UWI Fresher’s Guide to Survival

New academic year, new opportunities – especially for the fresh-new-straight-out of high schoolers attending university for the first time. Some veterans of college life gave their advice to new students on study life and courses, relationships, social life, mental health, finances, and more.  Wasting time is not an option!


While this is one of the most important aspects of school life, there are other things that should not be neglected in a student’s preparation for their career. Nonetheless, new students should pay attention to their strengths and their weaknesses when it comes to studying and strive for optimal grades regarding coursework and examinations. Work hard to excel, no matter the cost. Grind now and relax later.

  • You could have (*) ones in English and communication studies in CSEC and CAPE, but a Critical Reading and Writing course is going to make it look like English is your 5th. – @og_pars
  • You will not wake up for your 8 am classes. Don’t fool yourself. University is not high school. – @ashlieee_xm
  • Pick your group members wisely – some persons do waste time and don’t do group work in the group. – @jaaaybee1
  • Make use of your lecturers’ office hours. You pay them through tuition and they’re there to help you get the A. – @lejmur
  • Look into yourself and make sure that what you’re studying is what you really care about. – @jevjournalist
  • All-nighters aren’t for everyone. Find your study pattern. – @kadsbrezi
  • UWI is strict on plagiarism. Don’t think you will get away with it..- @danii2cra_zd
  • Don’t space out your classes too much, more than likely after a long gap you may not be in the mood to go back to class. – @essa_gia
  • Do not let that first C or failing grade be a hindrance to your greatness. – @squishmaestro
  • Don’t wait till the day before the exam to start studying. – @_gracegirlm
  • Don’t pick up the habit of skipping your lectures or tutorials – it will worsen and become hard to break. – @onequanja
  • Don’t study in groups of more than four persons, it will turn into a hangout session.- @romariolee876
  • Befriend your lecturers and tutors – you never know when you will need a one-on-one or that one percent to pass a course. – @djrecord101
  • Don’t let anyone tell you that you can breeze through the first year. Doing an extra semester or extra year because you wasted time is foolish. – @nextdoor_bailey
  • Get a mentor. – @romariolee876
  • Reach class 10-15 minutes early to get a good seat. It’s not nice sitting on the floor. – @gabbyk16
  • If you are a slow learner, spend time in the library and read ahead. – @selamgay
  • Don’t depend on people’s notes. You will suffer because their note-taking is different from yours. – @sweffy_emm_cee


The temptation is strong when it comes to trying to date or even make lasting friendships. We have fallen prey to trying to fit in and belong to a certain group, but truth is, as much as we try to impress, the ultimate impression one should try to make is with their school work. In the long run, no one will be impressed with someone who failed their courses. Just find the persons who have your best interest at heart and want to succeed as much as you do. Birds of a feather flock together.

  • Avoid negative people who always devalue your achievements or limit your capabilities. – @kimorralucas
  • Don’t let book work cause you to go crazy. Ensure that there is a balance and find time for fun activities. – @Shawna_kayeee
  • Stay away from the gazebos where the students play dominoes. You will take one game and spend the whole year there. – @__kayygee
  • University is a chance to break out of your shell or do something completely new. Take the opportunity to live on hall; if not, still get involved in hall activities. – @l_robinsonhall
  • Don’t follow people and skip classes. They’re home studying out hell and getting good grades. – @jay_elrey
  • Don’t get too caught up with that special someone. Focus on school. – @ashlieee_xm
  • Don’t let the sweet accents distract you from your goals. They will waste your time no matter which island they come from. – @aliyahsarxh
  • Network, network, network. When you need a work or anything done, it’s not who you know, but who knows you. – @lejmur
  • Choose your friends wisely. Not everyone has the same mindset as you. – @_Hollayy
  • If anything free is being given away on campus, create a group chat to alert your friends so they can benefit. – @sirken3
  • Make friends within and outside of your faculty. – @umedsci
  • Some people will friend you up because you’re smart and productive. Beware of sponges. – @tinaribena_
  • Don’t be afraid to drop friends when you find them draining your energy and bringing negativity to your life. – @gabriellepp


Your health is very important. You must learn how to balance taking care of your surroundings, your academics, and your personal life. You cannot expect to excel when your physical and mental health is in shambles. Take it from some persons who had to drop out of school because they could not manage – even at the undergraduate level. Know your strengths and work on your weaknesses and adapt around that with your study or work schedules. Definitely, accept that you aren’t superhuman all the time and need to ask for help when necessary; there are so many support systems available on campus.

  • Psychiatrists and psychologists are available at the health centre just in case you feel like you are literally going crazy. – @kimorralucas
  • You have to eat properly to stay healthy. Take vitamins, drink lots of water, not alcohol. – @khadz_j
  • Your mental health is way more important than your grades. Get help if you need it. Counseling is offered at the clinic. – @ras_jodz
  • Pace yourself and take breaks and breathers when necessary. University is 3-5 years; you’ll need your sanity for life. – @wearethej
  • Try something new; self-discovery is one of the many beauties of university life. – @kimorralucas


I can’t stress that saving and budgeting are two of the most important skills that all students need to master. While some of you used to get allowances or money from your parents, that pocket money is scarce now, especially when the prices on everything have risen. Learn to budget your money. Save for a rainy day; you will be grateful when it counts the most.

  • Don’t waste your money for the month trying to keep up with the rich people. – @RandySTG
  • The supermarket on campus is far but they sell juice cheap and the $20 JMD you save can literally save your life on a rainy day. – @abbmarsh
  • Get a part-time job. You’ll have a little extra money and it’ll help with your time management skills. – @ricebag94


There are definite ups and downs when it comes to hall life and student life on a whole on campus. With that being said, it doesn’t matter if your friends or hall mates are known for being a certain way, you need to chart your own course, and at the end of the day achieve your goal – graduation. However, that doesn’t mean that you must excommunicate yourselves from your hall/club activities, friends or hall mates – they will prove supportive and beneficial in the long run. You might just meet some lifelong friends and colleagues.

  • If you are going to be residing in the hall, don’t make people know your business. News spreads like wildfire. – @ari_zonaaa_
  • If you can’t cook, make sure you friend up someone on flat so you don’t starve or eat fast food every day. – @rhondeenM
  • Join a club, society or committee. Something. Don’t just go to class and go home. – @ashlieee_xm

Note: * one is equivalent to the highest grade and Fresher is a term for Freshman.

By Alexandra Daley

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