What you need to know before you start university

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Starting university is an exciting time in everyone’s life, and while many people start early, others prefer to work before returning to further their studies. Nonetheless, for all of you freshmen out there, here are a few pointers to help you make the most of your time at university.

1. Networking with as many people as possible

You will have the opportunity to interact with countless new individuals, including staff, recruiters, lecturers, and classmates. Keep in mind that everyone you encounter has something to offer to you. Obtaining academic assistance or knowledge, for example, can increase your professional chances. Maintaining a professional and friendly connection with all people involved is recommended.

2. Being organized and prioritising deadlines

Throughout your course, you will have a lot on your plate to keep track of, such as a multitude of individual assignments, tests, group meetings, and activities. You’ll need a calendar to arrange your time so you don’t miss any deadlines and can develop a routine that works for you. Being hardworking and trustworthy is always a good attribute to cultivate.

3. Say no to Plagiarism

Academic dishonesty is something you avoid at all costs. Learning to write is one of the most important skills you will gain as part of your education, and you should avoid obvious copy-pasting from other sources, which might sabotage your learning process. In your quest to enhance your writing routine, make sure you use apps like Turnitin to identify plagiarism in your work.

4. Enthusiastically participate in every coursework activity.

Every evaluation should be taken as seriously as your final test. Students sometimes take class activity participation lightly, resulting in a narrowly missed higher grade. Please keep in mind that each assignment and class discussion contributes to your overall module grade. Seize every learning opportunity that can help you later in life, especially while hunting for jobs after graduation.

5. Find a note-taking system that works well for you.

As per popular notion, taking down notes is considered to be a daunting exercise. But taking notes, as the class discussion progresses will help you remember details that would otherwise be lost.

There are various methods for taking down notes like:

  • Outline method
  • Map method
  • Writing on the slides

You can follow any of the above to make the most out of note-taking and learning the material to ace your exams.

Always remember “If you aren’t taking notes, you aren’t learning”




6. Meet with your academic mentor regularly.

Most universities would have dedicated personnel responsible for providing support to students in their academic and career decisions. The job title would differ across different universities but essentially the personnel is responsible for mentoring students to succeed in terms of their academic and career goals. As a student, connect with them regularly to plan your career decisions. 

7. Take good care of your health

Taking good care of your health is essential for your well-being, it becomes even more important when you move away from your family and home to pursue education. Often you would be tempted to eat unhealthy food and miss out on physical exercise due to lack of time.

Always remember, “your health is the foundation for everything else, so don’t neglect it”.

8. Set a Budget

Being a student, you will have limited financial resourcestherefore solid money skills are essential if you want to survive in the university.

Source: NationalStudent Money Survey (2019)

Source: National Student Money Survey (2019)

As per the National Student, Money Survey conducted before the pandemic in the UK among University students; 1 in every 6 students still don’t budget, while a mammoth 77% start university without basic knowledge on how to manage their cash. It is therefore advised to gain some basic money management skills before pursuing a university programme.

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