Looking back at these eight semesters as an undergrad, I realise one thing... academically, I kept improving every semester. My grades got better and better and exams got easier and easier for me. I remember the kind of struggle I went through in my first semester and the horrible grades that followed. The reason? Quite simple. It took time for me to adjust from being a school student in India to a university undergrad in Singapore. In other words, I simply didn't know how to study.
As the semesters went by, I learnt. Learnt quite quickly actually. Soon I found my balance between the textbook and the lecture notes. I knew what were the things I needed to memorize and what I needed to understand. And even though initially I cribbed a lot about the memorizing bits, I later realised that its a big blessing in life sciences to take the effort to commit certain things to memory, like amino acid structures for example.
Over the years, I have had several juniors ask me what its like to be an undergrad in NUS. How do you study? What do you learn? How do you manage? And I've always tried to give them detailed answers. I learnt from my mistakes, I thought it would be nice if my juniors didnt make the same mistakes as my batch did. So I always tried to help them out, telling them what they should focus on, what they can omit and so on and so forth. Basically, its what they call "short cut to success". It would take so long for me to explain these short cuts... they didn't seem very "short" :P
I've graduated now. But am still approached by freshers. I've been in touch with one, for a while now. And as usual, I got asked the question... whats the short cut to being a successful undergrad. I embarked on my usual lecture, giving tips and all. It took me more than an hour to explain everything on gtalk. After everything, the fresher says, "Wow! That's a lot! I didn't expect to have to learn so much!" To which, I found myself replying, "Well, The secret of being a successful in your undergrad courses is to not be lazy! Work hard and you'll be fine!"
:O :O :O
I can't believe I actually advised somebody to work hard! I actually said that the secret of success is hard work!! :O
That's what grown ups say to kids!!! Its not a "short cut"!!! But then again, there is no other way to get awesome grades in life sciences!
That piece of advice is the last thing any fresher wants to hear!!
I'm becoming a grown up now :O :( :-/