Chinese & English: Senior UM Reporter Lucia Li, Trainee UM Reporter Ku Weng Hin │ Photo: Trainee UM Reporter Ku Weng Hin │ ISSUE99 December My UM
It’s almost the end of the first semester of this academic year. Have first-year students adapted to university life? What are the differences between secondary school life and college life in their eyes?
Trying as Many New Things as Possible
Gigi Vong, a freshman in the Department of Sociology and Lui Che Woo College, entered UM through the Outstanding Student-Athletes Admission Scheme. In the beginning, Vong feared that she would not get along with her university friends. Unlike in secondary school, Vong could not spend much time with her friends in the university. However, after participating in various student orientation activities, she made many new friends, and her perceptions changed. She says, ‘Most of us freshmen want to make friends, and the various student organisations at UM gives us a lot of opportunities to meet like-minded pals!’
Vong is determined to accept more challenges in university life. ‘Recently, I saw a promotion-al flyer about the UM Sports Fest and signed up for a swimming competition without hesitation. Though I am better at long-distance running, I want to challenge myself and try things I haven’t tried before.’
Striving to Adapt to English Teaching
Chloe Wong, who enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (Mathematics-Statistics and Data Science) programme through the Principals’ Recommended Admission Scheme, is a first-year student in Cheong Kun Lun College. She points out that there are many differences between university and secondary school life in terms of teaching style. ‘All of my classes are held in English.
After class, Wong often goes to the university library to study and borrow books related to her courses, hoping to keep up with the progress as much as possible. She believes that the cosy atmosphere in the library enables her to get twice the result with half the effort. ‘In university, no one is on your back reminding you when to study. To get good grades, you should be self-disciplined.’
Learning Time Management
Bai Xiaoke, a third-year student majoring in English education and a member of Ma Man Kei and Lo Pak Sam College, says that after entering university, he suddenly had a lot of spare time as he took fewer courses compared to secondary school. So he joined many student organi-sations, such as the House Association in his residential college. ‘At that time, I didn’t know how to manage my time. In one mid-term exam, I got a very low score in one of my compulso-ry courses, which deeply affected my academic grades in the first semester.’
After reflection, Bai realised the importance of time management. ‘In addition to acquiring knowledge, it is also important for students to expand networks and find their passions by joining student organisations. What matters is how you balance academic commitments and extracurricular activities.”