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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Would the quiet student please speak up? – Be outspoken in university…communication is key

One of the longest, most stressful and rewarding times in a student’s life is when they are going to university. It takes a lot of grit, determination, and effort just to stay afloat some days, but it is easier than we all think when we initially sink into life as a student. Deciding to go to university or college is a big step in an individual’s life. By the time that everyone finishes high school, they are expected to have a somewhat concrete idea of what they want to spend their life doing. A career makes up a massive portion of a person’s life and it is not one to be taken lightly. There is nothing worse for a student than going through the application and admission process, starting their degree, and only then realising that they hate their field and want to make a change. With so many spinning facets involved in the university experience, it can be easy to lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. University is stressful enough, so it pays to be privy to some sage advice to ease the mind. Odds are, the average university student has less money because they are actively furthering their education…they don’t need the added stresses of the unknown (or the unprepared) as well.

Going to university is not for everyone. For the ones that do want to go to university, however, is an overwhelming process (to say the least). From “simply” deciding which university or college and which degree to study, to graduating and going out into the big bad world, there are many mountains along the way, and one must climb all of them. Before a student even gets to university, there is the task of deciding which degree is right for them and their future. Then comes the early admission process. Students everywhere are given the opportunity to put their best foot forward to gain early admission (and a big sigh of relief) into their university or college of choice. It is not an easy process, and it only proves to be worth the effort for a select few. Nonetheless, going through the process is an indication of dedication to one’s college experience – before they have even begun.

The college essay is one of the most integral parts of the admission process. When writing one’s college essay, it can easy to get caught up in the idea of what the university wants rather than what they genuinely expect. If there is one piece of advice that every student opting to aim for early admission should take heed of, it is this: focus on your own lessons and life instead of trying to fabricate the ideal essay – one could always seek the assistance of a professional essay writer to help ease the stress. Admissions officers will be able to tell if you are being disingenuous and if you honestly believe in what you are writing, so write about what you know – not what you think they expect you to know. As well as the essay, there is the possibility of having a teacher recommendation to send off with one’s application.

Getting recommendations from one’s teachers before applying for university is one sure fire way to stand out from the crowd. Letters of recommendation often go over prospective student’s heads when the application process is fast approaching (or has begun) because of the sheer number of tasks that an individual must complete to send off their application. There are so many vital spinning facets of the process that it is easy to forget about some of the seemingly simple ones. If you decide to attempt to get a letter of recommendation from one of your teachers, the most important thing to remember is to approach a teacher that you genuinely get along with. In approaching the right educator, you ensure the probability of getting a recommendation that is not only genuine, but heartfelt. This can make all the difference in an application – admissions officers do not respond well to letters of recommendation that scrape the bar in terms of the student’s character and academic performance thus far.

Once one has gotten the recommendation and has gotten into their preferred university or college…that is where the real fun begins. One of the best pieces of advice that a student can get before they go to university is to communicate. Communicate often and communicate well. Communicate with your fellow students and with your professors. Communication is the key to building relationships, not just in university but in life. This simple piece of advice can help you in so many ways and it can be used both when studying and afterward as well. Speak up when you are unsure. Even though it is terrifying to be outspoken and put yourself and your opinions and questions out there, it is more worth it than you can begin to imagine. It does not matter if you are studying to become a biologist, an emergency official, a mechanical engineer, an author, an IT specialist, or even delving into the world of teaching – speak up. Let yourself be heard, because your professors and tutors want to have students that engage and inquire. They will remember you.

If an individual makes the decision to go to university or college, there are a great many spinning facets that will shape their experience. There will be unexpected surprises thrown in with renowned misfortunes (like having less savings than someone that opts not to go to college). In the face of every mountain it is important to continue to climb even when it feels like a sheer vertical drop. From keeping a level head around early admission time, to learning to communicate and speak up in (and out) of class, there are a great many lessons that students about to begin the university experience should be privy to and learn for themselves. university can be a trying time in a person’s life, but it is also undoubtedly one of the most rewarding, worthwhile things that a person can do – for themselves, and for their future.


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