The best way I can describe university life, much like anything else in this world is sink or swim, eat or be eaten. Now this can be caused by an experience or a combination of things ranging from the hectic schedules to multiple distractions that seemingly come from every angle. It can be hard trying to keep up with school-work and still make the most out of the college experience. As a result, I have put together what I would like to call a survival guide for university students who are feeling overwhelmed or anyone preparing for back to school. It includes a few tips ranging from how to hone your social skills, to tips for academic success and more. This will help anyone make the most out of their time in University.
1. Look Good, Feel Good
Honestly speaking, university life can be quite stressful and the last thing on anyone’s mind most times is how they look when leaving their hostel. However, I cannot emphasize enough how important your physical appearance is. Putting in that little extra effort in the morning, or even picking out your outfit for the day the night before can help in making you not only look well put together, but also feel like you have everything under control.
2. You Automatically Feel Smarter When You Have Cute School Supplies
I have been a cute stationary and school supplies collector for as long as I can remember. There is just something about having a cute notebook, files to organize class handouts and a pen that makes writing fun. They help motivate you to study and pay attention in class, especially in the university when it appears you have no idea what you are doing in class. I can say from personal experience that having cute stationery makes you feel smarter and more organized.
3. Create A Study Time-Table And Stick To It
Every time exams are approaching, I make promises to my future self to start preparing for them earlier. Truth be told, it is a promise I am still trying to deliver on. University life has so many distractions, there always seems to be something going on that puts any kind of studying in general on the back burner unless it is absolutely necessary. What this does is that it prevents us from reaching our fullest potential academically. The key to thriving as a student is learning to create a work-life balance. Take a few minutes to create study goals and draw up a study time-table regardless of whether or not you are halfway through the semester or just starting out, and stick to it! Your future self will thank you for it.
4. Self-Care Days Are A Must
Self-care days in life are a must, and even more so for a university student. Have a day during the weekend that you devote to yourself to help you put your feet up, regain lost energy and re-strategize if need be. In essence, learn to pamper yourself after an exhausting week. This will help you stay in tune with your mind and body and most importantly recoup lost energy.
5. Choose Your Friends Wisely
In University, you are bound to meet people with different values and orientation. Therefore, it is important to pick your friends wisely. Your social circle can either propel you forward or pull you back. Having the right friends around you is vital to the success of your university education. Choose your friends wisely.
6. Make Friends Out Of Your Course Mates
We are all familiar with the saying, “No man is an island”. To stay up to date on information regarding your course, assignments, tests and all the ‘uni’ happenings, I highly recommend making a few friends in your course or improving on the relationship you have with them.
7. Plan Your Finances
One of the wisest things you can do for yourself as a university student is to save and spend wisely. There always seems to be something happening that needs urgent monetary attention, especially if you live by yourself. That generally, is the nature of money. Making a conscious effort to stay ahead of the game by planning your finances wisely no matter how small it might be and developing a saving habit, will keep you from the dreaded ‘insufficient funds’ message at the ATM.
8. Health is Wealth
With the business of university life, the physical and mental health of students have hardly been considered a priority. Various factors which are sadly overlooked play significant roles in the physical and mental well-being of students. They include the food we eat to the amount of sleep we get each night, not forgetting the high level of dehydration and lack of physical activity. The truth is, all these things are necessary for our overall well-being and productivity. We can only put our best into our academic work if we feel our best, not only externally but internally as well. Remember, health is wealth.
9. Stay True To Yourself
Peer pressure in university is hardly ever spoken about although it is prevalent among students. We are all trying to figure life out and make something out of ourselves. With that being said, the tendency to seek the approval or validation of our peers is high. Know that you do not need to change who you are nor your values or standards to please anyone. If you put out the right energy, the people who will bring out the best in you will gravitate towards you. It is easy to lose yourself while in university, but staying true to who you are regardless of the situation is what will set you apart.
University education and fully stepping into the independence that comes with it can be both daunting and terrifying. It can almost be compared to learning how to drive a car for the first time. Some days you feel you have gotten a hang of it and on other days, it feels like you are about to crash. Just have fun with it and try not to take yourself too seriously. As stressful as university life can be, it is also meant to be enjoyed. Why not do just that? Simply put, it is all about making memories and smart decisions.