This is a collaborative post.
If you or someone you know is heading off to university, it can be an existing time, but why fall into the same traps as people who have gone before you, learn from their mistakes and make better lifestyle choices. Here are five mistakes it’s helpful to avoid until you find your feet.
Trusting Group Assignments
One of the ways Universities prepare students for the world of careers is with group assignments; these are excellent for improving students’ collaboration skills which are so important for their future; however, most of the time, you can’t trust your student colleagues.
When it comes to these collaboration projects, it’s often left to one or two of the more outgoing members to do the heavy lifting, but if the mark is given for the project as a whole, it’s not a fair reflection of the work. Make sure you keep track of the member’s contributions throughout the project.
Ignoring Mental Health Issues
University is a time of independence and self-exploration, but with that comes a lot of challenges, including stress, pressure, and mental health issues that range from mild to severe. If you encounter a mental health issue at university, don’t ignore it and hope it goes away.
The reason you shouldn’t ignore a mental health issue is that it won’t go away; chances are it will continue to worsen through the years and cause issues down the road. Even minor complaints should be confronted early by talking to a counselor or visiting the family doctor.
Compromising on Study Space
In the early days at university, your head is full of ideas about what your experience should be like; these ideas are often informed by media and entertainment narratives. In reality, university life is what you make of it, and you need to find the spaces and practices that work best for you.
There’s no harm in trying to study with your friends and classmates but be prepared to abandon it if it isn’t conducive to productivity. Similarly, if your accomodation for students offers a dedicated study space instead of a noisy library, definitely take advantage of it to improve your grades.
Buying New Textbooks
Whether you receive a loan or a grant, you might feel flush for a short time when you’re at university, but that doesn’t mean you have to blow your money on the most expensive resources. The university ship will be happy to sell you new versions but buy second-hand.
Think about it, hundreds if not thousands of students have taken the same modules as you, so the second-hand market for course books is booming. Buy your course books second-hand and then sell them after you are finished with them; hopefully, you will break even in the process.
Going to Every Party
It can be tempting to try and fit into a new location and life situation by attending every party, but this isn’t always the best approach. Think about what makes you happy right now and some of the things you enjoy doing. Feel free to experiment, but first, find your comfort zone and protect it.