To job or not to job?
Take on a job or participate in time-consuming tasks only if you have enough time to complete your studies. Begin by studying, then gradually increase your workload until you are certain that you can handle it. There are too many participants involved in a variety of activities, resulting in mediocre performance on all of them rather than excellent performance on one subject.
Working as a teaching assistant. This is very beneficial because it gives you insight into professors’ instructional methods and allows you to get a thorough understanding of the subject you will be teaching. It’s one thing to learn; it’s another to understand well enough to explain to others. Besides the invaluable professional experience that you will gain by teaching, you will also be paid.
Another personal matter to consider, which may or may not extend to you: interact with others. About everything! Take what you want and leave what you don’t. Personal development is vital, and college is an excellent opportunity to learn from others. You can leave your dorm door open for the first weeks, and thus gain unlimited opportunities to bond with your future prospective business partners, or, who knows, you may make some of the most long-lasting friendships!
Moreover, I strongly encourage everybody to become friends with their Advisor and get to know you graduate requirements from early on. Some advisors may let you substitute classes, or even pre-register you for several classes (which can guarantee you a spot).
The first year of your studies is also one of the most important ones for social interaction! When you go to your courses, almost all of those people know no one, so they are in the same situation as you. Therefore, do not hesitate to chat with your colleagues and exchange contact information. Do not be afraid at all to be social because you are all on the same boat!
However, the most important thing is to be yourself. Yeah, step out a bit of your comfort zone by joining a club that attracts you and meeting new friends, but don’t feel obligated to enter a club or force yourself into a lifestyle you don’t like. But, be open to change and spend the first year in university experimenting with everything and finding out what fits best for you. Organize study groups. Get to know the other students in your classes. Meeting new people was overwhelming for me, but this is no longer high school. Nobody really knows each other, but striking up a chat after class isn’t that strange. Plus, having others in the class is beneficial in case you have to miss a class or two and they will fill you in.
Form friendships and perhaps romantic relationships with others that share your interests. If you have serious ambitions and stuff you want to do, I would warn against making a lot of mates who are dropouts who have no goals other than to live day to day. Not that dropouts are evil, but it can be taxing if none of your peers have to think about tests, homework, or internships, in my experience. See people in your program so you can talk about your issues, get advice on good and poor teachers, get help with homework, and so on. Despite the fact that most college students don’t have a lot of spare money or free time, strive to do something interesting every now and then. Not just wild student parties, but also doing something new and just having a good time. 4-6 years does not seem like a long time in comparison to your whole life, but if all you do is research and stress, you may burn out or go insane.
It’s cool if you don’t get along with your flatmates; you can make friends on your course or in a society. You are not required to like them. Similarly, don’t be afraid to speak to people; everybody is going to be in the same situation of not knowing someone, because it’s all too tempting to believe that everybody is best friends on day 2 when you’re on the outside.
Resources are everywhere, you just need to know where to look for
Create healthy habits by taking courses, going to the gym, and attending society meetings. It’s all too tempting to fall into a rut and detach yourself, which would make you homesick. Furthermore, if lecturers are familiar with you, they are much more likely to want to assist you if you are having difficulty or putting in extra effort.
Take advantage of what the university has to offer; the library, as well as the Student Union, can be valuable services. Any universities, for example, offer free language classes or technical writing workshops.
Learn to cook a few decent dishes, such as Fajitas, that can be thrown together in a frying pan or wok, or a good oven meal that can be prepared easily or with limited supervision. You can and should eat well at Uni, but do not solely rely on pasta and rice all day.
14 Useful Tips and Tricks for Prospective College Students
- It’s not a bad idea to strike up a conversation with professors.
- If you’re in the front row of the lecture hall, don’t look at your tablet or take an open laptop with you. The professor is going to remember!
- Bring paper and pencils to note things down.
- Make a CV and polish it every now and then. Having a CV ready can be very useful.
- Find a way to study overseas for at least a semester, but if you have the opportunity to go for a year, it would be well worth it.
- If you’re bringing your laptop to classes, make sure you have a battery with you. Instead of going straight home after school, I sometimes feel tempted to go to the library to read (I sometimes have trouble focusing at home).
- Bring a light cardigan for you even though it’s summer. Some rooms can be very cool, and I’d rather be warm in a cardigan than freezing in a tank top.
- When writing notes for articles or from a textbook, add quotations around everything you copy verbatim and put the page number in small brackets for everything. It’s much easier to keep track now than to continue to find stuff for finals/papers months later.
- Make a schedule and keep to it: purchase one of those large wall calendars and load it with all of your classes, due dates, meetings, and appointments. Make time for yourself and force yourself to unwind. Throw the plan to the wind and go have some fun every now and then, but keep a basic routine in place to keep you grounded.
- Eat healthily, exercise regularly, and drink in moderation: Avoid drinks through the week (you don’t need the calories or hangovers), get to know the salad bar, and learn about the meals served at your school so you can select acceptable portion sizes. Drink plenty of water and limit your caffeine intake. A healthy diet, regular exercise (classes are a great way to meet new people! ), and enough sleep will keep you more concentrated than ten cups of coffee.
- Ask for help: even though you don’t think you need it, meeting with your professors after office hours at least once a semester to look over assignments and exams and see if you can develop is a smart idea; Counsellors are available to assist for a variety of “stupid” reasons; don’t be afraid to get assistance from one even though you’re only depressed or nervous and need to talk; , make good use of the writing center – If you’re a science or arts student, you’ll need to be able to articulate yourself plainly in writing for grant submissions, resumes, and graduate school applications.
- Start keeping track of your accomplishments: leadership opportunities, service experience, honors… and though you believe you’re only a lowly undergrad with no accomplishments, look up CV models and start creating one now. You don’t want to be filling out forms four years later and remembering all the amazing things you did.
- Always be courteous to those around you, particularly the staff! Pay close attention to how you format emails, e-mails, and other documents. Seriously, this is critical! Value others and pay attention to what they’re doing. Professors can know you, and the picture you project will assist you in completing tasks (recommendation letters, research positions, advice, getting help on tough courses, you name it).
- Exam practice with previous year’s exams is a fantastic way to prepare for exams. Professors sometimes reuse or simply copy old questions with minor modifications. It’s also a fantastic way to learn more about something.