12 Essential Tips All New University Students Should Follow

University is some of the best years of your life, make yourself a better student using these tips.

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The shift from school to university can often feel daunting and overwhelming, it’s impossible not to feel a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s not only a change in education but a dramatic transformation for your independence away from your parents. Preparing for your new life at university is an exciting time and shouldn’t be spoiled by worrying thoughts.

To help you become more prepared for your new life as a student, we’ve put together a list of our very best tips for new and existing students:

1. Only pack the essentials
This piece of advice is only for those who decide to move away from home during University. If this doesn’t apply to you, then you can skip to the next one. For those moving out, you may feel enticed to pack everything you own but remember, you only need what's essential. To find out what basics you should be packing, there are plenty of lists available on google to help you smooth the process. You can always wait until the end of your first month to purchase new things that you know you need and use. Also, don't forget to pack important documents that you’ll need to officially enrol, such as your confirmation letters and passport.

2. Feeling homesick is okay
Moving to university is a huge step and you should feel proud of yourself. This is a huge journey in your life and it’s not easy being away from home in a new environment, having new responsibilities and meeting all types of people. It’s completely normal and healthy to feel down and miss home, the majority of students feel homesick too, you’re not alone. Remember, to speak to friends and family regularly and let them know how you're feeling. If you feel completely overwhelmed you can also reach out to the support services on your university campus who can help you further.

3. Get your finances sorted
It can be very tempting to spend all your money in one go, especially for those who aren’t used to being responsible for their own finances. This is a huge mistake, although it's completely fine to splurge from time to time and enjoy being social with your friends, you need to ensure you have enough money for what matters. It would be recommended to make an expenses spreadsheet and clearly outline your bills and then budget what’s leftover, or create a weekly/monthly budget. Keep in mind that one of the perks of being a student is having access to student discounts, keep this in mind when purchasing goods and services.

4. Get to know the area
For many of us, we chose to go to university in a completely new area. If possible, make sure to visit the town or city with your friends or family to familiarise yourself with the area. Make yourself acquainted with the local shops. hospital, train station, and university. The last thing you want is to be in a completely new area and not know where to go!

5. Learn how to be independent
Whether you are in your third year or currently looking to start university within the next year, it’s never too late to start learning to do things for yourself. This next step in your life might mean living away from your parents for the first time in your life, you need to ensure you're able to cook, clean and take proper care of yourself without your parent's assistance. You and your parents will be thankful for it in the long run, there are plenty of tutorials online that teach life essentials.

6. Attend your lectures
Maybe you’ve had a few too many drinks the night before or maybe you just don’t want to get out of bed, either way, you need to try and attend as many lectures as you can. In school, it might seem fun, but university is a whole different responsibility. As the workload is more demanding and requires more effort, if you want to have a chance at getting a top grade, making sure you attend lectures is crucial to your success.

7. Ask for feedback
Feedback is a great way to improve both professionally and personally. Although it might feel intimidating at first, feel free to ask your lecturers for some critical feedback on how you can improve. Don’t forget - lecturers are there to help you and will appreciate you asking for feedback.

8. Keep a healthy work-life balance
A healthy work-life balance is a crucially important factor that influences both mental and physical health. Remember, studying is important but you need to take the time to take proper care of yourself, otherwise you’ll get burnt out very fast. Although the main reason for going to university is to get your degree, it’s also a time In your life where you can network, join clubs, work on yourself and make life-long friends. Keep close attention to your nutrition, physical health and sleep to ensure you feel great both physically and mentally. The change from school to university is a large step, the work can seem more demanding but never feel embarrassed to ask your lectures, friends and family for help if needed.

9. Be confident
Self-doubt and comparison can be the killer of happiness. Remember, don’t ever think you don’t deserve to be where you are, you worked hard for it. There is plenty of support and guidance available for university students from lectures and other learning facilities. You're working towards your future, so don’t let a lack of confidence get in your way.

10. Staying organised
Being organised is not just important for your mental health but also for your academic performance. Unorganised students waste time looking for items or doing assignments at the last minute. You should have a calendar that you regularly update with deadlines and appointments, make a daily to-do list to be more productive or even start a journey where you can write down your tasks and plans.

11. Take advantage of resources
From the library to the careers department, universities offer a ton of different resources to help you enrich your student life. The extra skills and knowledge will help you succeed within your working career. Take advantage of the workshops the university offers such as CV writing and workplace skills, these will help you enhance your chances of finding a better job straight out of university.

12. Finding a mentor
Last, but certainly not least, find a free mentor during your studies. A mentor is there to act as a guide and support you when looking to meet your personal and professional goals. Forming a mentoring relationship is a great way of getting ahead of the game whilst gaining feedback and invaluable advice from professionals in the field. Mentors also have a vast network that can help introduce you to other individuals and potentially find you future career opportunities.

Final thoughts

Make sure to take this advice on board as a first, second or third-year student. It doesn't matter what stage you’re at, there’s always ways to make your life that little bit easier in the long run. Remember, University should be some of the best years of your life, even with the ups and downs that come with it. To make your student life easier, join PushFar for free to gain expert advice and guidance along the way.
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At PushFar, we run the world's leading mentoring platform, offering free mentoring for more than 50,000 professionals, students and entrepreneurs. We also licence our mentoring software into hundreds of organisations, globally, to support internal mentoring programs. So, whether you're looking to become a mentor, find a mentor or run a mentoring program, PushFar are here to help.
 
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