“A university should be a place of light, of liberty and of learning”- Benjamin Disraeli
“What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books” – Thomas Carlyle
“The essence of a university is that it is uniquely accountable to the past and to the future, not simply or even primarily to the present” – Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University defined the essence of a university education as learning that molds a lifetime, learning that transmits the heritage of a millenia and learning that shapes the future. As a first year undergraduate student, certain questions burned in my mind that I could only discover the answers to via experience. I always asked what was the essence of university? Why am I here? How can I grow intellectually and feel it? How do I make the most out of this experience? I did not want to see the university just as a step to land a job that will take care of my bills and give me heaps of extra cash. I did not just want to pass through the university, I wanted the university to pass through me and mold me. Through my journey at undergraduate level, I found the following essential in discovering the best ways to have an excellent university experience.
Everyone knows that the primary reason for enrolling at university is to study several courses that would make up your degree when completed. But to get an extra edge make sure you attend workshops/seminars that are related/relevant to your course of study or align with your personal goals/vision. Workshops can expose you to an array of beneficial information that you won’t get in the lecture hall, inform you of trends in the industry/career path and can help you find relevance or an area you want to specialize in. I was able to develop my thesis from information I got during a seminar I attended. Griffith University offers several workshops/seminars during Orientation Week and during semester. Some of them may be mailed to your Griffith email box but others can be obtained from the university website. The library organizes several seminars throughout the semester, bookings can be made online. Other seminars can be accessed by getting involved with the professional body of your course or simply searching through the internet.
It is important to flock with people that have similar goals and aspirations as you do. Our social circle can make or mare us. Good friends can help motivate us and give a different outlook or opinion on certain things which can be beneficial.
One of my favorite quotes is to be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when help is needed and brave enough to ask for it. As students, we all need help at one point or another and utilizing the support services set up by the university can go a long way in alleviating issues. These services help to encourage academic and personal success as well as participation in university life. Griffith University offers several services like the disability service, student equity service, student services, clubs and societies, Griffith Ally network and many more.
The things I refer to as ‘the regulars’ have an X-factor attached to them because their magnitude can only be determined by personal will power or the level of zealousness that each person possesses. One important factor here is time management which most students tend to struggle with. Another quote I love is a stitch in time save nine. The earlier the better. Assignments/task should be started early. Personal goals have to be set and followed strictly. Lectures should be attended.
The importance of relaxation cannot be over emphasized. It is important to have set out time to do the things you love. Luckily, Griffith campuses and its environments do not lack places to relax. If you need some inspiration, read Elizabeth’s post Showcasing Australia, Jennifer’s post on the amazing hinterlands or Alina’s post about her whale watching adventure.
At Griffith, everyone truly belongs. Arrive, set your personal goals, join the band wagon and enjoy your Griffith experience.