UKM akan menerima pelajar barunya pada minggu pertama september depan. Tentunya ini sesuatu yang mendebarkan para pelajar baru ini. Pengalaman ini juga turut pernah dilalui oleh semua PC. Tetapi sebagai satu perkongsian, elok jika setiap PC meningkatkan pengetahuan di dalam menguruskan pelajar baru nanti. Ramai PC tersalah anggap bahawa tugas sebagai seorang PC hanyalah memastikan jadual MMP berjalan dengan lancar. Andaianya, jika membantu semua pelajar baru supaya dapat mendaftar di kolej dan juga kursus di fakulti. Itu sudah memadai berperanan sebagai PC.
Sebenarnya peranan PC jauh lebih besar. Selain soal pengurusan MMP yang sedia ada, seseorang PC yang baik akan memastikan 'adik-adik' yang baru mendaftar akan sejahtera hidupnya. Mereka perlu dibantu dan dibimbing sehinggalah mereka dapat menguasai persekitaran baru di UKM. PC memikul tanggungjawab membantu pengurusan UKM untuk menjadikan kehidupan pelajar baharu sentiasa dalam sejahtera berada di UKM (sejahtera maknanya (3S)- seronok, selamat dan selesa). Terima kasih pada semua PC atas usaha dan sumbangan anda pada UKM dan pelajar baru...
The W-curve and the first year of universityBased upon research done with students studying abroad, the W-curve is a predictable pattern of stages which any first year student can experience after arriving at university.
Initially, you may think you have made a mistake in going to university but knowing about the W-curve helps you see culture shock as part of a journey everyone goes through.
The honeymoonThe honeymoon starts before students first arrive on campus. Although they may also experience some nervousness, the overall feeling is generally one of excitement and positive anticipation. In Freshers' Week there is generally a strong sense of welcoming from the campus community. The initial sense of freedom new students feel is often exhilarating.
It is common though for students to begin to have some feelings of homesickness mixed in with all of the fun and energy of a new beginning.
Culture shockAs the newness of the college culture begins to wear off, new students begin to deal with the reality of all the adjustments they are going through: sharing living areas, meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures. Routine tasks that were taken for granted at home can become problematic chores. Working out where to shop, get a haircut or receive medical attention can create feelings of insecurity and frustration. The less rigid routine of university can also be unnerving.
Students are becoming self-sufficient, establishing identity, and accepting responsibility for their actions. First year students have many personal issues to deal with in addition to focusing on academic work: reworking relationships with parents, establishing new relationships with peers, dealing with conflicting values, separation and its resultant anxiety. It is a period of huge potentially positive change, but also a period of intense personal conflict and anxiety.
Initial adjustmentAs initial adjustments are made, new students experience an upswing and sense of well-being having successfully managed issues that have come their way. They fall into a routine as they gain confidence in their ability to handle university life. They feel they have regained control and normality in their lives. Conflicts and challenges may still continue to come and go, but students are now feeling more in the swing of things.
Mental isolationWhen students go home, they make comparisons between their university culture and their more familiar home culture. Strong feelings of homesickness begin to surface and it is a time of feeling caught between two worlds. University is still not as comfortable as home used to be but home is not as familiar as it once was.
You may not realize how much you miss home until you have been away for quite awhile. And even then, going home to visit can still leave you feeling homesick for a home environment that no longer seems to exist. Changes may have happened at home too, and not having been there on a day-to-day basis can be upsetting.
Acceptance, integration and connectednessAs you become more involved in university life, gain some history with new friends and get to know academic expectations, you begin to feel a better connection to the campus community. You begin to have a more balanced and realistic view of the university, seeing and integrating the good experiences with the challenges.
Tips for settling in
Take time for reflectionBuild in some time every day to just chill out rather than bouncing from one event to the next constantly. It is important to get enough sleep, but also to relax with music, the paper, in a hot bath or doing whatever you like doing.
Taking time out lets you reflect on your new experiences. You may wish to use it to consider decisions about your course, who to spend time with or what to get involved in.
Expect it to be nerve-rackingRemember everybody is finding their feet, however cool and confident they may appear. You are surrounded by people from different backgrounds and of different nationalities, but the one thing everyone has in common is that they are surrounded by strangers and do not want to be rejected.
Anxiety at this stage is completely normal and if you do not find your lifetime friends in the first fortnight, you are certainly not alone. Having a few nerves does not mean you are going wrong.
Maximise the chances of finding people you get on withGo to things you know you will enjoy. Do not feel you have to keep in with the crowd at all costs. If you have longed to explore different interests or change your image, but not had the chance, university is a great opportunity.
Do not beat yourself upDo not worry if you are not always at ease socially, or if you say or do something you later regret. Learn whatever lesson is there for you, then forget about it and move on.
Do not bottle up problemsTalk to someone: either a friend, family member or one of the student support teams.
Be organised from the startUniversity life demands a high level of self-organisation because you have so much freedom. Think about how you divide up your time and get clear how many hours a week of academic work you need to put in. Doing so will help you to make the most of your free time.