It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been at university for a while or if you’re just beginning your time as a student, advice will be coming at you from all sides on what you should be doing to succeed during your further education career. A lot of it will come from people who have been in your position before but fail to remember that everyone is different – so if you hear something that doesn’t ring true for you, it’s fine to trust your instinct and shrug it off. However, there are a few basic tips that most students would do well to take note of that will definitely see you through some tricky times.
Speaking to people and asking questions
The first thing is pretty much applicable to life in general as well as university: never, ever be afraid to ask questions. This doesn’t just mean during your lectures; you would hope that your tutors are happy to provide answers to your queries, so remember that this also applies to your life outside the lecture theatres or study room. If you have issues that are affecting you, anything from your emotional welfare to feeling that you’re swamped with too much work, there are always people there who can help you out.
Getting out there and talking to people you don’t know can be a difficult prospect for many, but at least university makes it easier for you to do so. With so many societies and clubs available, social functions aplenty and your brand new course mates (all of whom will be in the same boat as you) all you need to do is throw yourself into the mix. Locking yourself in your student accommodation and hiding away from the world means that everyone else is missing out on what you can bring to the group, so get out there. In fact, you can even use your accommodation as that first stepping stone – start chatting to people in your halls or shared house and see if they fancy a quick beer or a bite to eat.
An organised student is a healthy student
Organisation is the key to being a successful student, so make sure that you’re prepared to juggle different elements of your life. You may feel that you never have enough time to do everything you want, so prioritisation is vital; set time aside to cover your academic duties as well as your burgeoning social life – and don’t neglect old friends from home or your family either! Also be aware of your budget; money is always tight as a student, but it’s perfectly possible to live well on a small amount each week.
This also links to another important bit of advice: do everything you can to keep yourself healthy. The occasional takeaway is grand, sure, but don’t become reliant on McDonalds or the Chinese across the road. Do what you can to eat healthy food regularly and you’ll be well on the way to taking proper care of yourself. Keeping an eye on the little things will help so much in guaranteeing your physical and mental health, so do whatever you can every day.
Success as a student means different things to different people – for some it’s getting a 1st, for others it’s about flying the nest and learning to be independent. Just remember that you can always ask friends, family, lecturers, student support services, or even older students who have already learnt the hard way for advice.