While preparing for Monday’s Fee setting (which I will be hoping you will attend and show your displeasure with the Council should they raise fees), I noted that the University spent approximately $1.7 million (according to a Neilson Media Survey) this year on its marketing strategy: you know, “it makes you think” etc? I noticed that it doesn’t make you think about attending Victoria for anything else but study. I think that’s a shame. I’ve always said that University should not be seen as a degree factory, it is a place for the universe of experiences that you can sample. And then I thought: remember when you were in high school, year thirteen (or seventh form for those too old to remember).
No-one told me about the “hidden costs”, the “extra-curricular” fun, the stress of study, the necessity of working just to survive in the big smoke.
So I thought about some lessons I wished I had learnt before I started at university. Some of these did not happen to me, but I think they would be important to know anyway.
Wellington is cold. No, not just cold, it’s fucking freezing. Ever heard of wind chill? This is especially important to consider on late nights, and you cannot get into your bed, or anyone else’s bed for that matter.
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Salient is good for the funnies and the crossword. It is not good as toilet paper.
If you steal pint glasses, try and avoid getting spotted.
Running and rolling over a chain link fence will result in two things: munted hands and cracked pint glasses.
If you do work to subsidising your need to avoid starvation while studying, avoid working in any place that you are a major customer as well. I’m no math major, but if you make $200 and spend $300, it wasn’t a smart decision you just made.
No one will know how bad your second hand mattress looks if it is always covered with sheets. However, no sheet will mask the faint smell of whatever was done on there by the previous owners.
If you can last one year without asking your parents or caregivers for any support, you can call that progress.
When a hot American girl confides in you a secret like “hey, I masturbate in public, when no one is around…I think it’s so hot.” Consider for a moment that she may be completely insane. Then ignore that instinct. It makes a great story to tell your grandchildren.
Just because they’re your best friend does not mean they’re the best flatmate.
Everyone’s morals and ideals are corrupted eventually. Accept it, and consider it life experience.
Cs make degrees. But it also may mean that you are not the best person to balance workloads, handle stress, set deadlines or work in a team. Usually, these people are destined for upper management in the wide world.
The majority of students will have no idea of what the university can do to help you, until it is too late to be of use to you. To those who are in charge of these services, current and future, consider the focus on getting people to feel proud to use those services.
The powers that be will always say that there is an accommodation crisis. There will always be an accommodation “crisis”, tell blanket man that there’s an accommodation crisis; see how he responds.
Political representatives are nearly always an inverse microcosm of the student body. So, consider every year you see student executives, that whether you picked the students you wished you were, or the students you wished you weren’t.
The best way to prepare for the pressure and sleep deprivation of the final exams is a heavy dose of Orientation. Six days of fun, day and night; nothing pushes you further. In fact some scientific evidence supports it.
Nothing comes without consequences…and usually a cost that you won’t understand until you leave university. If you are smart enough, you may be able to avoid getting kicked in the arse all of the time.