SMU student bloggers Kritika and Karl share their tips on how to get the most out of this weekend’s SMU Open House 2014.
It’s that time of the year when the universities haven’t just opened their application windows, they’ve also opened up their doors to let the world in. There’s truly no better way to learn more about the school than by visiting the campus and attending talks while mingling with faculty and current students. Open House can get chaotic with the campus being overwhelmed by a flurry of people and activity. To make the most of your trip down, we’ve come up with some tips for you: the ABC’s of a fruitful Open House.
Identify your Aims
Come to Open House with some key goals you want to accomplish. The campus is going to be a whirlwind of activity with parents, students and future students, all milling about with their own objectives. With all the hustle and bustle going on, distractions will be extremely easy to succumb to. To make the most of your day, make a list of questions you want answered and prioritise them. There are a multitude of talks going on—make sure you go for the ones that count!
There are faculty talks for each of the six schools, where you can find out about the curriculum, majors, and opportunities they offer in terms of study trips and possible careers. If you want to find out more about SMU’s selection process and pick up tips on acing the interview, you’ll want to attend the Admission Talks. This is also where you can get more information on scholarships and financial aid. Plan your day using the talks schedule available here.
Take a Break
Yes, the main purpose of Open House is to gather information to guide your decision but attending back-to-back talks can really take it out of you. At a certain point, you need to get out of the lecture halls and auditoriums and explore the other aspects of SMU’s culture. Intersperse your day of School and Admissions talks with student performances and activity booths that will be held at the SMU Concourse.
You’ll get to witness first-hand the multitude of extracurricular activities SMU has to offer to complement the academic aspect and provide our students with a holistic university experience.
Unleash your Curiosity
Have you heard about how SMU has made students more outspoken? Or that they spend more hours in school than they do at home? Set all these rumours to rest—don’t hesitate to approach our faculty or students with any questions you may have. After all, what could possibly be a more reliable source? Both prospective students and parents have the opportunity to ask questions during the end of each talk, as well as after the talk when speakers stay behind to mingle with the crowd. Besides speaking to the faculty, do take some time to talk to current students. You’ll find them at activity booths along the Concourse or you could speak to the SMU Ambassadors in charge of giving school tours. All this will allow you to truly grasp the essence of what it means to be a part of the SMU experience.
Hey, you there! Yeah, you! I know you, don’t I? Didn’t you just graduate, and now you’re waiting for your A-level results? Or maybe I saw you in camp before, and you just ORDed, now looking to take the next big step in your life.
That’s great timing, because SMU Open House 2014 is taking place this weekend! It’s happening on 1st and 2nd March, and our entire campus will be open to students like yourself, wanting to find out more about our courses and programmes! It’s the perfect time to come down and take a look at what could be your home for the next four years!
But wait, I know what you’re thinking. What’s an open house? What do you do at an open house? How do you make the best of your time on our campus?
Well, fret not! Here’s my step by step guide to SMU Open House!
1. Shake It Out
At first glance, it is daunting to see everyone walking around, mingling and having things to say or do. You might walk around, see no one you recognise… and then be at a loss. But have no fear. Remember that everyone there is around your age, or maybe even younger. Relax. Take in the sights. Take in the sounds. Shake off that feeling of nervousness. Here in SMU, we’re friendly people, so you won’t be turned away and we’ll greet you with open arms and a smile.
Tip: Go up and talk to someone in an SMU shirt! That someone is most likely a campus tour guide, and he’ll take you around the campus. There! Wasn’t that easy?
2. Young Blood
Before you come down, think to yourself: What do I want to do?
Yeah, I know that’s a pretty tough question to answer, so let’s break it down. Think: What would you like to study? What do you want to do as a career? What courses or areas of interest fascinate you?
Once you know your likely direction in terms of academics and/or career, you’ll also know what to look out for during the Open House. For example, if you liked Economics in JC, taking Economics as a major in SMU is a no-brainer. However, if you were more of the artistic type, preferring subjects such as Art, Music and Literature, you might want to find out more about our new major, Arts and Culture Management.
Tip: Have an idea of what you like to do or plan to do. It’ll make it easier for you to get information.
3. Say Something
Have things to ask. University education is a whole different ball game, and for the uninitiated, the workload doubles or triples, the projects are demanding but fulfilling, and the learning curve is steep.
A lot of potential students don’t really know how to cope with the change from JC or army to university, because of how different the cultures may be. So come with things you want to address, to prepare your state of mind for the new adventure to come!
Tip: A list of 10 questions is good. Questions such as, “How many modules am I expected to take a semester?” and “What is the variety of subjects I will be exposed to in my major?” are all good bets.
4. Everybody Talks
For those who want to hear highly-lauded professors give speeches on their respective subjects and schools, SMU Open House features talks every hour from various the various deans, administrators and more.
The link for the schedule of the talks can be found here.
Tip: When does the talk you’re interested in start? Make a note, then come by early to get seats!
5. Everything Has Changed
So how was it? By the time you’ve completed steps one to four, you’re probably almost completely done with your SMU Open House 2014 experience! And by this time, you’re ready to embark on your new journey as a tertiary student. Everything has changed, and it’s for the better.
Tip: Just come with an open mind, and enjoy SMU Open House 2014!
Have a fun weekend at SMU Open House!