University marks the beginning of a completely different educational experience. The next few weeks will be full of new challenges, some changes, people to meet and lots of emotions.
It’s normal to feel some nerves. However, the key to starting university on the right foot is to know that you are in control. This time, neither your teachers nor your parents will be there to guide you, so you have to take a more active role to succeed.
Here are some of our recommendations:
Take control of your education
Going to university is not just about attending classes at a college or university. It’s about being part of the whole academic experience. Each class is a unique opportunity to learn, develop skills and discover your passions.
During this stage, you will form the vision of the professional you want to be. Therefore, we suggest you make a commitment to do the homework you are assigned, read the materials you are given and always show up ready to listen.
Some subjects you will love from day one, so this will not be difficult. Others you may not like so much, so they will require more effort. In any case, remember that all the knowledge you are taught is of value to your academic and vocational training.
In your first year, give yourself the opportunity to:
- Explore the areas of knowledge you enjoy most.
- Join clubs and groups that relate to your interests.
- Develop your leadership and teamwork skills.
- Participate in different student activities
In general, it’s about keeping yourself open to learning and exploring by making the most of the opportunities that come your way.
Make a monthly calendar
Organisation is an important factor in getting off to a good start at university. To make sure nothing slips through the cracks, make a monthly calendar. You can buy one at any bookstore, draw it yourself or even download it from the internet to print out later.
Another favourite option for students is to download apps that allow you to schedule all kinds of events and receive notifications when the event is coming up. Whatever medium you use, you should include in this calendar:
- Outstanding readings
- Projects and assignments due
- Activities and events
With so much going on around you, you might forget something, so don’t trust everything to your memory.
Establish purposeful relationships
Up to this point, your friendships are likely to be the result of being attracted to people’s personalities or sense of humour. But at university, relationships go beyond that.
From now on, you will also connect with others based on shared interests and aspirations, as well as the value they may have in your network. Consider forming friendships that will be a boost to your personal, academic and even professional development.
You will also have the unique opportunity to meet people with different backgrounds and ways of thinking from your own. Take this opportunity to broaden your view of the world by learning about their realities.
Explore as much as you can
University is the best time to discover your talents and passions. In a few years, knowing these aspects of yourself will be very useful to know what you want to do, what you are good at and what you enjoy doing.
That’s why it’s also the best time to explore all the subjects and activities that interest you. In your first months at university, try being part of student groups and clubs, practice new skills, audition for jobs.
Don’t be afraid to fail and if something doesn’t work out, try something else. This will help you have a clearer vision of where you want to go.
Have a good relationship with your teachers
Building relationships with your teachers can bring you some advantages:
- Having access to more detailed explanations of class topics.
- Being considered to lead activities or groups
- Getting recommendations for useful books and materials to deepen your knowledge.
Upon successful completion of the course, some teachers even become friends or colleagues. In the future, this could also help you to get job offers because of a teacher’s recommendation.
Now, what is the best way to build a good relationship with your teachers? By being as diligent as possible with your homework, participating in class and showing interest in the subject. Teachers appreciate proactive students.
These tips will not only help you now that you are about to start university. They will always be useful, so we recommend that you apply them every time you start a new course.