Starting university after freshly graduating from school can be an overwhelming experience. Considering your final years of school were completed online, beginning a new phase of your life during an on-going pandemic can be more stressful for some than others. To that, I would say hold your horses and worry not! As there shouldn’t be reason to be overwhelmed or stressed out (just yet). One of the main goals of our university is to support the students. So, if you’re a fresher/direct entry student anxious about starting university, this article is for you. Our university took up the initiative to start the ‘Wattbud’ program in order to support you in any non-academic queries you might have.
The Wattbud program is a non-academic support system that consists of a big bud (a 3rd or 4th year student) getting assigned with little buds (fresher’s/direct entry students). Essentially, the role of your big bud involves them being your moral support, a friend, an advisor, a listener, a companion, or another point of contact if you have questions regarding ANYTHING. They can also provide guidance with various other things like: helping you find the right people to contact, building your social circle, someone to hear you out, a familiar face, and guiding you with anything you might be unfamiliar with regarding university life.
However, your big bud’s role ends with being your support system and a friendly face. All academic related questions should ideally be taken to the university staff or professors since they’d be the best point of contact for this. A big bud should also not be viewed as your teacher/tutor, or your counselor as we have professional facilities in university to guide you with that (your big bud will make you familiar with them).
Having been on both ends of the Wattbud program, I can 100% guarantee that having a big bud you can depend on is a reassuring experience. You always feel like there’s someone you can count on if you have any questions you’re too shy to ask your professors, the staff, the council members or new peers. Not to mention, getting an insight and advice regarding university life and the professors from a senior is always a bonus.
The role of your Wattbud can end merely as your big bud, or can lead to a fulfilling friendship. This depends on you and your bud. At the end of the day, the goal of the program is to make sure that you as a fresher don’t feel like you’re alone when beginning your new journey. And most importantly, so you know that we are here to support you in any way we can. Good luck!
Merietta Susan Thomas