5 things I wish I knew before I started University
This year I entered the University of Auckland. It feels like a whole new world. It's big, exciting, new and at times, chaotic. Are you already a student? Thinking of starting University next year? Hang in there, it's going to be one wild rollercoaster.
The amount of text you’re expected to read is more than enough to burry you in it. You need to read effectively. In other words, read while taking notes.
Your notes should be short and very precise…and for your own benefit – preferably readable. For this reason I tend to take notes on my laptop rather than writing them down. Also if you type faster than you write, I recommend this method.
Talk to People
Life at University can be socially difficult. It helps to have someone to talk to, study together and work together on assignments.
When I started University, I set myself a goal to meet one new person in each lecture. The more friends you have, the easier you’ll find life at University.
Don't be a book worm
Words from the vice –chancellor of Auckland University. And from someone who is one of the highly paid business men in the world today, I’ll happily take his advice.
Try something new today. Meet someone you didn’t know before. Join the gym. Be part of a club. Attend a presentation. Not only will this benefit your social life, but in the real world when you’re out there looking for a job after you graduate, excellent grades are no longer enough. You need to show you have interests & skills outside of your degree.
Probably the most important skill you must have in University is being able to plan ahead. Most people I’ve met claim to do it all the time. The problem is, only a handful of these people write these plans down.
If you don’t have a student diary, I recommend you get one. Writing down your plans is the key to completing them. Your brain is pretty amazing in terms of remembering things and salvaging old memories from the past, but it has limits. Trying to memorize your entire timetable for the next day, week, or month is pushing those limits. The most successful students are often not the brightest, but the ones that are well organized.
Write your plans down and refer to them daily. Remember to update your diary for any important events such as exam timetables, assignment due dates, class changes and the little things such as meeting a friend for lunch or returning a borrowed book.
Learn to Live on a Budget
You don’t have to look further than one’s student debt to realise, tertiary education doesn’t come cheap. Many students face financial hardship during their times at University. Here are some tips how you can loosen that burden.
Avoid buying textbooks if you can. Instead, you may be able to borrow the textbooks for a short period of time; enough time for you to take notes and return the book. On the other hand, depending on your course, this option can become more inconvenient than cheap and you may need to buy a textbook instead. Before you do however, consider sharing the cost with a friend if you’re both studying the same course.
Learn to cook your own food. If you haven’t cooked anything before, now is a great time to get started, especially if you plan to live by yourself during your studies at University. After all, how long do you expect to survive on 2minute noodles?
Hang in there!
Life is what you make it. Remember to take notes while reading. Talk to people when you can’t do it by yourself. Be active, don’t be a book worm. Learn to live on a budget and most importantly – stay organized and plan ahead.