Going to the university (finally!) lets you experience freedom and independence. You will find both of these quite addictive as you head on to test and move your boundaries, meet new people, and get to know yourself better, but it isn’t just about wild parties (even though it might seem that way at first). University can also be hard, and in order to survive the upcoming stress and thrive in this new environment, we have prepared some pretty useful tips for you:
This might sound like you’re going to travel, but once you leave your room and your dorm, you never know where the road will take you. This is why you should always have a bottle of water and hand sanitizer in your bag, as well as your phone charger (we all know how soon our phone batteries die and it’s really annoying) and headphones. Perhaps there won’t be enough time for you to go back to your room and charge your phone or your laptop between lectures, but if you have your chargers in your bag, you can even finish some of the work while drinking coffee on campus or in a nearby café.
Meet new people
This is a tricky one, especially if you’re not really outgoing or if you have social anxiety, but it’s very important to do your best. You should make a friend in each of your classes so that you have someone to call if you can’t make it or you missed something. This also means that there will be other people who will be able to rely on you, and helping others will make you feel good as well. besides, you’ll also be able to share notes and study together (bonus points if you’re good at different things and can really help each other out when it’s time for a test).
Use the internet
You already know that the internet is full of adorable cat photos and videos of sneezing puppies, but it can also be used to find useful materials too. Do your research on useful websites: WordHippo will help you find words you can’t think of but you can describe, Thinkswap is a platform where you can find and exchange study notes and essays, use Google Scholar to find reliable academic sources for your papers, and Bible.org will help you create citations for your papers. There are numerous other websites out there to help you stay on track with studies, hand in quality papers, and find additional materials.
Don’t be lazy
Better said – know when you can be lazy and use your time wisely. Be thorough when taking your notes: write clear sentences, draw diagrams, use different colored pens and markers, and try to keep them logically organized. If you can’t do that in class, re-do your notes when you get back from class; rewrite them or type them out that evening and color-code them. Besides, if you revise the notes on the same day you took them, you’ll be more likely to remember them better. Another useful thing to remember: if you write something down, it’s the equivalent to reading it seven times, and saying it out loud after writing it down is more effective than reading it over and over again.
It’s easy to get carried away by new friends, new roommates, new environment, all the new parties and no curfew, but if your social life gets too wild, your grades will go down as will your health. As tempting as it sounds at first, you don’t have to be at every party and you don’t have to be the last one to leave. Sometimes you’ll get sick and you won’t know why, and the reason might be because you aren’t eating healthy and aren’t getting enough sleep. Try to eat soups and vegetables often and try to maintain a routine – when you are well-organized, everything will seem much easier.
Remember that every big change is stressful, even if we look forward to it, and by being prepared we are able to lower that stress significantly. There will be easy days when you will wonder why you ever worried, and there will be hard days when you won’t want to get out of bed. Stay close to your friends and family, reach out when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and take care of your mental health.