Higher education is often the first taste we have of independent living. Its an unique time in your life – full of new friends and experiences but perhaps a little daunting at the same time. It’s a time to explore your potential and make the most of new freedoms, even if that means pushing out of your comfort zone. How do you make sure you’re getting the absolute most out of those few years before settling into a working life? These three simple tips will get you started:
Make Time to Go Abroad
Studying can be a gateway to many other countries, and there are so many ways to get involved. Going overseas doesn’t have to mean a full year – it can encompass a summer or a semester, for travel without the complications of a long-term stay. Many students don’t realise that course fees are reduced when you study abroad, which can make it a more affordable option. As well as study-led programmes, you can look into opportunities to volunteer in another country of a scheme such as a Homestay in London. Travel really does broaden your perspective on the world – and is usually very attractive to future employers.
Now is the time to throw yourself into clubs, societies and sports – try that new skill you’ve always been interested in or learn more about a new area. You’ll never have the same opportunity to meet so many others the same age, so say yes to whatever comes your way. Getting involved with societies can also give you practical business skills like learning to do a formal budget and plan events. And you don’t have to restrict yourself to campus events – if you’re moving to a new community, explore the options for getting involved in stuff there, from learning a new language to joining a local theatre society. If there isn’t a club for something you feel passionate about, find out about starting one yourself.
Be Passionate About Your Learning
You’d think this one could be a given, but it’s amazing how many students are passive about their learning experience, despite the cost of tuition fees, only to later regret it. University education represents a gear change from school and college- you have the chance to get actively involved in shaping your course. Test out different courses, find the lecturers who make you feel passionate about what they teach and take full advantage of all the online courses and taster modules offered. There will also be free lectures on social, cultural and political topics to try. Aim to throw yourself into it- ask as many questions, read as many texts and join as many events as you can. Never again will you get the chance to dedicate so much time to affairs of the mind, so make the most of every day, even when you’re in a caffeine fuelled essay haze!
For this incredible time in your life, you’ll undoubtedly have a lot to juggle, and that definitely has its challenges. But you don’t want to have any regrets about your university experience, so put your concerns to one side and enjoy your time to the utmost.
*This is a contributed post