University is a new ballgame and a new experience altogether; you would be spending a lot of time in university and you might as well make the best of the experience. You have the opportunity of meeting people from different backgrounds, with different cultures and traditions. It’s very good and advisable to curate an experience and journey for yourself that would be beneficial to you in the long term. Personally, I’m genuinely grateful for my university experience in its totality and how I’ve been able to grow and develop myself from my university experiences, here are a few tips in making the best of your university experience;
Make a lot of friends and associates; don’t isolate yourself, but also be careful of the friends and company you keep, ensure you align yourself strategically with friends you can be of value to and can also be of value to you. If you are studying a course that takes up a lot of hours e.g.; medicine or law, you might find that most of your friends are in that field so try to broaden your horizons and try to make friends studying other courses.
Give yourself a routine; I cannot overemphasize the importance of having a routine, in university, consistency is key, it is very important to have a daily plan of action and practice effective time management, this is a strong skill that would help you long after you leave the university.
Extra-Curricular Activities: There will always be pressure to perform well in exams and attain high grades, this is good and it’s always advisable to study adequately. However, your social life is as important as your academic life, for your development. It is very important to get involved with university clubs and societies that take your fancy. Obviously don’t spread yourself thinly, but make sure that you try things at least once e.g. sports, creative activities, volunteering, nightlife, cultural events, political: learn to speak out etc.
Know when to call it a day; University is usually fun, there are parties, raves and a lot of exciting activities but it is very important to set boundaries for yourself and know when the game is over. Make sure you are safe and people know where you are and who you are hanging out with, don’t take things from people, know when it’s time to leave the party and go home, don’t let people make you go against your values and morals.
Try and get part-time work/Internship: this is my own 2 cents of advice, try to get part-time work during your stay in university, this actually helps in building character, boosts your work experience and develops your skillset. But it’s important not to get part-time work that takes up too many hours that could lead to burnout.
Get to know your lecturers; this is like my favourite and oldest trick in the book, know and curate a relationship with your lecturers, don’t be a beg but actively communicate with them, ask them questions and see how they can help in developing your knowledge base outside the classroom, this usually gives you good leverage over others.
Start working on your CV; document your achievements, certifications and club memberships, skills you have developed and ensure that they are compiled together and accurate, research on other skills you could develop and work on developing them. This would be very helpful in the long run.
Ask for help; you are in university to learn, study and grow as an individual. The first thing I learned in Uni was ‘no man is an island of his own’, you cannot know it all even if you tried. Humans are created to depend on one another. Don’t be shy to ask for help, that boy that understands the math course better than you? Feel free to walk up to him and ask for help, this builds you in the long run and makes you a well-rounded and smarter individual.
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