Exam period is very stressful for most people and for those who are away from home, it might be even tougher. For the past week, I was feeling a bit defeated and I could not find the motivation to study. I feel like that was only natural, especially because I have been home bound for the most part of the winter break so I decided to call my friend.
I talked for hours and it was like a huge rock was being lifted from my chest, which was fantastic. However, my friend could not understand why I would be in such a stressful condition. Most of my Hong Kong friends do not believe me when I tell them University life is not all about partying. Somehow, many Hong Kong students, including myself (before I came to the UK), have this misconception that studying overseas is a piece of cake. That’s why I decided to write about misconceptions about Universities in general. Everyone’s experience is different and some people might find it easier than others but it is not just about having fun.
- Drinking = Fun
I am not denying the fact that drinking is a part of most social circles but it is definitely not necessary. People usually have a few drinks so they feel less anxious and socialize better but no one will force you to drink! There are plenty of ways to have fun, like going to London over the weekend. Whenever I get home, people always ask if I or my friends drink every day, the answer to that question is always no. Never feel pressured to drink because you want to blend in with others, everybody is different. Everyone have a different idea of having fun, if you like to enjoy a few cocktails here and there, great! I personally prefer a successful shopping trip!
- Everything is Online
This is partially true. Most lecture slides and notes will be posted online and this leads to the question of why we should bother to go to lectures? First of all, the online resources are there in case you missed a lecture and also to provide extra materials if you wish to learn more. Secondly, having the notes does not mean you understand the content. The lecturers have an extensive knowledge in their field and will often give out extra information to further your understanding, not to mention, you will be missing out on a chance to ask questions or listen to others ask. Lastly, making notes and pay attention during the lecture, will speed up your revising process.
- Getting an easy ‘A’?
This is another big misconception, somehow people always think it is easier to get good grades when you study overseas. I do think the school hours are not as long and the rules are not as strict, especially for those who are from a traditional school in Hong Kong. However, having less school hours does not mean it is easier, on the contrary, it just means you have to put in more work at home. Most of the modules only require 40% to pass but I am sure for most students who got in this University would not aim for a 40%. For me and the people I have talked to, it is not the hardest thing to get a 60% but getting a first, i.e. 70% or above, would require a lot of hard work and dedication.
- Adiós Homework?
In a way, there is no homework anymore but there are still plenty of work. You will have coursework, tutorial preparation and depending on which degree you are taking, a ton of reading. So, it is a different type of work in the sense that it requires more self-discipline and no one is going to nag you anymore. But if you did not do any type of work throughout the semester, you will definitely see its importance when exams come.