Class of 2023 urged to find a good balance to avoid burnout

Former Durban High School pupil Daniel Kreuzer during his first year at the University of Cape Town. He is studying for a BSC in mechatronics and engineering.

Former Durban High School pupil Daniel Kreuzer during his first year at the University of Cape Town. He is studying for a BSC in mechatronics and engineering.

Published Jan 19, 2024


Durban — One of KwaZulu-Natal’s 2022 top matriculants, Daniel Kreuzer, has advised the class of 2023 not to take the first year at university too lightly as there was an extreme transition between matric and the first year of university.

The former Durban High School pupil, who is studying a BSC mechatronics and engineering at the University of Cape Town, said it was important to keep a good balance to avoid burnout and ensure the work did not pile up.

“I didn’t expect to put in so much work. Even though the work in matric wasn’t as stressful, it taught me how to deal with stressful situations. In matric, it wasn’t as difficult but due to the emphasis that was placed on matric work and results, one felt a bit more drama.”

He said his degree focused on the intersection of mechanical and electrical engineering. “There’s also software involved and it focuses on robotics and gives you the tools for it which will then be extended in later years.

“Although I have a lot of time, I have an idea of what I want to do when I complete my undergraduate degree. I plan to do a postgraduate in either biomedical engineering or robotics. I hope to work in research and development for a while and then, who knows where I will go?”

Kreuzer said his learning disabilities – dysgraphia and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder – had not deterred him from his academic goals. (Dysgraphia is a neurological condition in which someone has difficulty turning their thoughts into written language for their age and ability to think, according to the Cleveland Clinic in London.)

Former DHS Matriculant Daniel Kreuzer with his mom Razina Meer. Daniel was named Dux 2022 for being the top Grade 12 Achiever. Picture: Supplied

“The university has accommodated it but you just need to find a way to deal with it.

“For me, music helps overcome any challenges that it presents. During my spare time, I play rugby and prior to university, I was active with piano,” he said.

On having his elder brother at the same university, he said they saw each other often and supported each other.

He said it was comforting that although he was away from his family, he had one family member nearby.

Having previously been awarded the Dux Award for 2022’s top academic achiever, Kreuzer has continued his upward trajectory. He made the Dean’s List for his degree in his first year.

The Dean’s List is awarded annually to the top achievers in each degree.

Kreuzer’s mother Razina Meer said: “I am a proud mom. I am aware it isn’t easy from school to university and also to be away from home. It's a transition both my sons have had to make.

“The experience has been great for them because they have had to deal with both academic challenges and personal challenges. It’s a huge transition for their personal development too as schools can be a protected environment. They have full support for each other.”

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