The Freshers' Survival Guide

Adapting to university life in a new country and environment can be daunting especially when it's your first time. There's always a new set of expectations and challenges to meet. As SIM is home to students of over 40 nationalities from across the globe, we thought we'd gather some pro-tips from  some of SIM's seniors to guide freshers on how to survive and thrive at university. Here's what they had to say:

31 May 2019

5 mins read

By Htar Myat Sandy

Adapting to university life in a new country and environment can be daunting especially when it's your first time. There's always a new set of expectations and challenges to meet. As SIM is home to students of over 40 nationalities from across the globe, we thought we'd gather some pro-tips from  some of SIM's seniors to guide freshers on how to survive and thrive at university. Here's what they had to say:


#Good Financial Planning
As I get a fixed allowance, I save from 10 - 20% of it each month. This is a good habit to cultivate and  I would encourage every student to pick it up. These savings come in especially handy when you decide to go on an unplanned weekend trip with your friends, fix your laptop or when you face emergency situations.


#Explore Different Cultures
Explore the different cultures in Singapore, learn and experience new things and you'll be able to adapt faster. As an active student, my involvement in student clubs such as the Toastmaster Club, Young & Entrepreneurs Network and the Investment and Networking Club allowed me meet many international friends from Indonesia, Malaysia and even Singapore! We were able to share and understand cultures and learn many new things.

I also got to pick up better English! After hanging out with many locals, I don't have struggle communicating wherever I go today. Most importantly, don't forget to have fun with your friends to make your university life an exciting and memorable one!


#Good Time Management
Managing my time is one of the key factors that has helped me attain my goals. As someone who is involved in student clubs such as iCare, Guitar Club, Peer Mentors and the Malaysian Community in SIM (MCSIM), I would often make my own list of plans and tasks at the start of the day and do my best to stick to the schedule. I strike each plan and task off the list once they are completed.

I believe this helps me to make the most of my day and meet my deadlines. Another advice I would give is to take your own notes down during lectures because it is much easier to keep up that way as lessons are delivered at a fast-pace. Lastly, try not to miss the last few lessons before the exams as they are really vital!


#Eat Well, Sleep Well
Eating healthy and having enough sleep would be my priority as a university student. In the midst of your assignments and exams, you may be tempted to skip your meals but do your best not to. I always make sure that I eat three meals a day.  I would also recommend eating salad at Foodclique (our food court) as it's a healthier choice. Take good care of yourself to avoid feeling very stress or unwell, especially during the exam week.


#Get Involved
Getting involved in many different students clubs and events have helped widen my social network and it has helped me learn several new things. Joining student clubs has been a good decision as it helps me with adapting to my new environment faster. It has also allowed me to develop and improve my social skills as I have to work with different groups of people.

To all the students out there, you are not alone.  Make the best of the opportunities that you are given and get to know different people, pursue your interests through the many student clubs and do what you love. This will make your university life more enriching!