IBDP in Singapore offer these services and facilities for students.
Do Buy Used Textbooks
A cheaper alternative to a brand-new textbook is the used one you can buy online at an affordable price. The selling of used books is common in universities as well. It is a win-win situation for both senior students and junior students. The upperclassmen earn extra money for allowance, while the lowerclassmen save money from buying a textbook at a lower price.
Online marketplaces also sell second-hand academic materials. Most of the books are still as good as new.
Do Set Reasonable and Attainable Goals
One of the ways to avoid getting side-tracked is setting reasonable and attainable goals each term. It is harder to keep track of your progress if you lack term objectives. At the same time, setting up unreasonable expectations may lead to disappointment. Low expectations, on the other hand, may not unleash your full potential.
To help you set your goals, use the SMARTT guide. SMARTT stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Targeted, and Time-framed.
If you want to ace thetop IB school in Singapore and qualify to prestigious schools and Ivy League universities abroad, apply the tried and tested SMARTT guide.
Do Take Responsibility Of Your Actions
During university years, young adults learn the importance of decision making. Every decision has positive and negative consequences. Taking responsibility for your actions not only applies to failures but achievements as well. Higher education is full of temptation but also has a plethora of opportunities too. Wise decisions are essential in achieving great feats; perfect decoration on the resume.
Unlike in international baccalaureate programmes in Singapore, colleges and universities provide a more liberated and diverse community. Socialising in your university community immerses you in different cultures, beliefs, and ideas, which can help you in the long run. The familiarity and experience with unique people allow you to adapt to different environments quickly. We also open our social and political awareness through socialising with people of different walks of life.
Don’t Compare Your Academic Performance With Others
It is our innate competitive nature that we develop a habit of comparing ourselves to other people. It is essential to understand that people have unique sets of strengths and weaknesses. Comparison of academic performance leads to disappointment most of the time. It is much better to compare your current performance to your past. It helps you identify which area of your academic life you lacked and develop a plan and action based on your evaluation.
Don’t Develop A Habit Of Procrastination
University life can be demanding most of the time, and it is normal for students to get behind their schedules and deadlines. You can prevent developing a habit of procrastination by practising time management. As much as possible, learn time management beforehand or during your time inIBDP in Singapore. It makes the adjustments a lot easier.
Don’t Forget Your Well-being
Tough subjects, extracurricular activities, and commitments to academic organisations can easily take away your time for yourself. Your well-being should always be on top of these commitments. Make sure not to skip meals every day. Walking and jogging around the campus is a way to keep your body active as well. After all, your brain and body cannot function well without proper sustenance.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
It is normal to experience failures at university, but it should not let you down. Taking occasional breaks is vital, especially for the mental health of students. Emotional support from families and friends makes a significant change in self-confidence. It also reduces the stress students feel in the university.
Most universities and colleges offer free counselling services for their students. Don’t be afraid to visit them and ask for help and assistance.
5 Must-Have Items For College Students
Once you finished high school and decided to live in the residence hall of your college or decided to study overseas after achieving your international baccalaureate diploma, you will start living alone and taking care of yourself. To survive the first step to adulthood and independence, here are the must-have items for college students.
Planners help students to stay on schedule and manage time efficiently. It is easy to keep a tab on your future commitments and appointments, making sure you will not forget an important one. It also helps to be productive by completing daily tasks stated in your planner.
Sometimes it is inevitable to share a dorm room with a noisy housemate or live in an apartment situated near bustling pubs and highways. It is difficult to study and concentrate in these situations. Wearing noise-cancelling headphones eliminate blaring sounds.
Spare battery, charger, and power bank
College students use electronic devices a lot, like smartphones and laptops. In case you lose or damage your current charger, having a spare laptop and mobile phone charger cable prevents any inconvenience. On the other hand, batteries and power banks come in handy in times of power outage.
Like studying in thetop IB school in Singapore, your academic activities may demand you to pull an all-nighter occasionally. Going to 24-hour cafes may not be advisable, especially at midnight; that is why having a coffee maker gives you an unlimited supply of caffeine. It is more cost-effective than buying coffee outside as well.
Mini Tool Kit
When repair service is not available, a mini tool kit allows you to fix broken and disassembled items by yourself. It also comes in handy in times of emergency.
NPS International School provides the InternationalBaccalaureate Diploma Programme inSingapore, essential in qualifying for prestigious universities in the country and abroad. Create a brighter future for your child by investing in high-quality education. Visit NPS International School.