Surviving in a Nigerian university can be a whole new experience compared to life at home.
At home, you have the comfort of your parents providing for you, but in the university, things are different, and you need to learn how to handle it.
This is especially true for freshers who might find the transition challenging.
So, how can you cope with the university life and make the most out of it?
In this blog post, I’ll share some proven ways to help you survive and thrive during your time in a Nigerian university.
Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Nigerian University
Surviving in a Nigerian university can be both exciting and challenging.
It marks the beginning of a new phase in your life, one that offers freedom, independence, and a chance to explore new opportunities.
However, it also comes with the responsibility of navigating through academic demands, managing your finances, and making new friends.
In this blog post, we have covered some essential tips to help you not only survive but thrive in this new chapter of your life.
1. Understanding the Nigerian University System
Starting your journey in a Nigerian university requires understanding its unique system.
Familiarize yourself with the academic calendar, registration requirements, course offerings, grading systems, and disciplinary procedures.
This knowledge will save you from unnecessary hassles and set you up for a smoother academic experience.
If you have any questions or uncertainties, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from your academic advisor or any administrative staff.
2. Get Your Documents Ready
Proper organization of your documents is crucial for a hassle-free university life.
Ensure you have all the necessary documents, such as school fees receipts, O’level results, birth certificate, and acceptance of admission payment receipts, ready before you head to campus.
Keeping them in a safe place and having scanned copies on your phone can be helpful in emergencies or during the clearance process.
3. Manage Your Finances
Financial management is a vital skill for every university student.
Create a budget to track your income and expenses, making sure you allocate funds for essential items like school fees, books, and food.
Look for part-time jobs, scholarships, and grants to supplement your finances. Saving money where possible, such as buying used textbooks or sharing accommodation expenses with a roommate, can significantly impact your financial stability throughout your university journey.
4. Look for Affordable Accommodation on Campu
Finding affordable accommodation on campus or within the school surrounding is essential to ease your financial burden.
Research all available options, including dormitories, hostels, and off-campus apartments, and compare their prices and amenities.
Consider sharing a room with a roommate to split the costs.
Some universities may offer subsidized housing for students in need, so explore such opportunities to save money on accommodation.
5. Go to Class and Attend Lectures Regularly
It’s tempting to skip lectures in college because there’s no one to push or scold you like your parents did in high school. But skipping lectures can harm your academic performance.
Don’t oversleep and miss your morning classes. Attending lectures gives you essential information to do well in tests and exams.
6. Cope with Academic Demands
University life comes with academic challenges, such as assignments, tests, and projects.
To cope effectively, create a study plan, attend classes regularly, and seek help when needed.
Break down big projects into smaller tasks to manage your time efficiently. Make use of university resources, like the library and tutoring services, to enhance your learning experience.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and taking breaks when necessary.
7. Study Every Day
Developing a daily study routine is a surefire way to excel in your academics.
Studying consistently, even for short periods each day, is more effective than cramming before exams.
Stick to a study schedule and be disciplined in your approach to achieve better academic performance.
Studying everyday is important because it helps you learn new things and improve your skills. It also helps you stay focused and motivated.
There are many different ways to study, so you can find something that works for you. You can read books, take classes, watch online tutorials, or practice with flashcards.
The most important thing is to find a way to study that you enjoy and that fits into your schedule. If you can make studying a part of your everyday routine, you will be more likely to stick with it and see results.
Here are some tips for studying everyday:
- Set aside some time each day to study. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes, making time to study regularly will help you stay on track.
- Find a quiet place where you can focus. This could be your bedroom, the library, or even a coffee shop.
- Break your studying down into smaller chunks. This will make it seem less daunting and help you stay focused.
- Take breaks when you need them. Get up and move around, or take a few minutes to relax.
- Reward yourself for your hard work. This could be anything from watching your favorite TV show to taking a bubble bath.
Studying everyday can be challenging, but it’s worth it. The more you study, the more you will learn and grow your academic performances.
8. Stay Organized
In University, your lecturers won’t constantly remind you about homework or classwork. It’s up to you to take it seriously.
Don’t let laziness creep in. Plan your study time effectively and be organized with your assignments.
Remember the saying, “By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail.”
9. Take Control of Your Mental Health
Maintaining good mental health is crucial during your university journey.
Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet to support your overall well-being.
Don’t hesitate to seek help from friends, family, or university counseling services when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Engaging in self-care activities, like reading or pursuing hobbies, can help you manage stress effectively.
10. Navigate Campus Politics and Cultures
As you enter university life, you’ll encounter diverse cultures and various campus politics.
Take the time to observe and learn about these dynamics, respecting the beliefs and opinions of others.
University campuses are vibrant ecosystems encompassing a diverse array of individuals, each with their own ambitions, passions, and political interests.
This inherent diversity often gives rise to conflicts and competition for resources, making it crucial for students, faculty, and staff to navigate the intricate political landscape of campus.
To successfully navigate campus politics, understanding the dynamics of power is paramount.
Identifying key decision-makers and recognizing their spheres of influence can provide valuable insights into how to approach various situations.
Equally essential is cultivating relationships with individuals who possess different perspectives.
Embracing diverse viewpoints fosters a deeper understanding of the varied interests at stake, paving the way for more effective collaboration and problem-solving.
A strategic approach is indispensable when engaging with campus politics.
Choosing your battles wisely and being prepared to find middle ground through compromise can yield favorable outcomes.
Here are some additional tips to master campus politics:
- Familiarize yourself with the unique cultures present within different departments, programs, and student groups. By doing so, you can avoid unintentional missteps that might offend or isolate others.
- Embrace an open and respectful attitude towards diverse opinions, even if they differ from your own. Acknowledge everyone’s right to their perspective, fostering an environment conducive to constructive dialogue.
- Recognize that unanimity is unlikely. Be open to compromises that move discussions forward, building bridges between different factions and facilitating progress.
- Building relationships and influencing people requires time and dedication. Embrace patience, understanding that meaningful change often unfolds gradually.
While navigating campus politics may seem daunting, it is far from insurmountable.
Armed with these insights and tips, you can increase your chances of achieving your goals and making a lasting impact within your academic community.
11. Stay Safe on Campus and in the Surrounding Community
Prioritize your safety on and off campus by being aware of your surroundings and avoiding risky situations.
Travel in groups when possible, especially in unfamiliar areas. Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures and locations of emergency phones and safe zones.
Keep your valuables secure and be cautious of strangers. Respect local customs and traditions, and be culturally sensitive in your interactions.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to who is around you and what is going on. If you see something suspicious, report it to campus security.
- Avoid walking alone at night. If you must walk alone, walk in well-lit areas and be aware of your surroundings.
- Lock your doors and windows. This includes your dorm room, apartment, and car.
- Don’t leave valuables in plain sight. If you have to leave something valuable in your car, put it in the trunk.
- Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation or ask for help.
- Know your campus safety resources. Your college or university should have a campus safety department that can provide you with information and assistance.
12. Balance Academic and Social Life
Finding a balance between your academic and social life is essential for your overall well-being.
Create a study schedule that allows for socializing and extracurricular activities.
Balancing your academic and social life is important for your mental and physical health.
It can be hard to find time for both, but it’s important to make time for the things you enjoy.
Here are some tips:
- Set aside specific times for studying and socializing. This will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
- Learn to say no. It’s okay to turn down social invitations if you have too much work to do.
- Take breaks. Studying for hours on end can be counterproductive. Get up and move around, or take a few minutes to relax and clear your head.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly.
- Talk to your friends and family. They can help you stay motivated and on track.
Remember to take care of yourself and prioritize your mental and physical health while balancing academic commitments and social engagements.
13. Cook Your Food
Cooking your meals not only saves you money but also promotes a healthier lifestyle.
Avoid excessive consumption of fast food and focus on preparing nutritious meals in your kitchen.
There are plenty of resources available, such as YouTube tutorials, to help you learn cooking skills.
As a student, you may not have a lot of time or money to cook elaborate meals. But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthy and delicious food.
Here are some tips on how to cook simple, affordable meals that will keep you full and satisfied.
- Plan your meals: This will help you save time and money by making sure you have all the ingredients you need on hand.
- Use simple recipes: There are plenty of easy recipes available online and in cookbooks. Choose recipes that you think you’ll enjoy and that are within your skill level.
- Use leftovers: Leftovers are a great way to save time and money. Pack them for lunch the next day, or use them to make a new meal.
- Cook in bulk: If you have the time, cook in bulk and freeze the leftovers. This will give you quick and easy meals on busy days.
- Shop at discount stores: Discount stores often have good deals on food. You can also find discounted produce at farmers markets.
14. Eat Right & Stay Healthy
Learning how to cook is important to avoid getting sick from junk food. Exercise regularly to stay healthy.
Even if you have limited money, try to manage it wisely to have at least one balanced meal every day.
15. Avoid Distractions
As a student, you know that distractions can be a major obstacle to your success. Whether it’s your phone, social media, or even your own thoughts, distractions can easily derail your focus and prevent you from learning effectively.
Distractions can hinder your academic progress and overall university experience.
While it’s essential to have fun and enjoy campus life, it’s equally important to stay focused on your studies.
Learn to prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively to avoid falling into the trap of distractions.
Balance your social activities with your academic responsibilities.
16. Learn a Digital Skill
Digital skills are crucial in today’s world, and they can be a lifesaver for students.
Acquiring digital skills will not only help you survive in school but also earn money to cover your expenses.
Consider learning skills like Data Analysis, Graphic Design, Copywriting, Blogging, and more.
Mastering one of these skills can help you make extra income every month.
17. Make Friends with Intelligent Students
Surrounding yourself with motivated and intelligent peers can have a positive influence on your academic journey.
Seek friendships with students who are focused on their goals and have a positive attitude toward learning.
Collaborating with like-minded individuals can inspire you to strive for excellence and achieve your full potential.
Making friends with intelligent students can help you in many ways. They can help you learn new things, challenge you to think more deeply, and motivate you to achieve your goals. They can also be a great source of support and advice.
Here are some tips for making friends with intelligent students:
- Look for people who are interested in the same things as you. This could be a particular subject, a hobby, or even just a way of thinking.
- Be open to new ideas. Intelligent people are often open to new ways of thinking, so be willing to listen to their ideas and consider them.
- Ask questions. Intelligent people love to talk about their ideas, so ask them questions to learn more.
- Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not just to make friends with intelligent people. They will appreciate you for who you are.
18. Building a Support System
Creating a support system is crucial during your university life.
Make friends, connect with professors, and utilize campus counseling services when needed.
Staying connected with family and joining clubs or societies can also provide a strong support network to help you navigate challenges and celebrate achievements.
Remember, university life is a unique experience, and it’s normal to face both ups and downs.
By implementing these tips, you’ll be better equipped to thrive in a Nigerian university, make the most of your time, and create lasting memories and friendships.
Embrace this new chapter with an open mind and a positive attitude, and you’ll find yourself on a path to personal and academic growth. Good luck on your journey!