With orientation week underway for the HNC students, our student blogger, Nanfei, has some advice for starting off the new academic year.
It’s back to school at the HNC, so I’ve gathered the thoughts of last year’s students into a compilation of tips and tricks to HNC Happiness!
- Get to know the people. When asked about what they will remember the most, HNC graduates all highlighted the people. The distinct campus environment of the HNC allows students to form lifelong relationships with students, faculty, and staff (if your professor is sitting by themself in the cafeteria, that’s likely an open invitation). Everyone has a story, make sure you hear it!
|2014-2015 HNC students at commencement|
- Six classes might be too much. In addition to academic
classes, the HNC offers extracurricular cultural classes (e.g. erhu and
calligraphy), mini-classes (e.g. US-China Cross Border Banking), school field
trips (e.g. strawberry picking), employer presentations (e.g. Apple), and more.
The faculty is great, but the HNC is much more than just coursework.
Find your place. While the lounge-library dichotomy is
popular for students interlacing social life with studying, I recommend you to
explore all the places in between. The 5th floor space connects to a
patio and is open 24/7. The calligraphy room promotes casual zen to anyone
looking for live background music courtesy of the adjacent piano room. Switch
it up and don’t be afraid to go off-campus!
- Do something new. There’s a nothing-to-lose mentality that expats are surely familiar with. One student picked up touch rugby despite having never touched rugby before in her life. I took up boxing and erhu. Other students entered the local stand-up comedy scene. The HNC represents the start of a new chapter, so commemorate it with something new.
|HNC students strawberry picking on a field trip|
- Diversify your food portfolio. Weekday lunch is the best
meal in the cafeteria, followed by weekday breakfast, followed by weekend
breakfast. Supplement this with the Nanjing University cafeteria, local
eateries, and trips to the import stores. Ask the 2nd year MA
students about weekend brunch deals, buy-one-get-one-free burger nights, and
snacks to order off taobao.
- Share. If you’re making eggnog, share it in the lounge. If your parents sent you a care package, share it with your friends. If you found a good article, share it on Wechat. It goes without saying that sharing is caring. However, sharing your life at the HNC exposes others to your personality and perhaps more importantly, your culture.
|Calligraphy class at the HNC|
Written by Nanfei Yan, HNC Certificate/SAIS MA Student