How to survive your first year at university
The thought of starting university soon can be exciting yet daunting for many students. Adapting to your new tertiary institution lifestyle can be a challenge which is why we have put together a few tips to help you survive your first year.
1. Get to know your campus: Knowing your way around your campus will immediately make you feel more relaxed and comfortable in your new environment. Attend orientation week so that you can begin getting familiar with the campus and possibly meet some new friends.
2. Use your free time wisely: You may have days that are packed with tutorials and lectures while other days may grant your hours of free time where you only have two or three lectures. The free time may seem like bliss however you must always remember why you are at university- to get your degree. So, use your free time wisely and constructively setting aside some time to study and finish your assignments due soon.
3. Ask for help when you need it: Your classmates, lecturers and tutors are always available if and when you require additional assistance. Make use of this opportunity to ask questions, gain additional knowledge and to gain more clarity on any assignments due soon. Most campuses have student support offices, where services such as counselling, financial advice and academic assistance are offered. Don’t be afraid to make use of the resources available to you.
4. Stick to a budget: Sticking to a budget is extremely important while you are in university. You have to budget your money so that you can buy your groceries, socialise with your friends and pay any university/accommodation fees. One tip to help you save money is to use your student card when you go out. Some cinemas and clothing stores will give you a discount when you have a student card.
5. Stay healthy: Remember to eat well and get enough exercise. This will not only assist with your physical health but it will keep you mentally fit too. A healthy body equals a healthy mind.
6. Make friends: Making new friends is one of the best parts of starting university. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversation in class or make plans to catch up after a lecture.
7. Join clubs and attend campus events: When you join university clubs and campus events, not only do you expose yourself to a variety of different activities; you can make new friends, connections and possibly even add certain campus events on your resume. If you are an aspiring journalist, ask if you can write for the student magazine.
8. Create the perfect balance: Creating the perfect balance between your social life, studies and work commitments may seem challenging however it’s not impossible. Remember that the most important thing to prioritise is your studies. Create a timetable for setting aside time to finish your assignments, do your readings and study for your exams. Also include some time for socialising with your friends so that you do not burn yourself out.
Your time at university will go by quickly, even if it doesn’t seem that way now. Try and enjoy your time at university and make the most of it.
Author: Aimee Serrao