It is no secret that many undergraduates lack a variety of skills before embarking on that road towards higher learning. As a current sophomore at university, I have still yet to master many of these student life hacks. Nevertheless, in this University Survival Guide, I compiled a list of life skills that I picked up during my first year of university so that your own transition to a post-secondary institution may happen more smoothly. Keep in mind that these are just suggestions and by no means will they apply to every university or college.
This is probably something that you’ve heard a million times already, but I can’t stress enough the importance of participating in extracurricular and volunteering activities. Not only will joining clubs give you valuable skills like leadership, communication, planning, and time management, it will also give you an idea of what interests you and what you might want to do in the future. It’s also a great way to meet other people and start networking.
Orientation activities are designed to help you meet people and get to know your campus and city. Moreover, there is a lot of free stuff given out during orientation, at career fairs, etc. I was able to get useful information by attending such events, and I’ve been able to stock up on pens and water bottles.
Getting a part-time job will obviously help you pay for college. There are plenty of part-time jobs offered on and off campus, but it important to choose wisely. Maybe a job related to your major, or something that will give you transferable skills like communication and teamwork would be helpful. Some jobs, such as those in a call center, library, or meal hall, may allow you to multitask and do homework.
Staying Safe and Sound as a Student
There is a lot of university advice out there focusing on studying, drinking and partying safely, and getting into relationships wisely, but that wasn’t the kind of information that I was looking for the most when I started university last year. I found that I didn’t know as much about health and safety as I would have liked. Hopefully, this article will serve to well equip you in terms of health and safety for your new life at university.
A mastery of health and safety in university comes with time. Although it’s impossible to foresee danger, it is important to take necessary precautions
Mental health is often overlooked when mid-term and final exam season comes up. Lack of sleep and good nutrition arises when students get stressed. Avoid procrastination and start studying early. Don’t forget to take breaks in between study sessions, and it’s probably best to avoid all-nighters.
My high school counselor gave me a really helpful tip about managing exam stress. She suggested breathing exercises that could help de-stress. A couple of deep breaths before exams would tremendously increase focus. In order to make these exercises better, she also suggested that I do them in calm situations, like while listening to music, so that my brain would associate deep breathing with calmness.
During my first semester of university, my classmates and I were assigned to read a book called Mindset by Carol Dweck. Our professor assigned this book in order to help us face challenges better, and it definitely changed my outlook on life. The book revolves around a simple idea that a growth mindset is the key to creating motivation and productivity. In contrast to those with fixed mindsets, people with a growth mindset believe that dedication and hard work is what leads to success, not intelligence and talent. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a boost of confidence.
Download the digital copy here.