Conquering FOMO in University

I loved my university experience and I am thankful for the opportunity because I know not everyone gets to go. I had a lot of fun, I did my school work but unfortunately, I spent too much time socialising. In uni I only did what was expected of me. I didn’t push myself academically to perform to the best of my ability and that is one of my biggest regrets. If I could speak to my first-year self, I would say yes going out is fun but applying yourself is true satisfaction.

We’ve all heard the ‘don’t forget you are there for a degree’ phrase, and I didn’t. But what I did lose sight of was that there is so much more to university than just an undergraduate degree. I’m not disappointed in myself, I did graduate within the 3 years after all. But I am not comfortable with the mediocrity of my performance. So please don’t be like me, strive for excellence. Go the extra mile.

Participate in campus organisations like debating or Model UN, do some volunteering (Now, I wasn’t completely selfish, I did some volunteering but it was compulsory to get a credit for a subject so I can’t really say it was out of the good of my own heart but I did connect with those precious children), consider tutoring, trust me, you don’t want to come out varsity with your CV looking bleak.  The reality is South Africa is currently facing the problem of youth unemployment, and so I suggest you do activities that you love and enjoy but will set you apart from other graduates.

Don’t rest on your laurels as you are capable of greatness. You are not only there for yourself, but you are also there for society. South Africa deserves young leaders that are passionate and determined.  I don’t care how smart you think you are, go to class, all of them that is what you are paying for after all.  Use the library more often! It’s a privilege to be in a centre of knowledge. Do your daily homework, going to class isn’t enough, do your readings. Cultivate a sense of self-discipline. Take it from me you will be happier for it. 

I cherish my university experience, I really enjoyed myself. But when it comes to happiness, remember there is short-term excitement and there is long-term fulfilment. Definitively, have your fun. But developing a healthy work ethic is an essential part of #BossingUp. And please, don’t worry about me I have learned from my mistakes. I am determined to wear my gown a couple of more times, #WatchThisSpace.  

How All Returning Varsity Students Should Boss Up

This article is dedicated to those who are returning students, and have a desire to improve their ways. These ways could be academically, physically, mentally and just ones overall health. But of course we can all learn from this, even ‘freshers’ or first year students.

The university experience is by far one of the most challenging and tiresome, as returning students we can all detest to this. I think the most challenging aspect about it is trying to find the balance between everything. You obviously want to do well at school, perhaps you’ve already had these visions about your academic success, and you already know what you have to do in order to achieve your ultimate academic goal. But reality doesn’t always unfold the way we plan it, and this can be frustrating. Well, it is for me. It doesn’t unfold the way we planned for it because we constantly have to remember that we are more than just our academic journey. Perhaps if we wanted to be highly successful beings we’d have to have a plan for our mental health and activity, our spiritual journey as well as our physical health… oh let’s not forget balancing our social life. Oh god how do people do it? How? Please share?

What I’ve learnt from those who are ahead in life than I am is how imperative it is to be organized and the best way to be organized is to possess a diary, and start scheduling. Yes, schedule. Become that girl ‘Oh, I would have to check my schedule/diary and get back to you’ it’s 100% okay. I don’t know why we think that we can remember everything that has to be done, the cool thing about a diary or schedule is that you don’t have to actively remember everything, as soon as you know that something has to be ticked off from your to-do list, instantly write it down and your diary will remember it for you. All you have to do now is be disciplined enough to do what you have scheduled to do when you have scheduled to have it done.

Yes, our biggest friend and enemy at the same time has to be unfriended and unfollowed, PROCRASTINATION. Procrastination is the enemy of progress. Why do we procrastinate? It has been found that one of the biggest reasons humans procrastinate is because the workload seems unmanageable, therefore we opt to do something that does not require as much effort, like watching a series, even if we binge watch, it still does not require that much effort. How can we resolve this? Once, a woman I value to be considerably wise told me that ‘you shouldn’t think that everything has to be done all at once, that is utterly impossible, and that is when you will feel overwhelmed, and the result of that is that you will get nothing done. What you should do instead, is make sure that you do one thing at a time, and no day should pass without you haven’t done anything, even if it’s just one thing.’ What you choose to have done will be what you consider to be the most important things to do on your list. You can judge that according to time, like which is more urgent than the other.

Once you have mastered your academic organization and scheduling readings, writing down lecture notes in your own words, that assignment, and that test you will be able to find time to schedule other things that add value to your well-being, like socializing. Socializing is just as important as doing well at school, the only difference is applied energy, and that is why some people get carried away with this. It seems so much easier to just hang out with friends than it does doing anything involving schoolwork. But this is where your priorities are questioned, which is more important and which is more rewarding? How about going out as a reward, and it doesn’t have to be something big all the time, even if you have completed something minor. For example, ‘okay I’ve completed all the readings I intended to have done and made notes, sure I can meet with my girl for a movie now’. Socializing doesn’t always have to be big and loud either, dinner is a sufficient way to get your mind off many other things.

Exercise! I cannot distress this enough, physical exercise is just beneficial in all ways possible. You gain a feeling of happiness; this is due to a change in hormones.

Side note: the minute you sense yourself slipping into a depressive state just head to the gym or for a walk, put your headphones on and break a sweat.

This extra blood flow and release of serotonin (hormone responsible for happiness and satisfaction) will improve your current mental state. Exercising adds agility and motivation in many aspects than just the physical, which is very useful when one wishes to complete anything.

 There are some things that we are unaware of that we may have to schedule in but are important to our perseverance and ultimate survival, such a thing is your spirituality, it is your grounding element. Whether religious or simply spiritual it is important to have constant retreats where you tend to nothing else but you and your spiritual journey. This is where the source of your doings lie. This is where your journey begins and is where your journey on this earth ends. Therefore, maintaining a healthy relationship with your spiritual self is crucial to your success as a person.

Like I mentioned before the most challenging aspect about all of these is about finding the balance. But as I’ve listed, once you find your academic balance the rest can follow, in no particular order too, it depends on which you find the most mandatory, but all are equally important. Once there is a sense of organization and you find that you can manage your time better, then there is noting that can stand in your way, you could even get a part-time job, take on more responsibility but you shouldn’t reach a stage where you’re choking. Create a healthy balance.

Study In The UK With A Chevening Scholarship

Girl Boss contributor Simi G interviews Simise Mamba, a Chevening Scholarship recipient from Swaziland who is currently studying in Scotland. They discuss the travel experiences, student challenges and the process to acquiring this scholarship. If you’ve considered studying in the UK and have not known how to manage getting there, this 20 minute video may be just what you need to hear.

Let’s talk Vac Work

by Lebogang Mashasha

I am yet to find something as satisfying as making my own money and being able to spend it as I please. Vac work offers a great opportunity to do so, one just has to look closely. Not only that, you will also learn some soft skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving, which are going to help you in the long run.

As the year draws to an end, many companies are closing for the festive season. With that in mind, how do you then go about finding work during this time of the year?Working during the holidays may sound like torture, but it’s a learning opportunity, provided that you avail yourself to it.

What is Vac Work?

Vac work is when one takes up non-permanent work during the holidays. Although this often starts out as temporary work, there are prospects for permanent hire. Companies benefit from this arrangement too because they do not have to pay the same rate as they do their permanent staff and are not obligated to give any employee benefits to the temporary workers.

Benefits of Vac Work:

  • Work experience: of all the requirements sort for in an employee, work experience is in the top three. No matter what industry you wish to go into, having a bit of experience in a working environment is a bonus. Even if the skills are not seemingly directly transferable, there will always be a time when any type of work experience benefits you in a new work position or environment.
  • Skills development: a skill such as time management is one which many are yet to harness, and I am no different. The surest way for that to happen is for one to practice it in real life, by prioritising accordingly. I wont lie, it is not easy nor fun, but it is necessary to this journey of adulting.
  • Self-discipline: Having the discipline to commit to going to work while your peers are making it rain or partying it up is a lesson worth enduring. Not only will you be able to resist the need to overspend, you’ll also learn the value of money and understand the importance of working with what you have and staying in your lane.
  • Possible job offers: Depending on how well you perform they could offer you a job. You could work on weekends, on days they are short-staffed, on a freelance basis or even on contract.
  • Referrals: even if you don’t get a job offer from that specific place you did vac work for, a referral can go a long way. Most places advertise internally before making a job vacancy public. Your supervisor from your vac work could be the one to help you land permanent employment by simply mentioning you to someone looking to fill a position. 

Where To Look For Vac Work?

Small businesses are the perfect place for you to work at on weekends and holidays. These are great spaces to learn important life skills, which you’ll be use as an adult.Being in customer services will equip you with interpersonal skills which are essential to having success in whichever career path you chose to follow later on in life. Small businesses are great in the sense that they expose you to various aspects of business, you could learn bookkeeping, stocktaking, sales and marketing all from one place.

Here are some suggestions for consideration:

Promotional Work

Promotional work is great for people who enjoy engaging with others. This is great because the work isn’t difficult and only requires you to inform the customer about the service or product the business you are working for is offering. Information packs are usually given out before you have to go work, so that you understand the brand well and are able to give customers the correct information. There are numerous promotion companies constantly looking for young people and they pay relatively well.

Customer Service / Call Centres

If you are uncomfortable with interacting with people in person, then call centre work could be for you. This involves you assisting people telephonically with whatever product or service that company provides.

Retail Work

Retail shops are always hiring during the holidays because many of their permanent staff members take their leave. This may include stock tacking, packing shelves, working the till or any other task needed to be fulfilled.

Content Creator

If you love writing then this is perfect for you. We live in a digital age and people want to have access to information in a convenient way. The library is no longer the main source of information. Many publications need people to research and write articles for them. No matter the industry you’re interested in (technology, sport, entertainment, current affairs, culture etc) there is a publication needing content creators. The greatest benefit of such as job is that you can work remotely from the comfort of your home.

Most, if not all companies, have their contact information readily available on the internet. Submit your CV to their Human Resources Departments and follow up with a phone call. An added bonus to vac work is that little to zero experience is required.Companies often give in-house training to prospective staff making it easy todo a great job.

Try to figure out which of these avenues of making money (or others not mentioned) you would fit into best and apply yourself. All these spaces have great learning opportunities which await you. It is never too early to start being money savvy.