What remains free today as you are on campus won’t remain free forever. The dynamics of the game changes when you leave school
One of the greatest times in your life as a human where most resources will be or are available to you for free is your time in college or the university. Most universities and colleges happen to provide students with resources at their disposal to aid in their growth aside from the regular academic work schedule and build them up for the world awaiting them.
Many a time, students underestimate these resources and do not make good use of them as they should. Unfortunately, these wouldn’t last forever. There is a time for everything and indeed, a time cometh where you have to pay huge sums of money for these same resources. If you are running a start-up on campus make sure to harness these resources very well so as to be able to survive the time before you reach profitability, where no money is coming in from anywhere.
In this article, we tackle 5 most important resources available to students on almost all campuses in Africa.
In this modern era, the availability of internet access is seen as a basic requirement for every student and most schools have put measures in place to ensure the availability of free Wi-Fi services to their students. Unfortunately, some students are not making good use of this key resource and more so, others are abusing it.
The internet is a great source of information and every student (especially student entrepreneurs) should endeavour to utilize it both for academic and non-academic purposes.For academic purposes, students should use this resource to study, research on their assignments and many more. For non-academic work, students should use it to learn new skills, communicate with people of like-mindedness, and the likes.After school, you may have to pay so much to get access to the internet or get particular information especially when it involves downloading files with huge sizes.
Make good use of it now so as not to regret soon after school. One major complain that some students make about the free Wi-fi services is that most of them do not provide strong internet connectivity. I may not totally disagree but I bet to differ on the fact that, the strength of the internet connectivity may not be the same at all places on campus.
Be on your guard if you really want to make good use of it. Look out for spots on campus where the Wifi is very strong. Better still you can find the times of the day when it is strongest. Make that spot your spot or always be available at that point in time.
You will usually underestimate the value of friends until there is a need for them. College or university is the best place to meet people from all walks of life. Now, you find yourself on campus, this is the best time of your life to embrace this great opportunity and make as many friends as possible, this is what is commonly known as networking.
You don’t have to wait till someone is in a position to help you before you decide to befriend them. Once you become friends even when an individual is in no capacity to help you at the time of initiating the friendship, it will go a long way such that once they are in a position to do so and you are also in the need, they won’t hesitate to help you.
Always view networking from this angle; who can I help now? Helping someone in this contest could actually mean just checking up on them and letting them feel relevant. Once you have done something to help someone, they are more likely to help you out when the need arises, except for some few people who are inconsiderate in all things.
It’s been identified that one of the most important elements for a start-up or company to really grow is the kind of team you work with. Friends from college with different academic background of relevance usually make the best of teams. Some of the most successful companies were started by co-founders who were close buddies back in school. Read our previous post on other things which are important for a business to be successful apart from having a great business idea.
Lecturers / Mentors:
The university or college also grants you an avenue to meet people who can actually mentor you. Usually, this doesn’t come at a cost. Because majority of the people you can associate with to help you may be your lecturers, senior course mates and many others. They may not regard the relationship as a mentorship one in order to formally charge for it. However, you can obtain all the help that a mentor will offer you even in a paid session for free if you learn to associate well with these lecturers and other students who are far ahead of you.
You know what you want to do in life. So once you find someone who has chartered that path before or who knows more about it, you can link up to them. Learn from them to gain experience for yourself even before you graduate to start off your life. One of the best ways to get this relationship kick start in the right direction is to ensure that you avail yourself to serve the person in question. Free services offered to them which adds more value to their lives could go a long way to have a blissful reciprocal effect on you.
Do not worry about how small the favour that you do or the service you render is. Because a lot of people do really appreciate service from a sincere heart. Gratitude they say is the best attitude.
Free seminars are almost always available on campuses as often as possible. Mind you, in the world of work, these seminars cost a whole lot of money to attend and may drain you off a lot. Make good use of these ones at your disposal during your days in school. Seminars and workshops for various purposes are organized regularly on campus.
Ask yourself about what you lack and are willing to work towards achieving. Look for such seminars or workshops to attend. Whether it is interpersonal relationships, public speaking, writing, etc, find where you fit best and want to improve. Learn and train yourself to become one of the best even now that you have it for free. A time will come when you will have to pay so much for this same content, that you’re being provided for free now.
A number of times, these seminars come with free certificates. Even if the certificate is at a cost, they are almost always very much affordable. Aim at getting as many relevant certificates as possible before completing school. This is because you never know when some will come in handy. You may need proof of extra-curricular activities or seminars and workshops attended to land some jobs or positions. You will save yourself a lot by having these certificates even before you need them. Besides, a number of these will also make a good CV or resume.
My last point I want to talk about is the various competitions that are organised on campuses. At various levels including departmental, faculty, the school, national and international levels, there are various competitions that usually spring up.
Take advantage of some of these competitions especially if you are a student entrepreneur. You should get involved in business idea competitions or business pitching events and many more. Who knows when the victory will be yours? Besides, if you lose, you will learn a whole lot from. This will make you a better person than you are already.
Don’t be afraid of getting out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, you never really know what you can do until you are put on the spotlight. Believe that you can and work towards achieving your set goals.
Now, I want to believe you can answer the question “How well are you using these 5 resources on campus?” If you think there is more that, you can do, then there really is more for you to do. Analyze your situation very well. Which of these resources are you using well and which of them do you have to optimize their usage? The times will not always remain the same, wise up now.