How to get the best out of your time at University
You want to make the most of student life and leave University with a good degree, a host of new skills and some great friends. Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of everything that University has to offer.
You might be someone who leaves everything to the last minute, but starting an assignment the night before it is due is not ideal. You may have underestimated how long it will take you to finish and you may end up rushing and not doing your best work. Passing might be enough to get you through, but you will end up regretting not getting the results you know you are capable of. Try to leave enough time to do all the research you need. Then allow time to actually write your assignment and time to re-read and edit it.
You may also find that you have a few assignments due in at the same time. Leaving them all until the last minute will just become incredibly stressful and stop you enjoying your course. Time Management is an important skill that you will need throughout your career so learning to manage your time whilst at University is a good place to start.
Go to lectures
It’s tempting to switch the alarm off and give those early morning lectures a miss. The problem is that you will soon fall behind. You don’t want to be spending your time just trying to catch up. By staying on top of your course and workload from the beginning, life will be far easier and a lot less frantic. Being punctual for lecturers and getting things done on time will be good practice for when you start work.
Being a student isn’t just about studying. Employers are looking for well-rounded individuals with a wide variety of skills. There will be many different clubs and societies that you can join. Not only will joining help you to make new friends and provide a new social circle, it will also be great for your C.V. Joining a team or even singing in a choir will show you are a team player, with good communication skills and commitment. These are all important transferable skills. Having a break from your studies is also important and getting involved in extra-curricular activities can help you to relax and unwind.
Gain some work experience
Gaining some hands-on experience in your area of study can be invaluable. It will show initiative, help you to make some potential new contacts and be attractive to prospective employers. Work placements or showcasing your work in exhibitions and performances are all important opportunities which will enhance your employability. Visit your Careers Centre for help in accessing work experience, part-time jobs and volunteering opportunities.
Stick to a budget
You get your student loan and suddenly you feel like Mark Zuckerberg. Sadly, that loan will probably have to last you some time. If you spend it all in the first couple of weeks, the rest of the term is not going to be much fun when you can’t afford to go out and you are surviving on baked beans. Simply work out how many weeks your money has to last you and set a budget for each week. Be strict with yourself, stick to it, and you’ll be glad you did when you can afford that celebratory beer at the end of term.
Learn to cook
Unless you want to live on coco-pops for three years, learning to cook will be a lifelong skill (and also make you very popular with your housemates). A good diet will keep you healthy, allowing you to do more, socialise more and generally enjoy yourself more. You are not expected to become a Michelin star chef, but learning how to make a handful of nutritious meals will help to keep you at your best (and save you lots of money).
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Starting University can be overwhelming. There may be times when you would like the support of another person to talk to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Counselling and Well Being Services offered at Wrexham Glyndwr University offer the opportunity to think and talk in confidence about problems that concern you and are impacting on your life.
If you are struggling with an assignment or an aspect of your course, talk to your tutors. They will want you to maximise your academic potential and to support you. Wrexham Glyndŵr offers workshops and support sessions in areas such as academic writing, effective note-making and preparing for assignments. Students can book appointments with academic skills tutors dedicated to helping deal with the practicalities of university work.
Being at University is all about new things, living somewhere new, meeting new people and starting a new course to name just a few. Why not push yourself out of your comfort zone and do something that you’ve never done before. It could be as simple as trying a new sport, going to a dance class or taking a French lesson, keep challenging yourself and get as many experiences as possible. As the saying goes…..you may never pass this way again.