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Guide to collegiate life

Two university officials give students a year-by-year plan to succeed in school.

Guide to collegiate life

Freshman year

Manage time efficiently

"University life is one of freedom, with no teachers to guide or control you like in high school. You need to be responsible. Keep a balance between life inside and outside the classroom, which is also important for personal development," says Joompol Rodcumdee, Chulalongkorn University's vice president for student affairs.

Keep a goal in mind

"Keep in mind that the goal of university study isn't simply to reward you with a degree. It's a transitional period from childhood to adulthood. You should learn new things to prepare yourself for the career world which requires you to apply knowledge and skills at work and the ability to work with other people," says Prinya Thaewnarumitkul, Thammasat University's vice rector for student affairs.

Sophomore and junior years

Don't take studies for granted"Never take it for granted that having passed your first year, you're safe to survive university. Many students are expelled in their second and third years," Joompol says.

Plan for your career

"It's time to know what you are good at and what you want to do after you graduate. Develop yourself, in and out of the classroom, to ensure that you're prepared for your desired career," says Joompol.

Learn to give

"Be a volunteer. Start by offering help to newcomers. Do volunteer work on and off campus. Our society is looking for graduates who are academically and professionally successful, and who are also moral and ethical people," Prinya says.

Senior year

Enhance your qualifications

"Research your preferred employer and see whether you lack any required qualifications. You still have one year to take relevant coursework or seek more off-campus training," Joompol says.

Enjoy university life

"While preparing for your career, be sure to also take advantage of extracurricular activities. University life is a beautiful once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Make the most of your time here. Because once you enter the business world, you'll never have the same opportunities to enjoy life," Prinya says.

Down, but not out

These celebrities nearly failed out of the university.

Artivara "Toon" Kongmalai, Bodyslam vocalist, almost didn't graduate from his four-year Faculty of Law programme at Chulalongkorn University.

"I got an 'F' twice in basic accountancy and nearly had to take a fifth year. A very good friend helped tutor me." Singer-actress Buachompoo Ford initially had poor grades at Thammasat University.

"Like many freshmen, everything on campus was new and exciting. So I enjoyed it all to the fullest and was careless about my studies. My first semester was not good at all. But I learnt to be prudent and to focus more on studying. People like me, who like to do a lot of activities, must be very careful about time management."

By Worawan Thanamongkol

Special to The Nation

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