Since it’s my second to last semester, I figured I would share what I’ve experienced and learned in uni for those of you who are just starting or would like help on how to survive it as well.
Disclaimer: These are subjective, of course, to my undergraduate university life. Many of these tips may not apply, especially if you are not from the US such as I am.
- Keep a planner or a schedule!! Nobody’s gonna come running to you and tell you that you missed a meeting or a deadline! Keep track of your time and days but also your health (how many times you eat, how much water you drink, how long you’ve exercised, etc), study habits (studying for a test a week before, keeping up with readings), and spendings (how much you spent on food, supplies, miscellaneous, etc).
- Make sure to always make time for studying and socializing!! Prioritize your work, but don’t overdo it because that isn’t good at all and makes you more stressed. There is no harm in taking a break and going out to eat with your friends or giving yourself time to relax.
- Studying in groups is pretty productive! And a good thing to do! For my fellow introverts out there, you don’t even need to talk to each other– just being around other people who are studying is pretty motivating itself and helps you get more work done.
- Make sure you eat!! Regarding Tip #1, there are times where I forget to eat because I’m busy with work and lose track of time, AND THAT’S NOT GOOD AT ALL! Make sure you keep a consistent eating schedule as well!
- Make sure you clean up after yourself! I know this seems kind of irrelevant, but I dormed my first year am now living in an apartment away from home, so it’s important to keep your place clean with washed dishes and a tidied up room. Make sure you do laundry at least once ever other week (depending on how many clothes you have and how often you change clothes) so you don’t have to rummage through the hamper for clean clothes. I suggest setting certain free days to just cleaning up the place.
- Don’t be afraid to join groups and clubs! That’s how you meet people. It can be a scary thought at first, but if your university is big and they have plenty of opportunities for student involvement in organizations, clubs, and activities, I would recommend doing so.
- You can get to know people in your classes as well! I certainly recommend this to my commuters who find it difficult to join organizations. You don’t have to be their best friends for life and know their deepest secrets, but it’s nice to have a familiar face in a lecture. You could even maybe have lunch dates with a group of them. (And it doesn’t have to be fancy, something simple like just having a quick bite to eat)
- If you are a party type of person, DON’T GO ALONE. I’d say go with a friend or a group so you aren’t by yourself with a group of strangers and can check up with others to stay safe! (This is also recommended if you drink and need a designated driver to reduce to risk of driving while intoxicated.) Hold your own drink and get a new one if you put it down, don’t take anything someone offers you, etc. (You can have fun, but just be safe, okay?)
- University/college is a really great time to be independent! In high school, you are limited to a certain number of hours in a building with a concrete time schedule, but college is definitely different. You set everything. How well you do is all up to you.
- Your life is in your hands now. I realize that’s a scary thought, but I want to tell you from my experience that it isn’t as scary as they make it out to be. These past years have really assist me in figuring out who I am and what I like and who and what I value in life. So, figure out what you want to do, keep yourself organized, don’t be afraid to try new things, and take care of yourself!