First-year success during a pandemic
March 2021 marks exactly a year since South Africa’s first coronavirus case. This pandemic will go down in history as one of the most challenging times in some people’s lifetimes.
Starting your first year of tertiary studies amid a pandemic is challenging, as you are most likely to miss out on some of the long-awaited tertiary events, such as the freshers welcome party and more. Everything we took for granted is now even more important, such as hugging your new friends and chatting over a cup of coffee in the cafeteria with your peers. We cannot change the current situation, but we can make it manageable, with a few hacks to help you get through the year with ease.
Talk to someone
We at IIE Rosebank College have made it our duty to support you academically and emotionally. Should you be struggling to cope with the transition from high school to tertiary studies, we have our student wellness managers who are always ready to listen and help you with a solution to lighten the load. Registered students can book a session as and when ready, and the best thing is, all sessions are free and confidential.
Know the campus communication channels
The last thing you want as a new student is getting frustrated with an inquiry and not knowing who to approach for assistance. Our campuses have different support structures at your disposal, such as the student portal, student hub, and, most importantly, our staff are always ready to assist – familiarise yourself with all the support structures in place.
Step outside your comfort zone
Coping is important, but living is essential. Tertiary education is, without a doubt, different and can be overwhelming. Take the transition as the end of one era and the beginning of another. Be prepared to invest your time and energy in the most important things and always remember the end goal – you need to walk away from the experience with a qualification.
Plan your studies and maintain a routine
The pandemic influenced a shift from traditional methods to primarily connecting digitally. Whether connecting digitally or face to face, it is essential to take time to reboot. Invest in a reliable Internet connection to keep connected and collaborating. Our campuses are also WiFi-enabled, should you need to connect when on campus.
Asking for help is an essential skill that will benefit you during and after your tertiary life. Get to know your tutors, lecturers and classmates. Collaboration and teamwork are essential to get through your tertiary years successfully. Take control of your studies, ask for feedback from your lecturers and use the feedback as an opportunity to do better.
Have a first-year bucket list
Life is more exciting when you have something to look forward to. Student life is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; find a new way of connecting, collaborating and sharing ideas with peers, tutors and lecturers. Times have changed, and we must adjust and find new ways of enjoying the things we used to take for granted. There are various student activities in and around some of our campuses that you can still enjoy safely. The parks and museums around some of our campuses are a start.
Be financially savvy
Times are tough, and the cost of living is high. You need to make sure that you spend your money wisely and prioritise expenses accordingly. Avoid spending more than your monthly allowance or what you earn. Finding part-time work can be a good way of preparing for the world of work and making money while studying. Having a savings account is a good way of planning for your dream assets, like your first home.
We wish you all the best for the coming year and beyond. Remember that the pandemic is not over yet. Stay safe – social distance, mask up and sanitise.
Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). With over 70 years in the education industry, nine campuses nationally and over 19 000 students studying online and full-time, Rosebank College is proving that education is accessible. Students can start with an IIE Higher Certificate and progress to an IIE Diploma or Degree. IIE graduates from Rosebank College have the competitive edge to compete globally, with over 12 000 of them placed in employment since 2012.