Australian consultant by day, writer by night, Isabel William gives her tips on how to have the best experience at Uni…
As you climb your education ladder into the uni life, you start to realize that things can get pretty hectic unexpectedly quickly. From late-night cramming sessions to sleepless nights during the exam period, competing for that spot on the team, to getting into your dream scholarship program, a student’s life is anything but simple.
But it truly doesn’t have to be all that messy, especially if you take certain steps to keep your studying under control and make better lifestyle decisions to help you become more productive. From past and present students alike, here’s a list of tips you can use to lead a more manageable student life and greet your upcoming semester with greater resolve!
Think extracurricular activities
You may think that this is just another way to pile up more work on your plate but look at the big picture. This is the only way you will get a true taste of college life, and the best way to make connections, show and define your passion and discover where your future career path may lie.
Not to mention that this gives you invaluable experience that will look amazing in your resume, serve as a major stepping stone towards a position you want and give you the first-hand knowledge and skills to prepare you for life. It shows your potential employer that you’re inquisitive, willing to take initiative and abandon your comfort zone. Plus, you’ll definitely have fewer regrets when the uni experience is done.
Schedule your way to higher scores
In order to manage your workload combined with your extracurriculars, you need to become the master of your timetable. From year one, every single student is chasing after better grades, more workshop and seminar opportunities, and that requires handling your responsibilities without harming your health or completely shutting down your social life.
Find a method that works best for you, whether that’s using a traditional planner, an app for keeping an eye on your schedule, minimizing your distractions and similar support systems, and stick to it. You need to learn to prioritize assignments, set your own milestones and divide your workload into manageable chunks. That way, no task will be too big to handle even in the middle of the exam period.
Always be in the know
Different rules and requirements apply to different learning environments. So, just like your high school had its own set of expectations, it’s time to learn about what your uni has in store for you. Each professor has their own demands, each class has specific prerequisites, and as such, you should make sure to stay in the loop of what it takes to succeed and thrive.
What happens if you are sick and cannot make it to a lecture? If you’re new to a university and need some information on different lectures? Or if you need an extension for your upcoming project? Make sure to consult your teachers and on-campus councilors. You can also see how past students coped with certain tests and assignments by looking through notes and exam materials that previous students shared online. For example, Australian students are always browsing on Think Swap, and you can find student notes from all australian universities, here. Nowadays probably every university has its own platform like this for sharing & caring. So don’t hesitate to ask older students to help you find one just for your uni.
Make time for health
No matter how important an exam may be, it cannot be so crucial for you to jeopardize your wellbeing by skipping meals, precious hours of sleep and living on junk food for the sake of convenience. Remember the previously mentioned scheduling skills? Every weekly schedule you prepare needs to account for ample time reserved for exercising, eating well and sleeping properly.
Try to perceive it as your doctor’s appointment – you’d never skip that, would you? Luckily for you, there are so many simple options such as HIIT, yoga you can do on your own, pre-made meals, such as salads, and having a cooked meal at the campus canteen is a much better option than always reaching for pastry and a jug of coffee. If you do set aside a few hours every week to stay fit and healthy, you will be more productive, your memory will improve, and you will not have to endure study sessions with a pesky cold.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Every university offers their on-campus resources to students as a means to stay informed, healthy and safe at all times. If you’re having trouble fitting in your new city, if you don’t know anyone in your department, you’re having issues managing the workload despite your best efforts, you should feel comfortable reaching out to many available people who work on campus to help students succeed.
Getting a tutor might help you get better at studying, while a few conversations with the local psychologist may be useful to determine what’s preventing you from finding your place in this new environment. And later on, volunteering and work opportunities won’t always come straight to you, but you can always check with the local career services center to see if there’s an open position for someone with your qualifications. Chances are, you’ll finally manage to solve a persistent problem simply by asking the right person for help.
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