Going to university is a huge and exciting step in your life and you definitely want to make the most of it. After all, it seems like everyone can be found reminiscing about their good life as a student. Here are ten advices to make your life as a student easier, better and more exciting.
10 Heartfelt Advices from One Student to Another
1. Be involved in everything your university has to offer
Interested in theatre? Join the university’s drama club. Love music? Join a music society. There’s no better place to meet like-minded students, and maybe even friends for life. And who knows, they might also add that extra boost to your resume later on.
Universities often organise parties too, such as course parties and end-of-year parties. These are a great way to meet people at your university and to be more involved in the community.
2. Manage your time well
No one is going to be checking up on you about whether or not you’ve finished a paper or studied for an exam. Professors have hundreds of students and can’t be bothered to make sure each student is on top of their studying. Besides, if you live far from home, you won’t even have the benefit of your parents nagging you. You have to manage your time and get the work done on your own. The best way is to do so is to figure out, through trial and error, how long it takes you to study for an exam or write a paper, and then block out those days in your calendar.
3. Take advantage of all the student discounts you can get
Seriously, you can save so much money as a student. Start by getting a student card — you can get a ton of discounts with it, not only in your local town but also while travelling abroad. Get a student transport card too; by the end of the year you’ll have saved a lot with it. An ESN or ISIC card are also great ideas!
4. Don’t stress about grades in the first year
Everyone is a bit lost and confused in the first year, and professors know that. The first year is the time to learn more about your interests and study habits, so it’s totally okay to not be getting great grades; you’ll make up for it in the following years.
5. Bureaucracy is usually horrible
Be prepared to fight for any signature, stamp, class or timetable change you need. University administrations have hundreds of students they need to deal with, and if you’re not persistent enough, they will most likely forget about you.
6. If you have the option to live with other students, do it
Living with your peers is an amazing and fun experience, but more than that, it also teaches you basic adult life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, being responsible and all that jazz! You will also learn all of this while living with some of your best friends.
7. Study abroad if you have the chance
Living abroad provides you with an invaluable experience that you’ll carry with you for a lifetime. You’ll learn so much about the world, other cultures and even yourself. Plus, you’ll meet amazing people and maybe even learn a new language — which might come in handy when searching for jobs after graduating. Besides, you’ll probably never have as much free time ever again — so go for it!
8. Do short courses, youth exchanges, workshops, volunteering, or internships abroad with Erasmus+
If you don’t want to commit to a whole semester or year abroad, there are still opportunities to go abroad, meet young people from different countries and do some good for the community in a short period of time — and it’s completely free in many cases. You can go on youth exchanges, training courses, seminars and workcamps across the world and meet people from all over. Check out your national agency for Erasmus+, CISV, Alliance, local youth centres, or ask your university’s International Relations office to find out more about opportunities abroad.
9. Enjoy your free time
University is a time to explore your interests, try different things, fail and try again. Sure, you have classes to go to, but you’ll still have a lot of free time on your hands, so use it to do whatever interests you, whether it’s a new hobby, an internship, reading or travelling. Nowadays, employers look for more than just good grades, so it’s important to do a variety of activities during your time at university.
10. Remember, everyone’s in the same boat
Going to university and not knowing anyone, moving out of your parents’ home, and maybe even moving to a new country can seem really daunting, but the truth is that it’s a bit scary for everyone. Making new friends will be easy, since everyone is looking for people to create great memories with. Everyone’s a little lost, and it’s okay – there’s no need to make sense of everything just yet.
Thanks for reading this post!
Do you have any heartfelt advices to add to our list? If so, let us know in the comments.
And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.
Alice is a student of Political Science and International Relations, an avid news reader and a brand ambassador for Uniplaces in Porto. She has lived in the USA, Estonia, UK and currently resides in Portugal. Besides being a student and an ambassador for Uniplaces, she’s also an ambassador for SPEAK, a social enterprise aiming to connect migrants and locals. In her free time she loves to travel, watch movies, meet new people and play music.