“How was I to know?!” “Nobody ever told me!” You would not want say these words when you become a part of the job market and the greater society in life after you graduate or, worse, if you do not and drop out of university. Those are words of regret that you will say looking back at the university life if you have not made the best out of it.
Here are what graduates and upper class men and women say they wished they knew about university which should have made the difference that helped them achieve more. You can learn from the mistakes of others; know these things that they wished they should have known. Apply them in your university life to enable you to succeed and achieve more in your higher education and get ahead in the job market and in life.
Here are what you should know about university right from the start.
Success Starts From the First Day of School
You are at university because you want to get a nice job after graduation. Sounds simple. Yes, you simply need to pass your subjects, get that degree and get a job. Wrong. A degree does not guarantee a graduate job or even an undergraduate job. There is stiff competition out there. There are many other and more preferable applicants. This is what a certain Zoe C., and Engineering graduate from the University of Auckland (New Zealand) shared.
You need to make yourself a preferred candidate when you apply for jobs after graduation. That is a process and it starts right from the first day of school. At the beginning, know what you want in life and make clear your goals. Then, determine how to achieve these life goals through university. Determine your university goals and how to achieve them. And finally, start working towards it on the very first day of school.
Study Hard and Smart from Start to Finish
There is lots of studying to be done if you want to succeed at university. Studying is a lot of hard work. You should start working right from the first day and sustain your dedication until the last. University is not merely another stage in your education; it is the most crucial one. It will not be easy; it is not the films.
One important part of working hard and smart is to focus on the important things to do and the important aspects of student life, especially considering the goals you have set for yourself. To be able to do this, you should not “major in minor things.” Be aware of what really are important. Stop wasting too much time shopping around for the best school supplies and clothes to wear to school, or looking for the best accommodation and study area. Be contented with what you have, make the best of them and proceed immediately with the hard work you need to do – studying.
Study hard and smart, and participate in class discussions and seminars. Harry Slater, education and students columnist and deputy editor of audience at The Guardian, says that you should learn how to read recommended work and think logically to be able to respond well to questions with common sense answers.
Always, Quality beats Quantity
Quality over quantity. Depth beats breadth. Substance over form. As part of studying smartly, you can learn some things that some graduates say they should have have known right from the start of their undergraduate years, especially relating to smartly doing less but the more important things rather than more of the less important ones.
You do not need to always reach the minimum word count in written assignments and essays. Again, let us go back to identifying your goals and prioritising them. Your priority goal is to answer the given question, topic or title. If you add anything, so that you can reach the word count, which are not relevant or does not contribute to address the specific given topic or question, it can be counterproductive. In connection with not stuffing your essay, you should not include everything you know about the topic. Include only those which are really relevant. To do this, go deep rather than wide; however, never too deep but just enough.
Some graduates, recall that their longer answers got lower grades than their classmates’ works which did not reach the word count. That is because those shorter answers included more relevant points and the longer ones included more irrelevant points. Aside from the added irrelevant sentences which became useless or even damaged your work with their irrelevance, you have also wasted time and effort which you need for the many other things that you should do.
Also relevant in the economy of putting quality over quantity is knowing that you do not need to read all that is included in your book list for your essay writing and whole school term. In other words, do not buy everything and do not read everything. Work smart by borrowing from the library and identifying which ones you need to read and you need to buy.
Experience Work, Places, People, and Life
Together with your academic learnings, you also need to learn from actual work, environments, people, and life. An important part of this is developing academic, research and work or professional connections for the present and future.
Explore as many clubs as possible in fresher’s week and give a good fraction of the rest of the first term with taster sessions before you finally decide which are your favourites to stick with. Be active on social media and networks, especially Facebook, says The University of York English Literature graduate Alex Jackson. It was his sister who created his profile in Facebook for him and it has been helping him since then. It is here that you will develop contacts for present academic connections and opportunities and future professional ones which later you will pair it with LinkedIn.
Do not be afraid about going out your comfort zone to reach out to people and enter unfamiliar territories not only work places but also living environments and conditions. As a new higher education student, you will need to learn how to manage your time, budget your money and do housekeeping chores. You need to figure out how to operate the laundry machine and figure out your own system of washing your clothes with them. If you write drafts first before the final one; with laundry, you can first practice with house clothes or older ones. You should also try to learn how to cook, even just the simple dishes. You need to learn these non-academic aspects of education and life in general starting from your first term in higher education. You need all the time you can get; later will be a little too late.
Now You Know
So there you have it – the things you ought to know about university right from the start that some graduates and upper class men and women wished they had. They seem awfully a lot but it is your job to do them and you will be equipped to do so. And, you have all the time in the world as you are knowing them as early as now. So go ahead, study hard and smart, learn, enjoy and succeed. Start now, before it will be already too late.