The importance of self-discipline in university.

The importance of self-discipline in university.

Tsholofelo Nkoane, May 2016

My name is Tsholofelo Nkoane I completed my degree in BA Strategic Communication. I am currently working as a Student Assistant at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). I recently met Lelo in our Marketing and Branding Offices, I loved everything about Lelo, but the characteristic I admired the most was her open, genuine and honest nature. My conversation with Lelo inspired me to write about my experience at UJ. I did my first year in 2013 and my time at UJ has been eventful and very challenging; I owe my survival to self-discipline.  UJ is indeed the best place to be, a place of endless possibilities, a place where dreams can come true. I feel so honoured to be surrounded by the best lecturers and being nurtured to be the greatest I can be. However with all the support that I am exposed to, I still needed to play my part and commit to my studies.

“By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character,” says Grenville Kleiser. I am a firm believer in this saying,  I have witnessed the power of saying No and I know how fruitful the rewards of self-discipline are and I can testify to the fact that saying No does indeed help one achieve greatness. This was not always an easy principle to apply; there was a time where my friends and I would spend 70% of our time at the Student Centre. It is always so refreshing to be surrounded by new faces. This was an amazing phase for me however I soon realised that time spent at the student centre affected my studies negatively; I was always tired and there was little time left to study.

I soon realised that I would not benefit by trying to be cool and spending most of my time at The Student Centre I remembered how important it was for me to make my late mother proud as opposed to me trying to fit into the new environment. My most trying time in my varsity days was during my first year when the Student Representative Council (SRC) organised a freshman event (Fresher’s) – I was excited and I had heard a lot of interesting stories so I honestly couldn’t wait for my turn to experience it. Unfortunately to my disappointment, my first test was scheduled for the following Monday. At that point I had to prioritise, so I missed the event.

After a weekend of preparing for my test, Monday was finally upon us and while we were all nervous, I was so relieved that I felt ready; my first test went very well and I got a distinction.  Do you now see how self-discipline can reward you with success? It was from that moment when I learnt that there are rewards for prioritising and being disciplined; trust me it is not the easiest decision to take but it needs to be done. From that moment on I learnt that in order to excel you just have to allow certain things to pass you and it’s okay because there is always time for fun but if I don’t pass then that stops my path to success

At varsity it is all about finding balance in your social life and in your studies so that you do not get overwhelmed by the immense workload. There is a big difference between school and varsity and the fact is that at varsity time management is all up to you! Maximum freedom BUT maximum responsibility!