Practical Guide on How to Survive First Year at University
First Year at University: Here We Go!
For most students, freshers week is a troublesome period: a new place, new people, new life. Anyways, it’s already gone and all you’ve got left of it is a bunch of pretty awesome stories you will probably be telling even to your grandchildren.
The first week at university might give you the false impression of a carefree life. Really, there’s not much to worry about during this period. Even if you get some assignments, they are probably due somewhere in October. Because university life hasn’t become real yet, many of you might think that studying is not a good reason to stop partying. I remember my first month at university. The life seemed like a fairy tale to me. If someone told me I’d have to study up till 4 a.m. soon, I wouldn’t believe it. No, no, it’s not going to happen. Nevertheless, your first year at uni won’t all be like the first week. So, I’ve prepared a list of tips I wish someone had told me back in my days. Hope they’ll make your life easier:
Procrastination is your #1 enemy
Start preparing the assignments as early as possible. I bet you have heard it a million times already. In most cases, we ignore this advice. Wrong. Spare yourself a trouble of sleepless nights, intolerable pressure, and poor grades. The last night before the assignment is due is the time to get it all polished, but please, never use it to only start preparation.
Study on your own or join small stud groups
When studying on your own, in peace and quiet, you can ‘digest’ the new material and try to systemize it. To learn a subject more effectively, join a study group. There, you can ask questions, discuss confusing issues, and gain a better understanding of the material you think you already know. Apart from that, study groups give you a chance to teach others, which is the best way to discover the gaps in your knowledge and better remember the things you have learnt.
Don’t ignore lecture notes
Many students fail to keep their lecture notes updated. Usually, people start doing it well, but the notes get more and more sloppy till the end of the semester. If you are one of these students, believe me, you’ll regret it bitterly when the midterms come. So, find a way of keeping your lecture notes in order from the beginning. I personally used to put everything down in a notebook and then copy it into separate documents on my computer. Then I would simply print them off. Many of my groupmates used laptops or voice recorders.
Hope this would be helpful. In a nutshell: try to maintain self-discipline. Don’t save important assignments till the last minute, study regularly, and take careful lecture notes. This will help you strike a balance between studying and having fun.