Transitioning to university life shouldn’t be scary

Transitioning to university life shouldn’t be scary

By: Wan Afiqah Anis Wan Ahmad

Social media is currently brimming with exciting photos of university graduates celebrating their convocations. If you’re a secondary school student, you’ve likely started dreaming your own journey continuing into university life.

The leap from secondary school to university can feel overwhelming. I’ve been in your shoes; it was undoubtedly overwhelming in the beginning. But I can assure you that embarking on this journey also holds immense excitement. Immersing oneself in a new world, forging new friendships, establishing routines, and confronting challenges—all these experiences contribute significantly to your personal growth.

My first day at the university was a mix of excitement and trepidation. I finally realised that I was stepping into a new chapter of my life upon encountering unfamiliar faces and places. Part of this transition was living independently, learning to manage daily tasks, and fostering a sense of self-reliance. University life also required me to have good study skills and time management—vital tools for thriving academically.

And mindset is extremely important. Embracing a curious mind is a tremendous asset for anyone. Maintaining this curious mindset throughout your university life is an even greater priviledge. A belief in your capabilities opens pathways to achieving anything you set your mind to.

A curious mind aligns with intrinsic motivation. Curiosity intertwines with passion and determination—key ingredients for success. Albert Einstein famously said that passion and curiosity, not just talent, pave the way for distinction. Hold within you the conviction that the various opportunities during your university years can propel you towards success.

So, you may wonder, what power does a curious mind have?

As curiosity and intrinsic motivation are intertwined, a curious mind actually strengthens and fortifies inner drive. It propels students to confront challenges head-on in their university journey. This connects strongly with the concept of self-efficacy, introduced by psychologist Albert Bandura from Stanford University in 1997. In simpler terms, lacking self-belief may actually hinder progress.

University students with high self-efficacy are more inclined to motivate themselves and navigate tasks efficiently. Amid balancing assignments and adapting to new routines, high efficacy students tap into their curious minds to devise strategies. For instance, their curiosity may prompt them to work late into the night or opt for an early bedtime to rise and complete tasks—a proof to their inner drive and effective time management skills.

Therefore, it is highly important for students to have a curious mind to improve their inner motivation, ultimately making a maximum impact on the process of life and learning at the university. In short, this element serves as a driving force for students to be enthusiastic in their studies, and achieving the subsequent success.

Now, let me share with you the four S’s that will keep you inspired and enthusiastic throughout your academic journey:

1. Set achievable goals: You have to take the risk to set small goals. By doing so, you will gain the confidence needed to tackle more challenging tasks.

2. Seek success in small assignments: As university students, you can always start with small assignments that are easy to complete. Success in these tasks can serve as stepping stones, thus helping you develop a sense of accomplishment and self-efficacy.

3. Stress-free communication: How about creating a stress-free and conducive learning atmosphere among your friends? Having done so, you will experience more effective communication that can contribute to building self-efficacy. It will be more fun and you are more comfortable to mingle around. Surely, stress-free!

4. Stay motivated: The key is to stay motivated and open to learning from mistakes. This is one of the ideas that can help you in increasing your level of self-efficacy. You need to acquire a very strong intrinsic motivation to adapt to a new transition so you can have a brighter future and not be too scary at the university.

These have helped me tremendously during my university days. Now let them help you to lessen the trepidation through the transition, shall we?

The author is the English Language Teacher at the Universiti Malaya Education Centre (UMEC), Bachok, Kelantan. She may be reached at [email protected]

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