Congratulations on being accepted into University and into the MBBS programme. Entry is highly competitive so it is an attestation of your academic potential that you made it through the rigorous entry requirements. You are all capable of great things – you will have ample opportunity to show your lecturers that
Taking notes during lectures
|to mean ‘equals’ or ‘this means’|
|to mean ‘therefore’|
|@||to mean ‘each’ or ‘per’ However, note that the slash (/) symbol also means ‘per’|
|to mean ‘decrease’ Avoid the word “reduced” as it has a special meaning in chemistry|
|to mean ‘increase’|
|to mean larger/greater/more than|
|to mean smaller than|
|or ‘approx.’ to mean approximate|
|to mean ‘leads/leading to’. A double arrow would imply ‘eventually leads to’|
Other personal abbreviations can be ‘aa’ for amino acids, NMJ for neuromuscular junction etc etc. Avoid too many such abbreviations as they can be confusing when you are revising.
Remember NEVER use such abbreviations in formal writing. Even standard abbreviations need to be defined when first used, eg adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
5. You may leave gaps, half-finished words or empty lines in your notebooks but these must be filled in immediately after the lecture, eg during tea break or that evening when you read through your notes, which you must do each day.
6. During any lecture do not hesitate to ASK about things that you do not understand. Do NOT be shy; those who laugh at you merely expose their own ignorance and immaturity.
7. Read through your notes each day that you take them; for revision, and/or to fill in the gaps, to check for incongruities/contradictions etc. Borrow a friend’s notes if necessary (but remember that you will understand your own notes best, people think in different ways).
8. Try to attend ALL lectures. At NUST the expected minimal attendance of lectures is 80%. The one vital exam question may come from material that was taught while you were away. If you are unable to avoid being absent from a lecture, you MUST ensure that you ‘catch up’ on the material that you missed. If you were exempted from a lecture your lecturers will be quite willing to assist.
9. Practical laboratory classes are compulsory.
1. University life is different from High School. At school you had teachers acting in loco parentis and giving guidance which was often enforced with rules and punishment for breaking rules. At University you are considered to be an adult, you are expected to be responsible. You are more on your own; you chart your own path. Sometimes the pace can be fast and one can feel left behind. Make friends with whom you discuss issues, discuss with students in years ahead of you or discuss with your tutors and lecturers. Ensure that your University years are responsible and successful.
2. The University does have rules but they are not as visible as they were at school where there were prefects enforcing rules. However, for those in Halls of Residence there may be more evidence of ‘rules’. The presence of the janitors, sub-wardens and the wardens may remind you of the boarding masters/mistresses and prefects
Ordinance 30: This ordinance describes the rules and regulations that govern students. Read the Ordinance carefully and make sure you understand it fully. If there are areas you do not understand do ASK and seek clarification. Do not worry about remembering each and every clause of the Ordinance - it is based on common sense; if you use that you will be within the broad limits of the Ordinance.
3. Drinking & Extracurricular activities: There are no rules against drinking but there are strict rules about drunkenness. If you have to, drink moderately and at weekends. There are students Societies and Clubs which you are encouraged to join. These range widely; they can be sporting, religious or social. Budget your time wisely and balance such activities to avoid them impinging negatively on your primary mission here at University.
4. Counselling services at the University: Within departments and faculties, limited confidential counseling services are available by way of students’ advisors who are lecturers. You should develop an acquaintance with your advisor; s/he is your first port of call when you have difficulties. Such lecturers are likely to spot changes in your academic performance which may indicate that you are having problems. They can refer you to the Dept of Student Affairs for in-depth counselling. See your advisor at least once a semester if you have no problems but more frequently when you have problems. Peer counselling also helps, establish a friend in the upper years who can help with some of your difficulties.
The Department of Student Affairs offer trained Counselling services and can organize a referral to a psychologist if necessary.
6. Finance: Budget very carefully because you will invariably have limited funds. Avoid the temptation to live beyond your means and to borrow money. Avoid lending other students money; they tend to be bad debtors!
Good luck with your studies, all best wishes.