How to survive university in South Africa

ASUS has developed a Varsity Survival Guide as part of its Own Tomorrow campaign.

ASUS has developed a Varsity Survival Guide as part of its Own Tomorrow campaign.

Published Jan 23, 2023


As South African varsity students gear up for the new year, they may encounter certain fears and doubts about the upcoming year.

ASUS has developed a Varsity Survival Guide as part of its Own Tomorrow campaign, offering some practical tips to mitigate some of those expected university fears.

You probably have some questions (low-key same) - but we’ll get to most of the answers soon. Take your time, work through the unique, informative bits on this site, and ready up for your varsity career. We back you.

Throughout this site, we’ll explore the joys and fears of being a varsity student in South Africa and offer practical tips and tricks to get you geared up. No cap, we just want you to OWN TOMORROW.

Varsity Survival Guide

Survive the first class/year/degree

Set your intention from the get-go. Attend every class from day one. Even virtual pre-recorded classes and additional tuts. That’s after you choose the subjects you want to commit to and find the corresponding class. The chaos ends soon, we promise!


You’ll be surprised to hear that most of the exam q’s come straight out of class discussions.

It’s good practice to pay attention to key things lecturers mention in class. They’re funny that way. Each lecturer will have their own unique methods and go-to exam questions. Take advantage of tuts and join class groups to plug into the uni underbelly. Be sure to download a campus map and useful resources from the uni website and plot your takeover.

Eskom-proof your studies

Load shedding has become an expected part of everyday life, so might as well work it into your study schedule. This is where data backups and the occasional candle comes in handy. Ws to those who have already invested in power backups 🔌


We’re probably preaching to the choir here, but there are a few tools that’ll Eskom-proof your varsity life. Invest in a laptop – the battery life alone will level up your study game. Pair that with a good cloud backup (GDrive offers 15GB storage free), a wireless LTE router and a stash of study snacks and you’re set for the next bout of rolling blackouts. Keep a good quality power bank and a rechargeable light nearby. Need even more power? A small inverter or even a backup battery setup will change the game fr.

Vibe check

Don’t underestimate the possibility of high-stress situations and their effect on your mental health. Whether it’s overwhelming classes, intense workload or unrealistic social expectations, keep an eye on your nerves and look after yourself.


Struggling with coursework and assignments? Speak to your advisor or tutor.

They’ll advise from the point of knowledge, and can help with concessions to submit a few days later. Even so, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed - most campuses offer psychologists that offer counselling. Or simply call home. Use the support system back home or create a new one with friends on campus. A degree shouldn’t tap your mental health - back yourself first.

Make space

Some of you (not all of you) will move out of your parent's home for the first time. It may be to a hostel, a commune or an apartment. Each has its own perks - but keeping sane in your new space may be something you have to get accustomed to.


Nothing beats the liberating feeling of moving into your own place for the first time. 🌱

Regardless of whether it’s on campus or not, it’ll bring about a massive change in your life. Pack a few mementoes from your old room - things that remind you of home - to place in the new space. This will help you acclimate better. Make friends with your neighbours/roommates - we bet you’ll be invited to a braai that same weekend.

Let’s get social

Uni is the ideal time to expand your social circle. That doesn’t necessarily mean clubbing on weekends. Campuses are loaded with different types of people with a wide variety of interests - from going to raves to board game nights. 🎲


If you go out partying, send a screenshot of your Uber driver’s number plate and name to someone you can trust. Always keep your belongings on your person and never accept drinks from strangers. If that’s not your vibe, check out the campus clubs - bet you’ll find a sport/game/activity that suits your interests. That’s where you’ll likely find your tribe. This is the best time to spend time on your hobbies.

Level up your skills

Sure, you’ll have a diploma/certificate/degree after this. Nevertheless, depending on your future plans, it’s a good plan to do short courses and upskill a bit. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in a specific industry - employers are always looking for extra value.


Many campuses offer a variety of short courses, whether it’s Adobe Creative Cloud, creative writing or public speaking. Certain school departments may host regular workshops on some of the lecturers’ research. It’s a good idea to tap into those events and learn as much as you can while you’re there. Another easy way to upskill is by reading as much and as widely as possible. Your coursework will keep you busy with that for sure.

Get techy - computer specs and what to look out for

Gear up with the best specs for your varsity needs. Each of you will find value in different combos. Bet.

CPU - Think of a CPU as the brain. It performs complicated tasks, and the higher the number (i3 to i7) the faster it processes.

GPU - A GPU handles graphics processing. It takes your device from Zero to 4K using rapid mathematical calculations.

DISPLAY - Screen specs are made up of a) size, b) resolution and c) tech. 4K is best for content and work, along with OLED tech.

Which laptop is made for you?

The not so expenny

Unapologetically practical.

Life is all about finding the right balance, and ASUS E410 delivers just that. Lightweight and compact, it sports a stylish new look that fits right in with your dynamic lifestyle. Designed for daily computing and productivity tasks, and boasting innovative features such as ASUS NumberPad, ASUS E410 gives you everything you need for work or play.

The Flix & Learn

Streaming just hits different.​

With standout colours and a colour-blocked Enter key, ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED adds flair and dynamism to daily computing. With its Intel® Core™ i7 processor and the latest NVIDIA GeForce GPU, VivoBook 15 OLED provides the power you need to get things done. VivoBook 15 OLED lets you express your true colours, with its vivid and stunning 15-inch NanoEdge FHD OLED display and awe-inspiring Harman Kardon-certified audio. It also features a dual-storage design that combines the fast data speeds of an SSD with the large capacities of an HDD, giving you the best of both worlds in order to boost productivity.

The Main Character

It's giving boujee​.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 is back — with a bold new look to get your pulse racing. This is a convertible laptop that’s full of personality, sporting a sleek Indie Black or Transparent Silver finish and a colour-blocked Enter key with yellow edges and text. Ready for performance, VivoBook Flip 14 is powered by up to an Intel® Core™ i7 processor with First Intel Discrete Graphics, 16 GB memory and a 1 TB PCIe® SSD. A sturdy 360° hinge holds the display firmly at any angle, giving you the flexibility to use VivoBook Flip 14 as a traditional laptop, a tablet, or anything in between.

The G.O.A.T

Bagging all the W’s​

Ignite your creativity with Vivobook Pro 16X OLED, the uncompromising powerhouse for discovering your potential and exploring the future. Vivobook Pro 16X OLED brings you the speed and accuracy you need to realize your vision, with a 16-inch NanoEdge 4K OLED1 display, 11th Generation Intel® H Series CPU, and NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3050 graphics. The exclusive ASUS DialPad gives you precise and intuitive control of your creative tools, and the dual-fan cooling design lets you work in undisturbed peace. Vivobook Pro 16X OLED unlocks the door to your creative future.

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