International Students House
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Student Life Student Tips

How to thrive at University

People always say ‘Make the most of your uni days!’ but what does that mean? This week, I’m sharing tips on how to prepare yourself not just to survive, but thrive at university. From setting goals and managing your time to seeking support and embracing new opportunities. Whether you’re a first-year student or a returning student, this blog is here to help you navigate university life with confidence and success.

Set Clear Goals

Setting clear goals at the beginning of the academic year will set a good pace for the rest of the year. I have recently started doing this and it makes a whole lot of a difference. Some questions to ask yourself when writing your goals are: What do you want to achieve academically and personally? What do I want to achieve by the end of the year? Having well-defined goals will guide your actions and help you prioritize your tasks. You have to be able to establish both short-term and long-term goals for your academic, personal, and career aspirations. Having a clear direction will help you stay focused and motivated throughout your university journey.

A tablet with the words plan your year on it with a I phone next to it
Being able to plan what you have to do throughout the day will help you feel more organised. you can make a weekly planner filled with imprint dates and use your notes to add for daily tasks that you need to complete. Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

Manage Your Time

Managing time at university is super important. You’ve got classes, assignments, and social life to juggle, so it can get hectic. The trick is to make a schedule that works for you. Write down all your classes, due dates, and any other commitments. Then, figure out when you’ll study and when you’ll have free time. It’s also important to take breaks and relax so you don’t get too stressed out. By staying organized and sticking to your schedule, you’ll find that you can get everything done and still have time for fun.

Get Organised

Getting organised at university is essential for keeping everything in check. Start by having a designated place for your study materials, like your textbooks and notes. Make sure you know when all your classes are and write down any important dates, like deadlines for assignments or exams, in a planner or on a calendar. Breaking big tasks into smaller, manageable steps can also make things feel less overwhelming. I personally set aside time each day to tidy up my study space to keep things neat. When you’re organised, you’ll feel more in control and ready to tackle whatever university throws your way. Organisational skills are key to staying on top of your academic workload and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

A girl typing on her laptop.
If you are able to stay organised throughout University, it will help you reach your deadlines and you won’t gain unnecessary stress.

Develop Strong Study Habits

Developing strong study habits at university is key to doing well in your classes and managing your workload. Start by finding a quiet and comfortable place to study where you won’t be distracted. Make a schedule that includes dedicated time for studying each day and stick to it. Experiment with different study techniques to find what works best for you. Whether it’s creating flashcards, forming study groups, or practising active learning strategies, invest time in developing effective study habits that maximize your learning potential. With practice, you’ll develop strong study habits that will help you succeed throughout your university journey.

Seek Support

Seeking support at university is totally normal and important for your success. Whether you’re struggling with your classes, feeling overwhelmed, or just need someone to talk to, there are people and resources on campus that can help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors, academic advisors, or tutors for extra help with your coursework. Your university likely has counselling services where you can talk to trained professionals about any personal or emotional challenges you’re facing. And if you’re not sure where to start, ask a friend or do some research online to find the support you need. Remember, you’re not alone, and there are plenty of people who want to see you succeed!

Three women talking whilst sitting on the grass.
University can be a very overwhelming period of your life and most likely something you have not experienced before. Therefore, make sure if you are struggling to find a support system to talk to.

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities at university are all the fun stuff you can do outside of your classes. These activities are a great way to meet new people, explore your interests, and even learn new skills. You can join clubs related to your hobbies, like photography or debates, or get involved in student organizations that focus on things like volunteering. There are also sports teams, cultural groups, and leadership opportunities to consider. Plus, participating in extracurriculars looks great on your CV and can help you develop important teamwork and time management skills. So don’t be afraid to try new things and get involved – it’s all part of the university experience!

A group of people holding rackets on a badminton court
Participating in sports groups or social associations will give you a greater chance to meet new people outside of your course.

 

Take Care of Your Health

Taking care of your health at university is super important for doing your best in classes and enjoying your time on campus. Make sure you’re eating regular meals that include fruits, veggies, and other nutritious foods to keep your energy up. Get enough sleep each night – aim for around 7-9 hours, so you feel rested and ready to tackle your day. And don’t forget to stay active! Whether it’s going for a walk, hitting the gym, or joining a sports team, find ways to stay moving that you enjoy. Finally, remember to take breaks and relax when you need to – managing stress is key to staying healthy. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to make the most of your university experience!

Embrace Diversity and Inclusion

Two women giving each other a hug whilst looking at the camera
You most likely would not come across half of the people you meet and university, so it’s important to respect and embrace other people’s cultures.

University campuses are such diverse place, offering opportunities to engage with people from various backgrounds and cultures. By listening to and learning from people with different perspectives and experiences, we can grow as individuals and as a community. Whether it’s participating in cultural events, supporting diversity-focused clubs, or simply being kind and respectful to others, each of us plays a role in building a more inclusive campus. When we embrace diversity, we create a more vibrant university experience for everyone.

Be Open to New Experiences

Being open to new experiences in university is all about trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s a chance to meet new people, join clubs and explore different interests. Whether it’s trying a new sport, taking a class outside of your course, or volunteering at your uni. Being open-minded can lead to some amazing opportunities and friendships. Embracing new experiences can also foster personal growth and broaden your perspective.

A group of people on sitting on a hill.
University is a great opportunity to try new things. I believe that university is a time for you to make mistakes grow and find yourself.

Stay Resilient

University life is full of ups and downs, but it’s essential to stay resilient in the face of challenges. Being resilient at university means bouncing back when things get tough. It’s about staying positive and not giving up, even when you face challenges like tough assignments or exams. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help if you need it, whether it’s from your lectures, classmates, or campus resources. Try to stay flexible and adapt to changes, and don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t always go as planned. By staying determined and keeping a positive attitude, you’ll be able to overcome obstacles and succeed in your university journey.

In conclusion, thriving at university requires a combination of determination, resilience, and a willingness to embrace new experiences. By setting goals, managing your time effectively, seeking support, and prioritizing self-care. If you can embrace some of these tips into your routine, you can make the most of your university experience and emerge as a confident, well-rounded individual who can tackle anything that university life throws at you.


Have you also read these articles?

How to Balance Part-Time Work and Studies

Things they never tell you: You need more than a degree

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