In this post I will share some of my top tips for ambitious university students. Tese are things that I wish I had told my freshers-year self. Nonetheless, these are things I picked up over time and they definitely helped me over my university years although I wish I had implemented some of them a bit sooner!
Choose your friends wisely
When you start uni you will most likely not know many people there. It is important to find people you get along with and can make your university experience much more enjoyable. Universities offer plenty of socialising activities, you can join club, societies and many different groups. I suggest to look for people that you have common interests with perhaps by joining a sports team or a certain society. Most importantly you need to find a few friends within your course. One of the things that helped me the most during uni was having a group of friends in my course who were hard-working and excelled academically. This meant that during group-work I did not have the risk of having to work with people that would not pull their weight. Instead every team member was fully committed and always delivered to a high standards. Being good friends we would also meet up to revise together in preparation of exams or presentations. This helped me tremendously and I can say that it positively impacted my performance.
I learned this probably a little too late. When you are trying to revise for an exam, the last thing you want to do is trying to gather months worth of notes scattered all over the place with blank pages and sentences missing. Try to keep your notes organised and all in one place. When the exam is coming up you will be thankful you did this and your revision will be ten times easier. It is also important to be organised with your time. I got myself a diary where I put down all my lectures, my meetings with my supervisor and with my classmates. This helped me stay on top of all my commitments and avoid stretching myself too thin.
Lecturers will be telling you this until you are sick of it. Still, most students don’t do it enough, some think that they already know everything there is to know, while others are too embarrassed to ask something they think is stupid. I say: just ask! Of course you need to make sure the occasion is appropriate, but when in doubt it is always best to ask. If there is something that is unclear from the lecturer’s slides, send them an e-mail and they will be happy to help (most of them at least!). The only thing you need to make sure of is that the answer to your question should not be easily accessible and available to you already. In other words, don’t just ask questions because you are too lazy to find the answer yourself. Ask a question if you are genuinely unsure about a topic and need guidance, people will appreciate your honesty.
Engage with your lecturers
Lecturers may seem as people whose only aim in life is make you fail your assignment and make your life miserable. Well that it usually far from the truth, good lecturers often are there to HELP students and not the opposite. Try to appear proactive during your time with your lecturers, ask questions, do your assignments and try to generally act like you are there because you want to learn something. Try to build a relationship with them and show them that your actually care about their modules. Having a lecturer by your side that you get along with can be invaluable. After all, you never know when you will need a reference letter or a recommendation. That might be the difference between getting onto that Masters program or not.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my tips and lessons for university students. Try to implement these ideas and you will definitely have a more enjoyable experience during your studies!
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