If you have arrived at USP straight from school, one of the biggest surprises you will find is the academic freedom you have at the university. At school, your teachers probably closely supervised your attendance, your class work and your homework. At university, it is expected that you are here because you want to be here and that you are enthusiastic about learning. If you don’t turn up to lectures or tutorials, or if you fail to hand in assignments, nobody is going to punish you. Whether you are a private student or you have been awarded a scholarship to attend USP, the only person who is ultimately responsible for whether you succeed or fail at university is you. This means you need to take a responsible approach to learning. Find out all you can about the academic rules and regulations, turn up to your lectures regularly, ensure you understand the structure and content of your academic programme, hand in your assignments on time and make sure you prepare well for examinations. If you put in your best effort, you will not only be personally satisfied but you will also probably perform well academically.
Being at university means your classmates will vary in age, experience and cultural background. Not all students come to university straight from school. Many have already been out in the workforce for some time and decide to come to university to help advance their career or to change careers altogether. Some students may have spent most of their life caring for family and are looking to begin a new career through university study. Regardless of differences in age, ethnic group, citizenship or background, remember that you are all at university for the same reason-to learn.