By Tayiba Ahmed
The transition from being a high-school student to becoming a university student is not only extremely exciting, but also slightly daunting. A lot of expectations, and sometimes misconceptions are held by students joining the new university environment. While some students might be worried about whether they have made the right choice regarding their major, others might worry about fitting in with their peers. There are plenty of myths regarding university life, but that’s all they are; myths. So here we debunk a few of the commonly believed myths about universities, and hopefully you will have agree with me if you experience university life at American University of Sharjah (AUS).
- University Education Is Too Impersonal
It is a belief amongst some that the bigger the educational institution, the more impersonal the education is. This could be because when classrooms are bigger, the interaction between individual students and the professor is assumed to be compromised. It is also assumed by many that universities are usually more focused on increasing student enrollment, which creates an imbalance between the numbers of professors available for students. At AUS however, the quality of education is not compromised in favor of increasing enrollment; there is one faculty for every 15 students here. The professors also encourage students to ask questions during the lectures, while individuals who are struggling and looking for additional guidance can approach the professors directly. AUS also offers various other facilities for individuals looking for additional assistance; these include the Math Learning Center, for students seeking individualized tutoring in math; the AUS Writing Center, which allows students to have their writing reviewed; and the Academic Support Center for students facing academic challenges. There is also the Student Learning and Counseling Services which offers comprehensive support to students to enhance their success at AUS.
- Your Background Might Restrict You From Fitting In
When joining a new institution, most students are also concerned about fitting in with the community. Many might even be afraid that their background would hinder their socializing experience. However, AUS prides itself as a multicultural community with about 90 different nationalities, which gives its students the opportunity of learning about, and meeting with people of different cultures. Since everyone belongs to a different background, it makes it easier for new students to approach one another, knowing that both are as eager to learn about the other.
- The first semester is the time to relax
Coming into university, many new students have the misconception that the first semester is a time that should be spent relaxing, and a lot of the time it can get them into some difficult positions; probation! If you want to adjust well and have a good end result at AUS, it is important to start early. Figure out how things work because the earlier you catch on, the better you’ll do at the end. That does not mean however, that you can’t enjoy your years at the university. There are various events, clubs, sports teams and other such extra-curricular activities that you can be a part of to enjoy and experience new things while still focusing on your education.
- You can’t create a balance between your courses and extracurricular activities
A lot of the times students assume that balancing between courses and extracurricular activities is too difficult and end up not trying at all. Most of the times however, it’s just a matter of having better time-management skills and having the will to make use of the opportunities they are provided with. Remember, enjoying your years at your university and experiencing new things is just as essential as gaining knowledge at AUS. AUS encourages its students to make use of the different opportunities it provides and not just enhance their knowledge, but also develop skills that might give them the edge in the job market.
- Your major defines what you will end up doing in life
Another misconception most people have is that what major they choose at university will define their career and what they end up doing in life. Although sometimes a major and career-choice might be related, for a lot of the majors this does not hold entirely true. Many times when entering the workforce, people branch out into different jobs and career paths. For example, students from one major can be employed to various jobs; a student majoring in marketing could work at an advertising agency, while an engineering graduate could have a career in supply chain management. Or for instance, students from different majors can be suitable for the same job. Studies have also shown that most people end up working in jobs that aren’t even strictly related to their undergraduate major within ten years after graduating.
So don’t let these myths hold you back while at AUS. Make full use of the opportunities you have been given to learn, experience and develop your skills while at American University of Sharjah.
Tayiba Ahmed is a student at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah