Dear Freshmen…


University of Utah Asia Campus building

Anxieties surrounding college application, course choice, the appropriate institution to attend, and leaving the nest seem to have settled. For most institutions of higher learning in the Western hemisphere, the focus now is to get on with the job at hand- research, teaching and learning.

The key questions are (1) what’s important about post-secondary education? (2) how can freshmen make the most of the experience?

Higher education is a microcosm of the real world filled with diversity, challenges, multiculturalism, immense potentials and prospects. Amidst the multiplicity, there are layers of categories of students based on age, gender, departments, level of education (under or post graduate) and years in college (first, final or in-between).

Three categories of new students are on every college campus: the first are students who don’t know why they are in third level education. They struggle to make the vital connection between today’s responsibilities and tomorrow’s opportunities. The second are students who hold a narrow view of what is available or are simply content with maintaining status-quo in spite of the abundance opportunities within reach. The final group are those who know the limit of their ignorance and genuinely seek to push back the frontiers of their limitations.

remember, third level education is more than earning a degree; it is designed to radically change an individual’s intellectual architecture in five critical ways: critical thinking, researching, social skills, employability and personal discoveries. H can you make the most of your campus experience?

Attend classes- the principal platform for transmitting knowledge at higher education is through lectures. The lecture room is the meeting point of intellectual debate, discussion, interaction and knowledge transmission.

Engage in extra-curricular activities- the university offers extra-curricular activities in all spheres of life. Find a group or association that can reveal, develop or crystallize your latent potentials and talents.

Network- Your network is your net worth! Higher institutions are melting pots of ideas and possibilities. Build relationships with academics and graduate students who are at the cutting edge of their fields. They can counsel, guide, inspire and educate at a personal and professional level, if you make the vital connections.