To many students, the thought of going to university is one filled with conflicting feelings. The excitement of leaving behind the restrictive world of school, with all its rules and regulations, for a journey to adulthood is one full of potential. But then, what if you get there and find friends hard to come by, studies harder to perform and the pressure builds? Welcome to university - a platform for life. Chetan Bhagat, a graduate student from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), believes that university is a valuable experience. Bhagat is the author of the best-seller Five Point Someone. 'People will always judge you according to your GPA [grade point average],' he says. His book is the story of three friends whose five-point something GPAs come in the way of everything - their friendship, their studies and their future. Bhagat believes that because most university students are graded with GPA, there will always be people at the bottom of the curve. In Hong Kong, students are under great pressure to do well. There are people who study a lot and never leave their room, and there are those that play a lot and never study. It is important to strike a balance at university. It can be tough to study at a top university. At IIT the 2,000 students that were admitted (selected from 200,000 who took the exam) had one thing in common: they had been 'the best' throughout secondary school or even throughout their lives. Studying at a top university means that you will be competing with many other talented students. This creates a lot of stress because suddenly you may not be top of the class any longer. 'Suddenly you may end up at the end of the curve,' Bhagat says. He adds that we must learn to accept that people are different. We should not compare ourselves with others as it will discourage us. Studying is not the only stress at school; peer pressure is also an issue. 'People worry about their looks or whether they are cool,' Bhagat says. He says we should not worry about the way we look. We are who we are and should be proud. For those going overseas for university, it might be their first time away from home. It is important to learn how to be independent and strike a balancebetween study and play. Bhagat says that university life was the best time of his life and that it is important to make the most out of university, from study to friendship. 'These friendships last for a lifetime,' Bhagat says. 'Friends are important as they are useful. Life is always stressful even after college. With friends you'll be able to cope much better.' Here are some simple tips Bhagat offers to students: Maintain a healthy balanced life. Have reasonable expectations. Don't judge yourself every day. Learn the art of making friends and keeping them.