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Varsity 101

You’ve matriculated and the world is yours as you embark on your next adventure. As a first-year student, there are a couple of pitfalls, but we’re here to help you to overcome them.



In school, skipping a class would entail dire consequences. But you’re in the grown up world now, you can do whatever you want. It can therefore be very tempting to give that 08:30 lecture on Thursdays a miss, just this once, as you’re tired from yesterday. Before you know it, the term is over and you’ve never even met the tutor or handed in a coherent assignment. The good news is you can try again, the bad news is you’ve just wasted a lot of time. Was it worth it?

Get a paper agenda or use the one built into your smartphone. It will help you create order in that otherwise chaotic first year. Agenda management is actually a skill that you’ll use way beyond just your classes.


You’ve moved out to be closer to your varsity, do you know what that weird room in the middle of your student house is? It has a stove and pot-things and no, it’s not just the microwave room. Or what about those Wednesdays and Saturdays back home when you used to go to cricket practice? They’ve been replaced with movie marathons and unhealthy foods.

Physical fitness and a healthy diet are two cornerstones of a successful first year of varsity. Don’t neglect yourself because mom’s special pasta is no longer on the menu. Get books on healthy eating and play around in the kitchen, you’ll discover that it is fun! And for your fitness, there are so many options, from clubs at your university to literature designed to help you keep in shape. Remember what Juvenal wrote:Mens sana in corpore Sano (A sound mind in a sound body or a healthy mind in a healthy body)


Let’s be real though, we cannot always be studying, dieting and working out. Relaxation is paramount to productivity. It is something you should not only do regularly, but you could even plan it, now that you have an agenda. Interestingly enough, as far as down time goes, playing a fun video game does have benefits for your mind and body as it is an active form of entertainment.

So gather some friends after a jog, make a vegetable stir-fry and pull off that insane parcours kill in any of the Assassin’s Creed games.


Johan Charlier