To start a university education is to open yourself to a whole new world. Maybe you are leaving home for the first time, or maybe you have been on your own for a while and have decided that college is for you. Either way, it's easy to become overwhelmed with all of the new opportunities. Here are a few tips to help new university students make the most of the college experience.
1. Choose your living arrangements carefully.
In trying to save money, many college students live far away from campus, in run-down apartments, or with incompatible roommates. These things may seem like small hurdles initially, but when over time they become difficult to bear. Choose an apartment within 15 minutes of campus, and talk to your friends openly and frankly about your sleeping habits and standards of cleanliness before deciding to live together.
2. Know your advisor.
Your faculty adviser can help you choose your courses and plan your schedule so that you can meet your goals. It is important to have a plan each year so that you can fulfil all your course requirements and graduate in a timely fashion - if you take only the minimum number of credit hours or do not plan for courses that are only offered once every year or two, you may not graduate on time. Meet with your adviser prior to enrolment each semester, and if your adviser is not helpful, request a different one.
3. Stay healthy.
Universities, with their large student populations and cramped housing, are a veritable breeding ground for germs. Visit your student health centre and make sure your vaccinations are up to date - a flu shot is a must, and many schools also recommend being vaccinated for meningitis. Try to maintain a healthy diet, and get plenty of exercise. Being ill is miserable when you are busy with coursework and away from your family - do what you can to protect yourself.
4. Branch out.
Especially if you start your time at university with a clear career goal in mind, it's easy to zone in on courses in your chosen field and miss out on interesting and diverse classes. You can find courses on almost anything, from opera to wine tasting to Harry Potter. You may never have another opportunity to explore this variety of learning opportunities - take advantage of it! You never know what will change your life.
5. Make time for fun.
College students like to party. Give yourself permission to have a good time. No, you don't need to start every weekend on Wednesday or develop alcoholism, but for the full college experience, you need to have fun. Check out the local establishments that make your town unique. Join a club or an intramural team. Protest something. The friends you make in college will stay with you for life.
At university, you will make memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life. These tips will help you balance work and play and make the most of your time at college.
Abi writes for Richmond, the American University in London. Richmond have a range of popular business subjects courses such as the business admin degree, visit Richmond to learn more.