Is it nearly that time of year ALREADY? A-Level results day has been and gone, and now it’s almost time for the academic year to start. It’s three years since I finished Uni now, but I’m about to start a Masters! So, here are my top 5 tips for those of you who are starting Uni!
Enjoy it! (Because it’ll be over before you know it!)
Those three years will fly by, trust me. So, have fun! And knuckle down and get a good degree too, obviously…
Being a student isn’t all about hard work, it’s time to enjoy early adulthood, before you’re back down to earth with a bump as a graduate. In all honesty, I don’t really think anything prepares you for the shock of leaving Uni for the ‘real world’. So, enjoy your time as a student!
Get the work/life balance sorted.
During my third year of Uni, I was pretty close to burning out all the time. By the time I left, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Don’t make that mistake. Make sure that you leave time for socialising and having fun, because it’ll make the hard work so much easier to contend with!
I really can’t stress enough how important it is to look after yourself. Make sure you eat properly, sleep as well as you can, and don’t drink too much. (And that’s my cue to move on, as I probably sound like your Mum.)
Make sure you’re doing the right course.
Now, that might sound like a really stupid point, but there are several people I went to Uni with who ended up swapping courses along the way. Sometimes, that means that you’ll end up with a bigger loan hanging over you. So, it pays to make sure that you’re doing what you’ll enjoy, and what’ll get you decent career prospects too.
You definitely don’t want to make the mistake that I did the first time round, by picking a course that won’t get you a proper PAID job. Make sure that you get plenty of experience relating to your post-uni career of choice too, while you’re still a student, because that’ll really help your job prospects.
Grab as many opportunities as you can, seek them out yourself, because they’re not going to just come to you.
Spend your first year settling in & getting used to things.
I don’t know if all Unis are the same as the one that I went to in this respect, but my first year didn’t count at all towards my final degree classification. So, that meant that I could spend the first year finding my feet and getting to grips with university life. (And Harvard Referencing, because it’s surprisingly hard… Especially if you’re rushing it hours before your deadline.)
This also helped us to get used to the University system: the grading, the coursework submission, and all of the other student-y admin stuff. That doesn’t mean to say that you don’t need to try very hard, but it’s a lovely not to have the extra pressure of worrying about your final classification piled on.
Nothing will help you through Uni more than getting organised. (Except intelligence, perhaps.) Seriously, honing your time management skills and devising some sort of helpful schedule will keep you sane! You probably don’t need telling that you’ll need to keep track of deadlines, exams, and lectures/tutorials/seminars, so treat yourself to an academic diary. (Because everybody likes buying new stationery!)
And if you’re on a budget? Use a handy free calendar app like iCal or Sunrise Calendar instead!
Are you headed to Uni? Let me know in the comments if you’ve got any questions or advice!