Fighting for survival in university, fighting for that paper

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exam results stress
You never want to be on the wrong side of the bell curve
source: headguruteacher

It's that time of the year again when you want to relax and enjoy the festive season but on the other hand you are stressed about exam results, but wait a minute something is different this year for many students. Firstly because of the #FeesMustFall protests we have already had some rest but those of us who live far from home did not go home so that break was not the same as going home and seeing our families and high school friends, secondly campuses opening and closing all the time because of protests was not conducive to studying so many people ended up deferring exams to next year with some deferring all exams and others differing some and writing some of their exams this year, the brave that could write all their exams this year decided to take that risk. We as students always seem to think the supplementary or the deferred exam is harder than the November exam so even if we are not ready to write in November, its rather we write the "easier" exam in November and pray that we are on the right side of the bell curve when results come out. Thirdly because of the protests which lasted a long time some summer term course done during the December holidays were cancelled and that meant that some people who had chosen to do electives then would need to do that elective next year or to look for an alternative course that was not cancelled, also if you had originally needed a summer term course in order to meet the credit requirements for the current year than by not doing the course this november/december you may in fact be at risk of being excluded and not be able to register next year or you might not be able to graduate as soon as you wanted.

Fighting to get that paper

Its always good to have control over your own future and not to be dependent on the mercy of the university and that means keeping track of your credits to know if you are in any danger of exclusion and also to make sure you are doing more than the minimum credits required for re-registration just in case you have a bad exam and fail one or two courses ( that could happen when the university environment was not conducive to studying). You could risk it and think the university will sympathize with you and grant you a concession to continue but on the other hand they might think you were not focused on school and busy protesting and you could become a victim of the protests never to reap the rewards of those protests.

My story

I had signed up for a summer term course which was cancelled due to protests, I needed that course to meet the elective requirements of my degree but also to make sure I was doing more than the minimum requirement in order to register next year. When this course was cancelled I was doing just enough courses to be able to re-register but I could not fail any course or I would be at risk. I told myself okay I can do this, just study hard and pass everything but it was not that simple. Out of the 5 courses I was doing this semester I was fairly confident I would pass 4 of them without stressing but the 5th course I was not so sure about, for one I had not done well in test one and had planned to make up for it in test two but there was no test two so I was going to the exam with a low class average which was a disadvantage. Come exam day and the exam is super long, there is no time to think and check answers, just enough time to write and I am as stressed as I can be. At this point I am thinking there is no ways I am going to survive this December vacation if I am stressing about being kicked out of university. So after that exam I email the lecturer asking how the marks will be broken down for that course since test two and 2 tut tests were not written and I do not get a reply till this day, then I decide I need to sign up for an elective since the one I was previously signed up for was cancelled (usually summer term starts the week after the last exam), but I was told summer term had already started and last day to register was the previous Friday.

I am in full panic mode now, mind you I had not been able to sleep since the exam. I could not bare to think that my whole December would be full of sleepless nights so I go to the humanities faculty which is still offering summer term courses and I ask them for a way around doing summer term and who I need to talk to to get into summer term, I do a whole lot of running around but eventually all I needed to do was talk to the course convenor of the course I wanted to do and get his signature so that might adviser could sign off and I could register for the course. Turns out they had not done much work because some people still had exams and they had not done any assessments yet, I could catch up by doing 2 hours worth of readings. Now everything is sorted and I can sleep peacefully again.

Moral of the story

1. Fight for your own future do not give up just because the receptionists tells you deadline has passed, we are all here at university to get that paper so that we can start building our future and our nations future.

2. Never allow your future to be in the hands of others, don't let the computer flag you for not passing enough courses and getting enough credits, always know how many credits you are doing and how confident you are in passing the required amount.

3. Know the rules pertaining to re-registration for your degree, they are given in your course handout every year both online as a pdf and as a hard copy, the university will not send you and email alerting you of the rules they expect you to read up on the rules yourself before you register each year.

4. Most of the time people give up because they spoke to the wrong person, the receptionist is unlikely to help you, always search for the person who actually makes the decisions regarding what-ever you are interested in be it registering for a course or changing a degree.

5. Deadlines make sure everyone registers in time and submits all documents in time for processing but time and time again I have seen people getting in after the deadline for applications just by speaking to the right person and pleading your case. Its your future fight for it!

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