First year of university is the year where you learn the most, not necessarily in terms of content of your degree but in terms of life skills and living alone. These tips are designed to help first year students make the most of their time as a fresher.
1. Take advantage of the added extras that the University offers – e.g. Careers Service, library resources, societies, events, or competitions. The University is so much more than just the degree, it comes as a package deal (but not all students take advantage of this). The resources and opportunities on offer are endless and you should explore wider variety even if not directly relevant to your degree.
5. Budget, budget, budget – having the freedom to buy what you want is a privilege. You don’t have to buy it all to have it all. Learning to live on a budget is all part of adult life, even if you are living off a loan. Don’t forget that the loan has to last you all summer too! Learn how to budget to avoid unnecessary stress.
2. Maintain a work-life balance – you are here to get a degree but that doesn’t mean you’re not here to enjoy yourself. Maintaining a work-life balance is indeed a skill that a lot of students struggle with but learning this early on can enhance not only your university life but your career journey too. Schedule your breaks, explore classes on offer, join clubs, or dedicate time in your diary for other things you enjoy such as books, exercise, or meditation.
6. Allow your career path to change – the average person changes their job every five years. Therefore, just because you choose a career path at school, doesn’t mean you won’t change your mind once exposed to a wider variety of options and opportunities. Changing courses is not the end of the world – now is your time to make these decisions and have no regrets. If you are considering whether the course is right for you, book a careers guidance session to chat about your options.
3. Google calendar is your best friend – we all need some sort of schedule and routine at university, even if it does change last minute sometimes! Keeping on top of your workload can be difficult but planning will help you balance this, as well as your social life.
7. University isn’t always what it’s made out to be – it’s not all about partying. The workload is demanding, and deadlines are strict and mentally challenging. The concept of university is to push yourself and try new things. Having a mentor is a great way to help you throughout your degree and to help with the transition from a student to a work environment. Why not apply to be part of our
Professional mentoring scheme.
4. Keep on top of your workload – a little bit a day goes a long way, even if it is only 30 minutes. Putting aside this time reduces the stress and demand that is put on deadlines, allowing you to have a healthy relationship with revision during the exam period and assignment submissions.
8. Plan ahead – your time at university is limited, so planning is a must! Use your holidays and time off to complete work experience or take on different projects alongside your studies to make yourself stand out from others. Internships are often advertised months ahead and applying for work experience can take weeks or months to arrange so thinking ahead is important.
9. Learn how to reference now – if you know it, you know it, if you don’t, you don’t. Do that hard bit now and you’ll thank yourself later! The key is to practice and ask for feedback on all your work so you can gain a good understanding now before your workload builds up. https://plymouth.libguides.com/referencing
10. Gain work experience – it is continuously repeated during your time at university that experience is extremely desirable to employers. Whether it’s a part time job, related or unrelated to your degree, experience within a working environment is beneficial to gain soft skills that can be transferred across all industries. Explore opportunities on the jobs board on MyCareer and take advantage of 1 to 1 support that is available in an Information & Advice session.