Completing high school and applying for university is a HUGE milestone in every student’s life. We all experience tons of emotions during this time – sadness, nervousness, anxiety, excitement – but it all seems worth it once we finally see our name on the list of our desired university!
But getting into university opens up another Pandora’s box of emotions! After all, we hear about university life from our older siblings and cousins all our lives. Some say it was the BEST time of their life while others warn us about ‘fake’ friends, biased teachers and extremely tiresome schedules – leaving time for little else.
All this may seem overwhelming but as someone who did survive this gruelling time, let me give you some easy peasy tips on how to survive your first year in university without going insane!
- Don’t OVERBURDEN yourself!
The first rule to maintain sanity is to avoid overburdening yourself with too many courses. “Duh, right?” But trust me, many students try to be over-smart and take up more courses than they can manage at one time which ultimately results in them being unable to give each course content the time it deserves.
Five to six courses are usually considered adequate and if you are a fashion/textile/architecture/design student, you should be even more careful while selecting courses since most of them are practical and can be even more difficult to manage at the same time.
2. Try being FRIENDLY with everyone!
It’s not easy for most people to adjust in a new environment with new people belonging to different age groups and lifestyles, so if it takes you time to make friends and engage in conversations, please know that it is totally okay. Just don’t give up and keep the conversation open; not just with your own batch mates but with your teachers and seniors as well.
Seniors can help you in so many ways since they have already done most of the courses which you will be taking up. They can advise you about the course outline and the teachers’ temperament; they can tell you the jugaars of doing things and maybe even share their past assignments with you as well!
3. NEVER argue with your teachers!
We are all taught to respect our teachers but they ARE human and CAN be wrong. But try to avoid arguing with them in front of the entire class. Instead, if you feel that something they said was incorrect or inappropriate, try and talk to them privately after class. This way the issue stays between you and the teacher and nobody’s self-respect is at stake.
And it’s ALWAYS a good idea to maintain good relationships with your university teachers because apart from scoring good grades, this can help you in securing recommendations, interviews and jobs as well (just don’t butter them up too much)!
4. Make TIME for yourself and your loved ones!
As all-consuming as university life is, try to take a break sometimes and relieve your stress by engaging in other activities. Avail facilities like the gym or swimming pool if your university has them. Try spending time with your family and old friends – those who were with you in school but have gone to different universities. You might get to meet them less now but childhood friends are the BEST!
Plan a hangout with them whenever your schedule allows or just call your bff up whenever you feel down; he/she is likely to make you feel a whole lot better!
- Take special care of your hygiene and DRESS well!
Many of us tend to ignore the fact that our personal health and hygiene and the way we present ourselves is as important (if not more) as other things in life. Once we step into the real world our sense of style, grooming and hygiene are going to play a huge role in climbing the professional and personal ladder. Try to dress appropriately from your FIRST day at university but don’t overdo it!
Dress casually and try to look fresh (even if you are surviving on four hours of sleep a night) because NOBODY likes seeing a bezaar face! Once I attended a class without any makeup and my teacher actually asked me if I was feeling unwell; so trust me, these things matter more than we think! Just don’t go overboard and end up looking like you were headed to a shaadi!
- Learn to say ‘No’!
I have always had a hard time saying ‘No’ to people but this is so important for ALL university students to learn so that NO ONE takes advantage of you. It is absolutely okay to say ‘No’ if you are asked to do something that’s NOT in your comfort zone or something you simply don’t have the time for or just don’t want to do.
Believe me, in university people will ask you to do their assignments, they will be ‘fake nice’ to you when they need something you have and will ask you for countless favours during your four/five years of university. BUT please know and let them know that you CAN’T be available for everyone all the time! Sure, you should help people out as much as you can but not at the cost of your own performance or health. Say ‘No’ unapologetically!
Now that you are armed with all these tips, you can easily conquer your first year of university.
Happy First Semester!