Starting university is a huge change, and so the excitement will surely have a small hint of anxiety as well. During the first month at uni, you will be discovering a new environment, with new individuals and lots of new opportunities and responsibilities. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your first month – and survive to tell the tale.
Make new friends, and do it NOW!
Whoever you are placed with in your course will be there for the next three to four years. So when you are cramming for exams or totally lost in an assignment, their assistance will be much appreciated, and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to have someone to eat lunch with at times. Try and attend campus events. Go to where people hang out. Just make as many connections as possible as fast as you can, and those people will eventually introduce you to a lot more.
Join clubs and societies
One of the best ways to meet people is through clubs, so try and join one during your first few weeks at uni. They are fun and it’s an easy way to make new friends. Moreover, clubs and societies are essential when it comes to networking. You can get to know students who are senior to you, and by the time you’ve graduated, they may well be valuable contacts in that industry you want to get a job in.
On top of that, attend your classes
A lot of people are going to try and make you bunk those lectures you’re paying that large sum of money for. Ignore all these people. You’re here for you. Attend your classes properly. This is a major step up from your A-levels, and you need to work hard to make sure you don’t flunk everything. You’d be surprised how many people seem to forget that when they get all that freedom all of a sudden. Try not to forget that you’re here for a degree.
Leaving your work until the last minute may seem extremely tempting, since you will be having longer due dates at university. However, the deadlines will soon creep up on you. As with everything in this world, the right work-life balance is up to you, but indulging in too much of either will catch up with you in the end. Your last two weeks of term are going to be rotten if you save all your assignments up until the last minute. On the other hand, try not to spend every waking hour in the library as well.
Don't turn nocturnal
The idea of staying up all night to study or hang out with your friends may also seem really tempting, but by all means, you should set your own bedtime, especially if you're getting to the phase where you go to sleep at 6am and wake up at 4pm. Give your body the rest it needs and the rest will take after.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
The courses at university are different, the work is harder and you are expected to handle your own learning. Lecturers will understand that adjusting to things like this take time and patience, so if you don't understand something, ask them. It won't make you look stupid or like you weren't listening – in fact, you'll be the smarter one for making sure you know exactly what's expected of you and how to do it.
Make the most of it
The most important thing to do during the first few weeks at uni is to make the most of it. The beginning of university is an incredible time to try new things and meet different types of people. So don't worry about being judged. Just be yourself. Take your time to get to know the place and people around you, absorb all the information that you can, and have fun! Take risks with your look, your personality, your viewpoint, and what you think you’re capable of.