In the midst of all the excitement of new starts, new faces and new a whole new world of freedom and choice it can be easy for new students to make mistakes. These mistakes can really impact (in a negative way) on your time as a student.
Here are 5 key tips that most new students will totally overlook, but are super important to making your time as a student go as smoothly as possible.
- Hold Fire on Splashing Out on Expensive Text Books
Although it might be very tempting to rush out and buy up all the textbooks you think you will need the reality can often be very different.
Wait for your lecturer to tell you the exact textbooks that will be needed for your course. Once you know which is essential reading you can prioritise getting these. Then, if there are others that are non-essential you should head to the library and see if you can borrow them rather than buying them outright. There really is no point spending a fortune on a book if you only need to read two or three chapters for your course.
If the library copies have been snapped up by other smart students then sometimes contacting students in the year above you will yield great results. Offer to buy them a pint in the union or even offer to rent the books off them for a small fee. The chances are they will have finished with them and will do you a good deal.
The cost of some textbooks will make your eyes water so do this instead of wasting your hard earned cash.
- Discounts are for Winners!
Being a student can get you access to some seriously good discounts. Most retailers are falling over themselves to attract students so take advantage of this by using your student card to secure major discounts every time you shop.
Whether this is shopping for clothes (TopShop / Top Man have amazing student discounts all year round) or whether it is going to your local cinema, simply showing your student card can get you discounts of 15-35% at most major retailers.
Make a point of never forgetting to flash your card to secure all those super discounts and the money you save will soon start adding up.
- Remember your Lecturers are Human
As strange as it may seem your lecturer is actually a real human being. Unlike in school where your teacher may have been a far removed being whom you could only communicate with after raising your hand; your lecturer is a totally different proposition.
If you communicate in a respectful and engaged way you will be shocked by how they communicate with you as an adult to adult type of relationship.
Believe it or not they only have your best interests at heart and want to see you succeed so speak to them, engage with their lessons and show real interest and you will be amazed at the type of positive working relationship you can develop with your lecturers.
- Don’t be scared to make friends
It can be extremely overwhelming when you don’t know anyone and it seems that everyone else is making friends except for you. The worst thing you can do is retreat into yourself and become withdrawn in the early days of your new life at university.
Although it might be tempting it can have a seriously negative impact on your mental health situation so avoid doing this at all costs.
Instead, take a big deep breath and smile. Talk to as many people as you can and make eye contact with people. Use open body language and gestures and really listen when people speak.
Remember – these people are in exactly the same boat as you are so try and not feel too pressured and just let friendships develop naturally.
- A Calendar will Save your Life
Ok, maybe that is a little dramatic but it will most definitely make your life a whole lot easier to manage. With so many classes, events, deadlines and a hectic social life to manage a calendar can really help you to manage your life.
Get a big wall planner that you can put up somewhere you will look at everyday and then write every important date and deadline that you are aware of on it.
Get a big fat marker out and scribble all over it – include everything from that important essay deadline to your favourite aunt’s birthday.
Make a point of looking at it every day and you will never miss an important deadline ever again. Maybe!
These are just a few tips that most students totally overlook when it comes to starting the next stage of their academic career. Keep these simple to do tips in mind and you will be amazed at how much easier (and more fun) life becomes.