Hi beautiful people…

Today I’ll be sharing  briefly about my college experience .

I studied social care practice. I wouldn’t have it any other way! As I always say, everyone should study my course.What is Social Care? In brief, social care is all about working with vulnerable people in the society. These people will range from individuals with disabilities; people who are homeless; under minors seeking asylum; young children; family work; youth work and the list goes on. It is a broad type of course  which allows you to work with any group depending on your interest. As it is people based it involves a lot of direct work with individuals to meet their personal needs or family needs. I went to a college , so lecture rooms were smaller in size and student number the lecturers were also more approachable…..sometimes!  This is the main difference between a college and university, well including the size of the actual campus.

To you, my young friend who has just finished secondary school. You might be taking a year break or even better   you’re just in your first year of college/ university. I do have a bit of good and bad news .

Let me start with the bad news…

….If anyone ever tells you college is easy. I’m sorry to break the news to you, that’s pure a lie cause it’s not! Being a college student requires a lot of work and effort.

I was told, ‘Itunu if you get the points you need, get into uni, get the course you want that’s it. Everything else is settled’ ……. LIES!. I remember crying one day  after the first semester. I thought to myself , wasn’t this meant to be easy?  I’ll tell you something. You getting into college is only the first step. You’ll  have to work hard with assignments, continuous assessments (CA’s) , in class text and then you have to deal with my best friends called EXAMS!! Which is good right, cause nothing good comes easy. 

The one thing that makes college deadlines and assignments easy is if you choose to study what you enjoy. Not what mum and dad wants you to study. Not what will bring you money. Not what your friends are studying. Not what’s acceptable in your culture . Not what is suitable for your gender.  Only what YOU want to study . A course you’ll enjoy. 

The good news is , unlike secondary school where you’re limited to your year group or classmates. College is a bit different, in the sense that  you get to be yourself and choose your own friends. People you feel are like minded. This is already one bonus . College gives you the  opportunity to choose friends afresh. I made amazing friends both inside and outside  my class and even more within the societies I joined. If you are up for partying  you’ll enjoy college life . I didn’t really get a chance at that, my mum was very strict. I felt left out some times, especially when my friends wouldn’t include me in conversations that had anything to do with nights out. 

The typical benefit of going to college is to get a job. A job that pays well and even better if it has respect attached to it. This is what’s drilled into us right?  So we all focus on that dream job. If I’m to relate this to my culture, then I’d also be talking about the pride Afrian parents have when heir son or daughter goes to college. Then you have the excitement of  graduation day. The graduation day and ceremony is  designed to pay off  for all the hard work after whatever amount of years you spent studying, which in my case was four years. You’ll get a paper that has your results and qualification beautifully typed and then it’s time for the dream job….. or a job at least .

Since I finished college and I reflect on the whole experience. I do appreciate some skills that I picked up in my  four year experience . We all get so distracted by the dream job that we forget to pay attention to the learning and skills that comes with going to college. Other that the fact that there are psychological and mental benefits to studying and learning. There are some relevant skills that follow you longer than the degree itself, for example communication skills. It was during my work experience that I realised how much  I needed to work on how fast I speak. I needed to work on my communication skills.  As I got more exposed to  different people from the  service users, to my classmates to my lecturers. I  was learning to speak slower and appropriately to different people. You’ll learn what langauge is acceptable in an email, for your CA, or in your exam. You also learn that there is an actual difference between a speaking and writing language.  

There is a skill to tolerating people and their work ethic. This is basically people management. College and group work is a great way to learn this skill . This, especially if your course involves a lot of interacting with others like mine did . Yes, it can be difficult learning to tolerate people but let’s face it;  it’s a important skill to have as everyone of us deal with people daily! I studied psychology and it helped me see people and their behaviour in so many ways.

You see my point is, don’t go into college solely for the job . Be open to the many skills you’ll be exposed to whether from the course or from friends you’ll make . I  found that being educated has made me more confident.

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QUICK TIPS:

  • If you’re still thinking of starting. Just START. Go online and apply. It’s never too late.
  • Never give up no matter how hard it is .
  • Set realistic goals and be committed to it.
  • Enjoy yourself while you’re in college.
  • Don’t leave things last minute. I know last minute.com works for some people and  I guess you’ll have to find what works for you.  Personally I feel it takes the best out of what could be a better result. 
  • Make friends, don’t be a loner. We all need people.

See you soon,

Florence

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