University and Succeed

Make Sure You Actually Want To Go

A bit of a mistake that many young students make that severely impacts their success in university is applying for a four-year program without genuinely wanting to go. While post-secondary education is more prevalent today, it is also much more acceptable and even recommended that some students opt out of an undergraduate and instead focus on a trade or harnessing a particular craft that may be more profitable for them in the long run. There is no point in forcing yourself to participate in a program that might not give you any short-term or long-term value simply because it’s what your parents or society want you to do. Make sure you are willing to stick out the duration of a program so that you aren’t failing your courses halfway through.

Know Your Major, But Also Be Willing To Change It

Once you have made the informed decision to apply to university, it’s just as important to apply for a major you know you will enjoy and feel fulfilled. The next few years should be a time of enlightenment and creativity rather than disdain, so knowing exactly what subject you want to devote your time to is the key to success. However, not everyone can get it right on the first try so it is also essential to understand that you can change your mind halfway through and enter a different major. Don’t be too hard on yourself in the process—university should be enjoyable and a willingness to follow what makes it that way for you will help you succeed and flourish in the long run.

Find The Best Way For You To Take Notes

Everyone’s methods for note-taking is different and suited to their needs and capabilities. Some prefer to handwrite everything while in a lecture and then type it out at home, while others would rather bring a laptop to class for easy access to all their documents and a faster way to transcribe everything the professor is saying. Whatever your method, be sure it will serve you well come exam season when you will need to look back at a semester’s worth of notes to study from. For an added layer of efficiency and security, save all your essential documents in a virtual data room so that you know they won’t get lost and can access them whenever, wherever.

Connect With Your Professors

A significant oversight that many students make, especially in their first year of university, is not trying to connect with their professors after lectures or during their designated office hours. Creating some sort of rapport with them will not only enhance your learning experience in the class with more focused, one-on-one discussions but will also help you in your future endeavors, as a reference letter from a professor is a great attribute when applying to a graduate program or job. Visit their office hours as often as possible with specific questions concerning the lectures and show your engagement in the material they are teaching—they will appreciate the enthusiasm. You will be getting a bit more out of your education.

Don’t Skip Lectures

After a few weeks into a semester and a few sleepless nights under your belt, the temptation to skip specific lectures to work on an assignment or catch up on sleep can be too enormous to ignore. If there’s one thing to not do in university that can affect your success, it is skipping exceptionally long lectures. Professors try their best to create concise and comprehensive lessons with the limited time, so by skipping one class, you might be missing out on a lot of information that can make or break how you do on your final exam. If you really can’t make it to the class, ask a friend or classmate to take notes for you and upload it to your shared virtual data room so that you can access it immediately once you are available.

Accept Mistakes And Move On

As mentioned, no one gets things right on the first try, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you mess up throughout your university years. Accept all the mistakes that will come your way, learn from them, and move on. These can be as simple as not using a virtual data room to securely store notes, your laptop crashing a week before exams, or not completing the appropriate documents for your student loans. Whatever the mistake, understand that you will always be learning and growing and that they shouldn’t be taken too seriously at the end of the day. It is another opportunity to develop other essential life skills you can take into your career after your undergraduate degree.

Balance School With Social Life

In order to get the most out of your university experience and survive the excessive workload, balancing your school with your social life is crucial. Take the time to see your friends or step away from a problematic essay you’ve spent the past few days working on. Your mind needs the time to relax and recuperate before diving back into work, which is as essential as your assignments when it comes to succeeding during your degree. Finding this balance can be as simple as scheduling a time every week to go for coffee with your friends, waking up every morning for a quick run before classes start, choosing to explore the great nightlife in Fishponds, Bristol (or a similar area in your university city) at the weekend, or dedicating every Friday night to dinner with your family. Any semblance of balance will help your mind stay clear and capable of managing the remaining school weeks.

Ask For Help When You Need It

Trying to manage everything alone won’t do you any good, especially when your course load gets heavier and the days left before exams are dwindling. Recognize when you can use a helping hand and allow yourself to ask for it—more than likely, someone will always be willing to give you one. Keeping your struggles hidden or trying to handle them all on your own can be extremely detrimental to the success of your school year and your overall mental health during an already arduous schedule. There are designated student unions that devote their time to helping students who might need an extra boost as they are acclimating to the new and tedious environment of university life.

Don’t Procrastinate If You Can Help It
The itch of procrastination is one that everyone falls victim to at some point in their lives and careers, so when you feel like giving in to it during your semester, don’t beat yourself up for it. It’s natural to forgo one task to make room for another or for necessary rest and relaxation. However, if you can help procrastinate, you should because doing it too often can lead to many more problems as you’re scrambling to catch up on work and make close due dates. Give yourself the peace of mind of being able to take your time on an assignment by not leaving it until the last minute or ignoring how much work it actually is.

Recognize The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Yes, the university is complex and you will make many mistakes throughout your journey. However, along with the trials and tribulations, there will also be many successes and enjoyment to be experienced. It’s essential to recognize that there is a light in the tunnel, and you will make it out of your degree, despite how stressed out and sleepless you might be during it. You may love your program, but still, experience the anxiety that comes along with succeeding at it and that’s okay because somewhere down the line you will be graduating and moving on to pursuing a career in your passion.