For those heading to university this September, returners and newcomers, there is a degree of excitement, anxiousness, and eagerness to get (back) into the higher education routine.
For most, whether they realise it or not, these days as a student are some of the most personally fulfilling, perspective-expanding times that will shape you for the future to come.
While there can certainly be days where you’re drowning in an overwhelming ocean ofcoursework and study, the overall university gig is a time to cherish. Student life is brilliant, but you’re only going to get one round of it before heading out into the adult world forever.
To make the most out of these thriller days in your life, that will fly by in the blink of an eye, here are 7 ways to make sure you have a stellar time as a university student:
1. Use the freedom wisely
Hooray! You’re free in every sense of the word. With just over 15 hours of lecture/seminar contact per week for the average course, you’re going to have a plethora of time on your hands. Definitely try to get in some solid hours of reading each week and start and complete all coursework well before the actual due date. You’ll be glad you did come the time for finals. You’ll obviously need to manage your time carefully to mix in work and play. It’s all about balance!
2. Try new things
At this magical event called the Fresher’s Fayre, you’re going to have a lot of jubilant students come up to you with gigantic smiles on their faces as they pitch their clubs and societies to you. You’ll probably put your name down for twenty things, only to find that you really stick with a handful of them. Don’t fret! This is a wonderful thing. Test the water.
Never in your life will it be so easy to affordably access a wide array of activities that will not only build your skillset and CV but give you something entertaining to do in your free time. Even more, contact local organisations (sports clubs, shelters, etc.) to get involved in coaching, refereeing, volunteering and more. Don’t be shy, sign up ASAP!
3. Utilise your student discounts
With great power comes great responsibility. With lifesaving organisations like UNiDAYS to look after you, stunning deals on food, clothes, entertainment and so much more will be at the touch of your fingertips. While you should capitalise on your student status, be sure to budget carefully so that you’re not spending all the money you save from your discounts.
Still, don’t be afraid to ask your local businesses if they offer student deals. They usually do, and you’ll be even happier with a few extra quid in your pocket.
4. Don’t forget to study; Don’t forget to relax
At the end of the day, you’re at uni to get a degree. Next to your health and wellbeing, earning the highest degree classification possible should be the most paramount thing on your agenda. The better your marks, the better your prospects. Push yourself and set aside time to attend classes, go to the library, and prepare for success…but also, don’t overwork yourself. Make sure you enjoy your years of youth. Pursue your hobbies, go out (whether you’re more pub or club), and make sure you pamper yourself with enough time for your mind to stay refreshed and sharp.
5. Live it up healthily
It’s a simple deal. When you eat well and exercise, you feel better. Most gyms will offer some sort of student deal and many fresh fruits and veggies are among some of the cheaper options at the supermarket, so there’s no excuse to slack off. Even if you’re just getting in a 15 minute walk/run a few times a week, the effects are tremendous for your health. Of course, while it’s tempting to order Italian, Indian, and Chinese interchangeably every other night, do your bodies (and your wallets) a favour by cooking yourself. There are plenty of recipes online directed at students on a budget like you and me!
6. Release your inner social butterfly
This is so important, especially for the incoming first years. Do not spend the first few weeks of uni sitting inside your bedroom watching your favourite series for the third time. So many friendships, that often last a lifetime, are made in the first weeks. Get out there, introduce yourself, and get involved in activities. University is a lot more enjoyable when you have friends to laugh along the way with!
7. Explore your new home
For many, this will be the first time you’re out on your own, in a new place you’ll learn to call your second home. Embrace this fact. Visit local hotspots, the best pubs, clubs, museums, sports grounds, libraries, malls, or whatever tickles your fancy. Do not fall into the trap of visiting home too often. It makes it harder to truly immerse yourself into uni life and settle down into the new routine. Your new place of study is probably very exciting!
University is filled with a multitude of different personalities to meet, activities to partake in, and opportunities to thrive. With a positive lifestyle and an optimistic attitude, it’s a lot easier to get the most out of these sensational years as a student. Remember to be yourself, work hard, and take time to smell the roses. These are the days to relish, these are days to savour!
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