Monday, April 4, 2016

7 Common Mistakes Made by Freshmen

A big welcome to all freshmen entering their first year at Nanyang Polytechnic! Choosing a polytechnic pathway will see some very different and new changes in your life. The “freedom” that you will have in Poly may also lead you to a false sense of security, which will change when you are suddenly besieged with due dates. So to avoid these unpleasant surprises, here are 7 common mistakes made by freshmen and how to avoid them.

Not attending Freshmen Orientation

Before lessons begin, every School in NYP will have its very own Freshmen Orientation organised by the respective student committees. Although attending the orientation is compulsory, some freshmen still do not attend it. Apart from getting to know your course mates better, the orientation also introduces you to campus life and its facilities. You certainly do not want to be lost or late for your first lesson. Even if you are the shy or introverted type, understand that attending Freshmen Orientation does no harm. So do join in.

Not mingling around during orientation 
Moving on from Secondary School to Polytechnic can be a huge change and chances are, you will not be seeing any familiar faces. Orientation can serve as a platform for you to get to know your course mates and potential project mates. These will be the people who will be there for you during the fun and tough times throughout your 3 years!

Not attending Club Crawl 
Club Crawl is an annual event in NYP that showcases the 80+ CCAs NYP has to offer. After all, campus life is not just about academics and having a CCA can make your Poly life more interesting and help you when you apply for a university programme. Even if you think you know what you want, who knows what other CCAs may offer and attract you at Club Crawl? There are also amazing performances by various CCA groups and they are really worth it to watch and enjoy.

Not preparing material needed for school early 
Before the term starts, there will be a list of materials that you will need to get for your year ahead, such as, lab coats for School of Chemical and Life Sciences courses or design materials for School of Design courses, and even Laptops or formal wear for presentations. One piece of advice is to get these materials as early as possible for they run out very fast. Lecture notes will most likely be available on blackboard a week before lessons start, so do get them printed as early as possible to avoid the long queue at the printing shops in NYP!

Not finishing tutorial assignments
In NYP, although exams constitute a big portion of our Grade Point Average (GPA), tutorials do affect our GPA too. It is highly likely that during lessons there will be tutorial assignments and worksheets that need to be handed up for grading. Not handing up the assignments on time or at all can adversely affect your GPA.

Bad time management 

It is very easy for freshmen to forget time management due to the new found “freedom” they have in Poly. Assignment due next month? Lots of time? This can be disastrous when you find yourself having too many assignments due at the same time, and you have barely begun doing them.
To prevent this, you need to know that while it is important to have a balanced lifestyle in Poly, do not chew off more than what you can bite. For example, don’t sign up for too many events and always remember to complete your important and urgent work first. Plan your schedule carefully.

Not organizing academic materials 

This is a very common mistake among freshmen - not organizing notes or tutorial materials well. In NYP, semestral exam topics can be found in most of the notes, and certain modules even test practical knowledge on paper. Most freshmen usually throw their lab and tutorials sheets when they are done. When exams are just around the corner, they will be frantically searching for these sheets to study.
To prevent this, get assorted files for every module and file the notes and sheets accordingly. When exams are around the corner, at least everything is easily retrievable.

Remember that balance is the key in a fulfilling and vibrant Poly life. Your Orientation Group Leaders and Personal Mentors will be here to guide you, so do not hesitate to approach any of them for help.

By Christopher Teo Yu Yuan, Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry

A smile is a curve that sets things straight.

Never be afraid to try. Even if we fail, there is no better way to live. Continue to pursue to what you truly love to do. Christopher is living life seeking thrills and hopes to be able to use science to save lives and bring hope to other people.


  1. I did everything

  2. Thanks for advice :D

  3. 1 common mistake made by freshmen
    1. Attending FMO

  4. Totally describing me right now. the not doing things part

  5. cannot be missing out on the girls too

  6. Who is the girl at the "not finishing tutorial assignments"?

  7. GPA is like $$. The more u are desperate for $$, the more evil u become.