ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 things I wish I knew before I started University

Updated on January 23, 2013

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.

Take Notes

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.

Plan Ahead

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.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)