Getting into a university can be very exciting, especially when it is the university of your choice. We all dream of studying at specific schools and finishing with honors, then getting to say later in life, “Hey, that’s my alma mater”. For most universities, the application process can be hectic, a design made to pick the best of the best as students in their institutions. It is no surprise then that the news of secured admission bring a sincere wave of joy to both the student and all involved.
The university environment is an entirely different ball game altogether. For starters, most students will be on their own here for the first time in their lives. They will be responsible for making decisions about themselves and their personal comforts – food, clothes, books. Of course, there is always maximum support from parents for some students, but the major load of responsibility lies with the student.
Secondly, the university curriculum functions on an entirely different level. This is not your usual online dissertation service that’s available at the click of a button. Rather, it entails totally different subjects (depending on the course), a different set of lecturers, and a different method of a learning organization. In addition, there is a ton of ‘other’ activities – school events, parties, sports events, occasional clubbing or sightseeing, and the likes.
Why is it important to take note of all this?
Because there are certain things you need to put in place before packing your bags and jetting off for studies. The little time you have before real educational work starts is the most crucial. It might also be the last time you will be this free because with new academic work comes with a bigger workload. It is therefore important to sit down by yourself or with someone older than you and plan out certain important moments. This can, to a measurable extent, influence how well your studies will go and even how well you would finish.
What do we need to map out? Here are four things that should be looked at.
- Your time
Believe me, university life can be one of the best experiences you have. It can also be one of the worst. All this can depend on how you decide to manage time.
Here’s the thing: Time is a precious commodity. And it is given to all of us in equal measures. Time lost or wasted can never be regained. Hence, it is essential that you plan out your time such that you achieve a balance between your academic and social life. Many students struggle with maintaining this balance, especially those that study very serious specialties, like Medicine, Engineering, and Law. While balance isn’t easy to achieve, it is quite possible.
- Your priorities
Priorities and time go hand-in-hand. It is highly important that while planning your time, priorities should be made by the side. The creation of priorities is akin to setting standards for yourself. When you don’t specify what’s important to you, it will be easy to sway with everything that comes your way. The ‘everything goes’ attitude can be detrimental to your achieving the purpose for which you secured an admission. Place your priorities right, and do so before resuming.
- Your goals
Why are you there? What was the purpose with which you chose that university, that field, and that course? What do you hope to achieve? Do you just want to get the grades, or you came for the knowledge? Do you want to be an A-student, or you are content with just pass marks? When you finish, what next?
These questions may look too ‘serious’, and that’s how it should be. Your university education is one of the basic things that form the foundation for your future career. How you handle your studies is how you will handle your career. Take time to write down what you are gunning for, and be sure to go back to them periodically in the course of your studies.
- Your company
Yes, you read it right. You might get the foremost three right, but just one ‘wrong’, persuasive friend can spoil the whole process for you. Part of the influence we allow into our lives comes from the people we move with. We all don’t have the same goals, ambitions, or direction. Which is why allowing people that share your passion into your life is the best way to go. A lot of long-lasting friendships are built in the foremost two years of study. Choose wisely, and surround yourself with friends that rock.
Elizabeth Skinner has been writing with the EduBirdie team for three years and is also a teens counselor in her high school. Because of the everyday conversations she has with her students, she can understand their psychology and make up great tips in education, friendship and even relationships.