My Honours year experience
by Dimpho Mphaka
The year twenty twenty-two (2022) was the most challenging year I have ever had since I started my university life journey. It is intriguing how every student face challenges such as getting funding, transitioning from one university to another and facing difficulty in adapting to a new environment. These challenges are more like history repeating itself every year, however how one handle the challenges depend on the individual.
As I reflect upon first semester, I was faced with challenges that were stacking and they felt like a burden. Firstly, the transition from a university that have a small population to a large, populated university was one of my struggles. It was difficult for me to make friends and I felt like most people knew each other from undergraduate. Secondly, the transition from remote learning and online exams to face-to-face lectures and sit-down exams was nerve-racking. In
addition, I have always known how to deal with mental breakdown and pressure on my own and ensured that it does not affect my grades, however, this time I could not take the pressure. It was too much to a point that it affected me drastically whereby I dropped in all my modules. After all, I told myself that this is a journey I chose even though I did not know what to expect, I am still going to raise my head high and keep pushing because I am not the first and I may
not be the last.
In connection to that, this year has taught me a lot, for instance, I have realised how learning plays a role in what we discover about ourselves. Example, some students may have chosen a course that they think they like and will want to purse their careers in, however as they experience the unfolding of the course, they realise that they might have made the wrong choice. While other students including myself, realised that what we study from the course we chose, would be beneficial in the mere future even though one may not pursue a career in the field. Secondly, I have learned to socialize with my fellow students as sometimes we share the same sentiments of fear and anxiety. Thirdly, I realised that honours require greater effort from the get-go for one to succeed in it, because it is easy to fail it. Lastly but not least, I have learned to take one step at a time and to never lose hope when I get one low grade and rather, I use that as a lesson to motivate me to improve and do better in my studies.