While everyone says that college and secondary school was the best educational years of their life, you can make your student years in university, in my opinion, even better. Here, I share a few things that I find really make or break your university experience.
- Pick a subject you like and take a proactive role in your learning
This may be an obvious point, but we students have a tendency to forget the importance of learning during our university years – especially in the midst of managing deadlines, trying to moderate our social life balance, and dragging our heels and sleep-deprived selves to our morning classes.
During your university years, you have the chance to taste-test different programmes, learn from experts in diverse fields and explore your passions to tailor your academic and career paths. Join that club you’re intrigued about, learn that language that you wanted to. Taking a proactive role changes your enjoyment and the outcome of your degree.
Learning during your university years doesn’t have to be restricted to your classroom, either. There is always a way if you look for one; we are open now to online degrees and master’s. It is clear that sometimes life gets in the way, but the only real obstacle can be yourself.
- Get engaged
Despite what you may think, university isn’t all about hitting the books. Along with taking advantage of the numerous learning opportunities that are now accessible to you, enrich your student life by getting involved outside the classroom.
These years represent one of the only times that you will have the chance to indulge freely in your hobbies and connect with people from a spectrum of diverse educational and cultural backgrounds – virtually at your front door. To make the most of student life, don’t be afraid to push your comfort zone, try new things and meet new people.
You’d be surprised at how many opportunities there are for students to get involved on campus. Your university’s students’ societies are the place to start. I was vice president of the African and Caribbean society; it becomes an outlet from stress university can cause but also a way to enjoy with people who are in the same boat as you.
The societies on offer are not limited either. Enjoy playing music or singing? Consider becoming a member of your university’s band or choir. I also encourage you to not just restrict yourself to campus activities. Your local community is a great resource for opportunities to get engaged and contribute to a greater cause while doing something you love.
Personally, the activities I pursued outside lecture hall taught me valuable lessons and skills that I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to challenge. In university we learn more about ourselves than the subject we pick.
- Go abroad
There are always opportunities to go abroad with your course, and I wish I took more of them. The case of wanderlust hits all students at one time or another, and university can be one of those rare times that you can get paid to indulge it.
This isn’t just about getting the chance to go on a glorified vacation, either (although that is an obvious attraction) – you can apply to gain experience on an international internship, go on exchange to take a course at a foreign university, learn a new language and so on, all of which are things that can make your professional portfolio more competitive in an increasingly global job market. Along with this take advantage of the summers! Go on that holiday with your friend or boyfriend as free time gets less and less as we get older.
- Take care of your body
Just like point 1, this is an obvious tip but also one that we tend to give low priority. Sleep well, exercise and eat healthily. The bottom line is that you can’t do something well if you’re half-asleep, feeling lethargic or working on an empty stomach. The freedom of being away from home can cause you to eat unhealthily; self-care is IMPORTANT never forget it.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you ever feel overworked, stressed or just in need of advice or a friendly ear, your university has resources on campus. Feel like you need help managing a heavy workload? Head to your university’s Student Success Centre or make an appointment with an academic guidance counsellor to search for help. Feel homesick and burned out? Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you trust or take a weekend and visit home.
What did you think about your university experience?! Share in the comments down below!
Jessica Agboola is a21 year old English with Creative writing graduate with an interest in fashion and blogging. Has blogged for a year now and is consistent in topics such as lifestyle, fashion, travel and business. Has continuously studied English language and literature and is a creative, bubbly character.