Advice for new undergrads

I’ve been at university for more than 8 years now !!!  Throughout my time I’ve not only pursued my interest in the life sciences but also developed a passion in  entrepreneurship through my extracurricular activities.uni

I’ve also come to know how universities work, their role in your education and how you should be managing your time there to get the best out of it. So I’ve decided to put together some pointers/insight for new under grads (1st and 2nd years) that will hopefully be of some use.


  • 1st year is chaos. You’ll be totally fixated on study (or socialising). You’ll be living from one exam/ test/ assignment to the next.  This is fine and normal, don’t worry just get through it.
  • Push your work limits of what you think you can manage. Find a new threshold.
  • Find out how you learn best as quickly as possible. Refine it and use it.
  • Focus on discovering a passion and building a knowledge base around it. If you really want to be someone who makes a difference while loving what you do don’t be a person who takes paper A for the purpose of getting job A.
  • If you insist on fantasying on a job. Investigate that job  first. Chances are you are idolising the wrong one for you. What do you really want to be doing?
  • Change will happen, brace yourself for it. You will change you’re mind about what you want to learn. Change for a logical reason. Is your judgement sound?
  • The undergraduate degree is not worth much these days. Consider your first three years as compulsory, like high school. Its sole use is to build your foundation of knowledge. Use postgraduate studies to differentiate yourself by specialising.
  • For some of you academic study is only part of your total university experience. Engage in the rest of what the university has to offer e.g. clubs and societies. This will mould you into the person you want to be. The experience you gain will be just as valuable if not more than your degree.
  • Keep an eye on and get involved in your industry. It most likely currently consists of old grey headed guys. In most situations they love seeing fresh blood getting involved. Make contacts. Get people noticing you.
  • Socialise with people at university. Take up opportunities to meet other people. In 10-20 years time those are the people that will be doing cool things in cool places. 
  • Create something! Start making an impact on something or someone/ people.

2 responses to “Advice for new undergrads

  1. Hi Graeme, good to see you back at your blog. Good post, I agree with everything except the second part of point 7, but I am biased as you know!

    Postgrad degrees in my opinion don’t differentiate you that much more than undergrad degrees do, given how prevalent and under-utlised they are in the workforce. However in saying that, like an undergrad degree – if you’ve got to take it to tick the box, you’ve got to do it.

  2. Hey there
    Hope you’re doing well across the ditch.
    I’ll be over there Dec8-15. Would be great to catch up

    Re:post. Ill agree to disagree 🙂


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