7 Tips for Your First Year of University!
By NourYounis, InternsME
When going to university, everyone is going to give you their ‘2 cents’ about what to expect and what you should do — trust me, I’ve been there.
As a (not so old) graduate, and with this awesome opportunity of reaching out to so many students and graduates, I want to give you my (hopefully useful) 2 cents on entering university!
University textbooks are expensive, and the truth is you will not be using them all. Save money by buying second-hand books at the used bookstore, or be on the look-out for used textbook posters on campus. Just make sure it’s the current edition the professor is using, or that the chapters the professor will cover in the course are the same. You can re-sell them after you’re done with the course.
There are some pre-requisite courses that you will have to take, perhaps University Experience or Public Speaking(which should be easy enough to score a “B” grade, at least). If you’re not sure, ask around for the best elective courses to take and, of course, the most engaging professor. These courses are usually refreshing because they are easy topics that you have previously covered.
Aim for the moon
Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars! The rule of hitting the target, much like archery, is aiming higher! Aim for an “A++” and you might land an “A+” or an “A-“. Never be shy to ask questions or for help, and always remember there is no such thing as a stupid question! For those harder classes, nothing pays off like some good ol’ hard work!
Arriving early to class scores you brownie points with the professor. Attendance can make up 5% of your course grade in some classes and 5% can make the difference between an A and an A-. All you have to do is show up for a class you’re paying for! You will also get a chance to have one-on-one time with your professor, instead of waiting in line at the end of the class.
Join a sports club or set aside 30 minutes to just walk around the campus every day. Make an exercise jar and put some money in it every time you exercise. When you hit 100 dirhams, go out and treat yourself. You’ll look forward to exercising more! Keeping fit improves self-confidence too!
University is just like school, but better. Make some friends in all your classes. Having friends in class means you can rely on them for notes, just in case you miss class or don’t like taking notes. Even for group projects, picking partners will be easier!
Participating in extracurricular activates not only goes a long way when applying for internships, but also after graduating when you are looking for an entry-level opportunity.
Use your breaks wisely
Christmas break? Mid-year holiday? Ditch the holiday and gain experience! Yes, you can score an internship or a part-time job in your first year of university. Not all jobs require experience; many just require skills.If you made it to university, then I am sure you have a skill or two you’re great at! Spending your breaks wisely will help you beat the catch 22 of needing experience to gain experience once you’ve graduated.
Over all, everybody goes through different experiences in their first year of university. One thing you should always remember is that you’re in the same boat as the hundreds of other 1st year students. If you feel lost, you’re not alone. Make use of every opportunity available to you; from a professor’s time, to utilising the sports facilities on campus, to meeting with the career department, and getting involved in extracurricular activities.