The first year of university is always the hardest. You enter a whole new world, where you must face and learn many new things every day and must settle down with a bunch of people you don’t know. Although this may be a bit overwhelming at first, here are some tips how to spend the first year and what you should keep in mind:
- Take time/ don’t rush
Especially the first semester will be the most overwhelming for you. Don’t stress yourself and take the time you need to cope with it. Don’t let yourself be forced into doing something you don’t want to do- only do the things you genuinely are interested in.
- Get to know the campus & town
You most likely are living in a totally different environment compared to your old home now. Try to get used to how things work here and find all the important places including: Classes, medical centre, library, cafeteria etc. Also make sure you got everything done what is required by the university.
Go out and explore the city you now live in. Make sightseeing tours, find nice restaurants or go to places you ever wanted to visit.
- Get to know flatmates/ new people
Finding new friends is really important. You get to know new people every day and you may not get along with everyone but try to be open to as many people as you can. Find people with the same interests, get to know your flatmates or the ones at class. These people will most likely be on your side for the next few years and maybe even your whole life.
- Learn to cope with homesickness
There may be some moments when you feel down, and you get homesick. That’s totally normal but try to find ways to cope with these emotions such as contacting your friends and family by phone or Skype.
- Join clubs and societies
By joining clubs and societies you not only can find people who got the same interests as you but also develop new interests and skills. There are a lot of options to choose from, so don’t take only the ones you already joined back home but try out something new!
- Expect ups & downs
You will make wonderful memories while studying at university but there will also be times of stress. Just remember it will get better and you will pull through! You might even remember days like this from the old school days and might reflect on methods you used back then to get through or cope with any stress you had.
- Go to class
You might have heard of many students skipping classes, but University is different, and it is quite helpful to attend the classes to gain all the knowledge you need for the final exams. If you get too stressed or can’t keep up with your course, talk to friends, classmates or your personal tutor. You will get the help you need in order to succeed.
- Get organised
In order to succeed in your daily university life, you not only have to attend the classes, but also be organised. Creating a daily routine might help. You might also want to organise study groups and make enough time for exam preparation or homework.
Also keep track with your money, so that you always have got enough saved in case of an emergency.
- Seek a balance between social and academic life
The mixture of these two is what makes university life so exciting. Try not to tip the balance too far in either direction but rather to include both in your daily life.
- Take care of yourself
Know your limits and don’t push yourself too far. Your mental and physical health are equally important. Eat healthy food, get enough sleep, exercise and take breaks. You also can get professional help if these don’t work. If you don’t feel well, you can’t succeed as much as you could when you’re in a good healthy state, so be aware of your own condition and what you need.
By following these simple steps your first year won’t be as bad as you imagine, and you will succeed in everything you plan to achieve.