Monday 24 March 2014

Five survival tips for university students

Five survival tips for university students
Prying yourself away from the beach, off the couch or out of bed early enough to make it to uni after a holiday or study break can be a real challenge. If you’re heading back to uni this semester, here’s a quick guide to help you get the most from your time on campus.

1. Set realistic expectations

You may have been a top performer at high school, but at university you’ll meet other high achievers. Don’t get too precious about ranking, just focus on learning as much as you can. Getting your parents to understand the reality of university will also help relieve some pressure.

2. Keep on top of study

Orientation week is a party, but you’ll hit the ground running in week two. Do all required study when you’re supposed to. Doing little chunks on a regular basis is better than trying to read an entire textbook before the exam. It means you can ask your tutor questions about the bits you don’t understand so that references don’t go over your head later.

You’ll also occasionally take subjects that are too difficult or that you don’t find interesting. Keep these in check – you don’t want to do them again!

3. Start networking

Socialising is a big part of university life. In addition to your classmates, you’ll also find an array of clubs and societies that cater for different interests, from sports to religion, politics to partying. This is your chance to meet a range of people, not only the undergrads who’ll be future industry peers, but others who’ll widen your worldview.

4. Know your deadlines

Your lecturers and tutors may have already scheduled exams and assignments, so familiarise yourself with this timetable and set yourself some soft deadlines – for example, a due date for the first draft of an assignment.

Lecturers and tutors often have hundreds of students, so asking for an extension is incredibly difficult without a very good excuse (e.g. medical issue, death in the family), and they often attract penalties.

5. Find study/life balance

Identify what you want from your time at university. If you’re working part-time and/or getting involved in various clubs and societies, make sure your commitment is in line with this goal. Are you doing too much studying and not enough of anything else, or vice versa? No one will tell you what the right balance is – you need to figure it out for yourself.

Enjoy your return to study this semester and stay tuned to the Careers in Tax blog for more helpful tips and advice.

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