First things first freshmen, whether LUMS was your backup plan or first choice, landing here is quite a feat and so for that, we insist you give yourselves a round of applause. Now that you’ve given yourself the appreciation you deserve, the real question arises. What do you do to make the most of your time here? New place, new people, new life; sure, it sounds exciting but it is undeniably perplexing too, not to mention intimidating. But don’t you worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all been here and we know the feel all too well.
You’ve probably been told at some point that you can make life into whatever you choose to. Trite, we know, borderline annoying too but trust us, these words have never before held greater meaning. Never before would you have had the degree of independence you will enjoy today but of course, this is accompanied by an array of choices. Make them wisely.
You’re all new to this and you’re feeling a similar kind of alienation. That’s alright. Just try to get acquainted with as many people as you can so you find the ones you can safely call your friends, your own. Don’t be afraid to befriend someone just because they seem different or you carry some preconceived notions about their school/city. You never know who you’ll click with. So go ahead, take the first step and say hello.
GPA though important is extremely overrated. It’s like another one of the O/A level ruts you were dying to get out of. Read bold: Do not get stuck into it again. Do not. Unlike O/A level, grading is not dependent upon a couple of final examinations but on a number of things. You will have quizzes, class participation and before you know it, midterms arrive! Then presentations and bam, finals and papers but this varies from course to course, obviously. It is absolutely necessary for you to acclimatize yourselves to this change in grading. Work hard but work smart. There will always be work but you must incorporate a fair percentage of play – oh yes, the fun bit—into your lives. You will not remember nor care for long about that one quiz you screwed up but what you will remember is laughing away at the khokha with your friends. Do not live today half heartedly just because you’re in the pursuit of a better tomorrow. No one promised tomorrow anyway.
So try to do something new every day. Go on a weekend trip. Ride a bicycle around campus. Sit on the poondi bench (we know you secretly or not so secretly want to). Read a book beneath a tree. Play basket ball. Join a society. Volunteer for a duty. Compliment someone. Treat yourself to Buddies (the LUMS version of KFC, only better and cheaper). Remember: The most important kind of learning happens outside the classroom.
Additionally, don’t fret too much over your major. You have a year to decide so take courses of your liking – unless you’re from SDSB and are force enrolled in most courses– and make your decision, yourself. It is your life and at the end of the day, it is you who’s responsible for your happiness. You’re studying Economics but you think you like History more? Take up a course or two and find out for yourself. Give yourself the opportunity to explore. Don’t clip your own wings. Make time for introspection. It is healthy to spend time chilling at the khokha but it is also essential to just walk alone. Find solace in solitude. Pay the library a visit every now and then. Just be careful though; too much of anything will be toxic.
The key is to strike a balance, dear freshmen – and LUMS will guarantee you the best time of your life.