HOMESICKNESS is a common and normal challenge for varsity students, especially those who study far from home.

So you might wonder if tertiary is harder than high school.

SunEducation spoke to Mcebisi Sibiya, a student at the University of Joburg.

He’s studying for a BA Accounting degree.

Said Mcebisi: “At first it was tough. I took time to make friends and adjusting. But you can’t do well in your studies until you’re well-adjusted.”

Unlike at school, where a period lasted for 35 minutes, university lectures are a bit longer, sometimes lasting up to one to two hours.

“It’s important to know what to expect at varsity or college. You need to be mentally prepared,” he said.

According to Mcebisi, tertiary education comes with freedom.

“Something pupils need to be careful of.”

If unchecked, freedom can lead to failure because there’s no one to push you to do your school work, said Mcebisi.

But remember, greater freedom brings about great responsibility.

Why you’re at varsity should always be at the back of your mind.

This serves as your compass – to guide you to attend your lectures and tutorials, write tests and submit assignments.

“Once you’re there, you have to also ensure you manage time properly so you don’t miss classes and do all that’s expected of you,” Mcebisi said.

“At least, ensure during this year you also meet other students who are currently doing same course. This will help you familiarise yourself with what’s expected from you.”