Direct Talk

How to be Your Best at University

Getting into and succeeding at a tertiary education institution can be incredibly challenging. Besides the payment problem, there’s also the chance that you might not get into the course you wanted, leaving you uncertain about your big dreams.


This is what it felt like for Chef Benny Masekwameng, who initially wanted to be an engineer before his parents lost the money they had been saving for his varsity fees. He ended up working with his mother as a chef, eventually earning enough to attend culinary school. 

The career path he found himself on wasn’t something he thought he wanted, but he soon realised that being a chef was his true passion, and he thrived. Today he’s well known for his cooking innovation, and no one would ever guess that Benny might have been an engineer.

So, if like Benny, you’ve finally found your way to tertiary education, then consider his advice for turning the experience into your personal success story.

  1. Do your research. Learn everything you can about your university and your course. Attend orientation, ask questions, and spend some time exploring the campus. This will become your home away from home, and if you feel comfortable there you can be your best.
  2. Don’t overload yourself. Once you get to varsity, you might get overwhelmed by all the potential courses and modules you could choose. Don’t get carried away and choose too many, you’ll have work to do for all of them and you need to sleep, eat and live in between!
  3. Learn how to study efficiently.
    • Listen and take notes during class, study little bits every day and review your noes before going to your next class.
    • Focus on subjects or modules where you need to improve. Ask your lecturer for extra reading material, model papers and older tests. It’s a good idea to reach out to successful students - their studying habits may benefit you too.
    • Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it - allow time for studying, homework, socialising, and rest.
  4. Ask for help. If it feels like everything is getting too much, don’t be afraid to reach out. Most institutions have course advisors, study groups or counsellors that can help you with study tips and set realistic goals while still performing well.
  5. Enjoy it! There’s more to varsity than learning from textbooks. The more you experience, the more you grow as a person. Don’t lock yourself in a room and study all day when there are friends to be made!

Not getting into your first-choice course or university might initially seem like your dreams won’t come true, but like Chef Benny, only you can turn it around. You have it in you to be a success, so don’t spend too much time feeling down. Your future is up to you.

If you're considering using a loan to help fund your tertiary education, view DirectAxis' personal loan tips and considerations for students.

 Check out Direct Talk for more stories on life, money and everything in between.



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Loan repayment terms range from 24 to 72 months. The maximum interest rate with regards to a DirectAxis Personal Loan is 27.75% per annum (compounded monthly). Your rate and initiation fee will be determined according to your personal risk profile.
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