University of Canterbury Pasifika student Paionia Langilangi offers some advice to first year students at UC.
The best advice I can give is to make as many connections as you possibly can. At the end of the day, having connections is the quickest way up the ladder. For Pacific students in particular, I would say never forget your roots. It always has a way of boosting your morale during tough times.
One way I was able to do this at UC was by making use of the Pacific Development Team (PDT). The PDT helped in so many ways. They had awesome tutors who guided and tutored me in courses I found difficult, having special events where I could meet other Pasifika students and make new friends – and by always having free milk at the Fale.
Having fun and keeping active is important. Make good use of the free membership at the gym, and play touch with the Pasifika students at Ilam fields. It’s a good idea to add all the Pasifika students you meet on Facebook, because most of the time they would call out a touch game, and you wouldn’t want to miss out.
For me, my relationship with God is also important – it’s where I find strength.
God gives power to the weak. And to those who have no might, He increases strength Isaiah 40/29. God is always there, even in times of trouble.