University is often described as ‘the best years’ of people’s lives. It’s the first taste of freedom many young adults will have and prepares students for the adult world. While it’s fun and new, it can also be pretty intimidating and stressful at times. Here are my top five tips on how to how to get the most out of your university experience.
1. Planning is key!
In university… you MUST plan and time manage well. This probably sounds very cliché, but with essays, projects, and other commitments in your personal life (family, friends, work) build up, things can become hectic very quickly. My advice is to write down all deadlines in a calendar, make a weekly planner, and make a daily To-Do list. I also always plan to have my work done a week before the deadline, so if things go wrong I still have time to fix it. This prevents too much stress from building up and ensures I’ll have time for my own hobbies.
2. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help
One of the most frustrating mistakes I see people make in university is not asking for help with their work when they need it. There’s no need to feel embarrassed for needing help with something… it’s your job to learn by asking questions and it is your tutor’s job to answer them! UCA also offers help with writing essays, sorting out your CV, finding jobs, finances, and housing. Student Services also offer counseling if you are struggling with anything personal – so if you need help, ask for it!
3. Keep yourself physically and mentally healthy
A healthy body encourages a healthy mind and vice-versa. It’s important to keep yourself physically and mentally fit in university, especially with how stressful it can be. Spend some time learning some healthy recipes, socialise, get enough sleep, and go to the gym, join a sports team or go for walks every once in a while. It’ll help you feel more awake and have more energy. Don’t ignore your mental health either. Do things that make you happy and help to reduce stress. If you think your mental health is wavering, refer to tip #2!
4. Everything in moderation
It’s true that university is a lot of work, but sometimes it’s healthy to take a break. Often during busy times people get very stressed and forget to take breaks – even if it’s just for a few minutes to go and make a cup of tea or play a game for a few minutes. Sometimes refreshing your mind and having a day or even just a few minutes off can help you solve problems you couldn’t figure out before. But everything in moderation! There’s a fine line between having a break and procrastinating, don’t let too much work pile up.
5. Have fun!
My last bit of advice is to simply have fun! Yes, university can (and will be) very stressful at times but you are in university because you want to be there and learn – so you might as well enjoy it! Be open-minded and try new things… join a society (or start one of your own), go on class trips, and talk to people you normally wouldn’t talk to. University is all about experiencing new things and growing up… and at UCA you can be creative and have fun at the same time.