What to remember when you're studying
I can’t wait to go back to uni, and I’m basically counting down the days until I get to start classes again so that I can keep learning and make my last year count for something great! I hope that you’re excited too and that you’re getting things ready to give it your all when that first day comes around. To help you make the most of your time at university, here’s a few things to remember and to help keep you on track as you begin, or continue, the adventure!
This is an exciting time for you, enjoy it!
I honestly think that being at university has been the best time of my life so far and it can be for you too! These years that you spend studying are super exciting and you should enjoy it! University can be stressful and pretty serious, especially when you’re spending so much money to attend, but it can also be fun, I promise. While you’re there you get to learn so much, meet amazing new people, attend cool events, produce great work and really figure out who you are and how you fit into your chosen field. I’m pretty introverted so it took me a while to step out and have some fun, but I’ve met some of the best people that I know during my time at university, and I’ve been to some really interesting events that have taught me a lot. I’ve also learnt so much and grown as a designer more than I could ever have imagined, and I’ve produced work that I’m really proud of. While you do have to work hard and commit to whatever it is that you’re studying, you should have fun doing it. So get out there, say hi to that person sitting next to you in the lecture hall, go to the events that are offered, and enjoy yourself!
Take advantage of opportunities offered to you
University really is a place full of open doors. The aim of the school and the tutors is to see you succeed and they are there to help you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve, so they prop those doors open for you and give you the tools to confidently walk through them and you should take advantage of that! Whatever it is that you’re studying, there are probably events and opportunities out there that cater to your area, or that are more general. These could include seminars, workshops, meet and greets, social events with peers, internships, volunteer opportunities, lectures just to name a few. These are great not only to learn but also to network with your peers and those more experienced in your field of expertise. This can lead to collaborations, friendships and/or employment in the future so it’s definitely worth getting out there and going along because you never know what you could learn or what door might be opened to you because of it!
It’s okay to take a break and look after yourself, and you should!
Now I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that university is going to be a piece of cake and that you’ll never have to work hard, because it isn’t, and you definitely will. While it is a fun and exciting time full of opportunity, there will probably be long nights, and lots of hard work in order to get those good results. It is manageable and 100% worth the hard work, but there does come times when you need to give yourself a break and look after yourself. For me, it becomes quite easy to neglect social events and keep working because being alone is the way that I recharge so if I can be alone and get work done at the same time, that’s great for me and I often use this as an excuse to myself to not go out and take a break with my friends. I also care a lot about my work so I would often rather work 24/7 than sit down and watch a movie, because I just feel like I’m wasting time. However, I am completely wrong in these aspects, because that’s how you end up run down and more stressed out. As the years have gone on, I’ve come to realise that a bit of relaxation and some social interaction once in a while can actually go a long way and is great for your health. Whether it is watching a movie, or spending a few hours at the beach with your friends, or out for dinner with your flatmates, or whatever it is you might do to relax, take the time out and look after yourself. It’s better for you to sacrifice an hour or so of work time to care for yourself than to get overwhelmed and sick. University is important but your mental and physical health are way more important, so make sure you put that first.
Everyone’s in the same place
One of the most important pieces of advice I would offer about university is not to compare yourself with others, and to remember that you’re all in the same place. Everyone is different, that’s the beauty of humanity, and it’s useless to try and compare yourself to the people around you when you vary in who you are and what you do. You’re all there to learn and while it might seem easy for some people who get good grades while you’re struggling and barely passing, you can’t feel bad and compare yourself to them. People learn at different paces and in different ways. They might get good grades all the way through but you might figure it out along the way and smash it out of the park in your last year and graduate with first class honours! You can also only see what’s happening on the outside of somebody’s learning experience so you never know what could be influencing the way that they study and the results that they get, whether they’re good or bad. All that you can do is understand that you’re all there together. There’s no point being competitive and trying to bring others down, you’re all there to learn the same thing and to try and succeed at it. Work together, help each other and stand by each other when things are hard.
You were chosen for this
In the end, whether you’re doing well or if things are a bit hard, you’re in the right place and you’re there for a reason. If this is the thing that you love to do, then you’ll do great. You worked hard to get to this point and you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t good enough. Chances are that you had to pass tests or submit portfolios to be accepted into your degree, so you were chosen to be where you are and you shouldn’t doubt yourself. Be proud that you got in, and that you’re choosing to spend several years learning to become the best you that you can be and pursuing your dreams! And remember, if you’re really not happy, and it doesn’t feel right, you can always take a break, change your major, do a different degree altogether, or stop studying at all to do something different! The world is your oyster and you’ll be great at whatever you put your mind to!
These are just a few tips to help you on your way this year and I really hope they help! If you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned or maybe something that I haven’t, please don’t hesitate to ask! And if you have any helpful tips of your own, I’d love to hear them!
Much love, Hollie! :D