10 commandments for a successful university experience
Learning is something we all do from the moment we are born - we learn how to walk, talk, get dressed, read, write, use google, the list goes on. But once you get to university the stakes feel higher than ever. It's definitely more important to learn how to use a spoon than to have a university degree, but your study experience gives you a lot of advantages in life. Holding a spoon just makes sure you can eat soup. To help you keep motivated we've put together 10 student commandments to follow for a great study experience.
1. Hit the ground running
Do you think preparation is for nerds? Well, brainy is the new sexy. So know your stuff, don`t be the kid who turns up on first day of studies and doesn't even know what the university is called or what their study course is. The more you know the more you`ll learn. It's weird but it`s true. Your study subject should excite you and motivate you to learn things on your own - after all a big portion of university experience is independent learning.
2. Stay focused
There's a cool party every single night and you really like to socialize? Great. But your grades will suffer. As will your actual knowledge. Keep your eye on the price - you`re building your future! Making friends is super important, but learn to balance your social life with your student responsibilities. Maybe start a study/book club with people who you like and who inspire you. You can spend time together but also train your brains in the process.
3. Notice your opportunities
A big part of your time at university is about grasping at every opportunity to learn practical knowledge and network. People you study with may end up being very reliable and useful contacts in your professional life later on. Same goes to different projects you might be able to take part in at university - no, you probably won't get paid and yes, it will be time consuming, but if it's something that you can see benefitting your career later on, go for it.
4. Aim to be early
Germans are very precise. And so should you. If your class starts at 9am, aim to be there at 8.50am. Or 8.45am. It makes a great first impression to walk into lectures on time and not look like you just rolled out of bed 3 minutes ago. That extra time gives you a chance to grab a cup of coffee at least. The same principle goes for internship interviews/positions, seminars etc. Be on time i.e. be early.
5. Don't take anything for granted (stay grounded)
You have come so far and should be very proud of yourself. But at the same time remember, that you are the only person responsible for your future. So don't take anything for granted or think, that the world owes you any favours. The only way we rise is to raise ourselves and others around us - it's a communal effort. And we all have our parts to play.
6. Good behaviour goes a long way
You remember what we said about being on time and being focused and prepared? Well, on top of all that - remember to be a good person. You never know where you or your fellow students will end up in life, so don't burn any bridges, you might need them one day. This doesn't mean you should be fake and try and be best friends with everybody. No way! Just treat others the way you expect to be treated and you`ll be just fine.
7. There is more than one way to be the life of the party
If you`ve ever seen an American college movie you know how students are being portrayed there - the nerds, the sporty ones, the party people. Luckily things are very different in real life. And you don't have to identify as just one kind of person. You can be as multidimensional and different as you like. As long as you remember all the previous commandments - punctuality, good manners, preparation - go and just be you. If you don`t know who that is yet - even better, you have all the time in the world to find out! Just start looking
8. This is your time to shine AND look stupid
Whoever said there is no such thing as asking stupid questions was kind of right and kind of wrong. Asking questions is really good - it is the only way to learn, but if your professor is giving a lecture about the history of the printing press don`t interrupt them to ask what their favourite fashion brand is. Any other (on topic) question is more than important enough to ask! Even if you think it might be a bit silly. Chances are there is more than one person too afraid to ask the same thing. So shine bright and make their day! Remember that this is your education - you are there to get the most of if. So if something is not quite right, there are problems with courses or lecturers - let the university know. They are there to make their students enter the world with as much knowledge as possible.
9. Take care of yourself
Most probably you´re balancing studying with work and other obligations. A lot of people do that, but it still gets difficult sometimes. It's important to remember to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, get physical exercise - these things will all help you with both your physical and mental health, make you feel more energized and generally happier.
10. Asking for help makes you a superhero
We all feel like we´re not quite hanging in there sometimes. It's so normal. So make sure you don't suffer alone. If there is something a friend can do to lighten your load or make you feel better - ask them! Is it a phone call you`re too nervous to make? Do you need to go to work but have books that need to be returned to the library? Do you just feel lonely and want to chat? Ask for help! People who care about you are probably more than happy to help out. And will also feel more at ease asking for help in return when they need it. This is it! By following these commandments you're bound to be the rockstar of your campus and much closer to having a great time at university!