Now that I have finished university, I like to think I have learnt a few tips along the way that will help you through your time at university. With no further introduction, here are my top ten tips for surviving university.
- Don’t over-think about things that aren’t important. I am definitely guilty of this and even still to this day find myself doing this in times of stress. When you are in intense situations, in or out of university, suddenly everything can seem overwhelming. My tip for this is to keep things in perspective. Does it really matter that you’re wearing odd socks or that your room isn’t quite spotless for your parents visiting? Probably not. So just remember that there are more things to worry about and to cut yourself some slack now and then.
- You do you. A massive part of university is discovering who you are. As cheesy as it sounds, it really is true. I feel like I have changed a lot since coming to uni, and in my eyes it’s definitely been for the better. Never be ashamed or afraid to be yourself, because at the end of the day, life is far too short. The important people in your life will support you no matter what and that’s all you can ask for. Some people might not ‘get it’ or even might not like it, but that is their problem and not yours. Go out of your comfort zone and you might surprise yourself.
- Sort it out. This is maybe more of a regret of my own fault than a ‘tip’, but getting yourself into a routine and knowing your style of working will do wonders in the long run. I’ve never been one for notes, as that isn’t how I tend to revise, but I always find myself doing it because I have felt I have to. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you slip up, but having a routine, which involves not only your studies but food, exercise and your social life will make everything immensely simpler.
- Patience is a virtue, so is being respectful. This tip is so vital, it can’t be stressed enough. To be blunt, you won’t get on with everyone you meet. This is completely normal. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to be disrespectful. Everyone has their own story, and things to deal with that you may have no idea about. Don’t get me wrong, frustration will definitely happen, and things may cause a bit of tension, but in reality, everyone is an adult in the situation, and for things to progress, you have to act accordingly. Who knows, that one person who made a snarky remark might turn out to be one of your friends or a partner in a project later down the line. This tip is also extended to lecturers and other members of staff. They definitely have far more going on than you may realise, and patience goes a long way when it comes down to it, no matter how frustrated you may be.
- Try, try and try again. If you get lumbered with a piece of work that you feel is completely out of your league, ask for help. If you maybe don’t quite get the grade you were hoping for on that piece of work, make sure the next one is better. Feeling disheartened is sometimes a part of being at university, but it makes you a much stronger and more capable person in the long run.
- Take care of your mind. Again, this is extremely important, and I unfortunately let this one slip drastically last year. Mental health conditions are so common among students, and there’s no wonder, with what we have to go through! The resources to help these days are vast and varied, but definitely not spoken about enough. I personally went through the counselling service at RGU, and I can honestly say, hand on heart, it helped me so much. I wont say much more on this one, but please keep a check on yourself, and seek help when you think you might need it.
- Pace yourself. On a lighter note, student life tends to involve nights out (sorry parents!). If you aren’t a seasoned drinker, don’t give in to peer pressure, because it’s not worth it and you won’t enjoy yourself. Know your limits and the day after won’t be so bad. Make use of the Fresher’s team over fresher’s week if you have any questions and most importantly, enjoy yourself!
- Get involved.There are so many societies and sports clubs at RGU it really can be hard to pick from. Not only can you join a society, but there are also lots of opportunities to volunteer and even be an ambassador for RGU. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who wants to make some new friends.
- Work hard, play hard. Work hard, and at milestones, reward yourself. Simple.
- Enjoy the experience. Unless you decide to do a masters or a PhD or another degree, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so despite any ups and downs, make the most out of all of it, because it’s amazing how much you’ll miss it once its all over.
Hopefully this can bring you some guidance, and I hope you can take something away from these tips.
Until next time,