MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE
Going into University, I really didn't know much about what I was getting myself into. Especially with my uni being a commuter school. I would always find myself going straight from class to the train station and home. But if 4 years of schooling has taught me anything, is that it's necessary to expand your horizons, to truly have the best experience! Here are my top 9 tips for making the most out of your university experience.
1. Do extra curricular activities
This one is major! Personally, I would find it quiet lonely to be by myself at all times, however, when I launched my blog, The Prep Guy, I finally found a way to do something creative with my time. Little did I know that my hobby would end up becoming my livelihood, but heck it sure did make my university experience so much more fun! Now, I'm not preaching that you should start a blog per say, but explore some creative hobbies or join a student group - so that you can expand your personal network, while enjoying yourself.
2. Explore your surroundings!
As I mentioned earlier, when I started university, I would go straight from class to the train station. But my school is in the middle of all of the action (Downtown Toronto). Once I started exploring the city more, I became more knowledgeable and cultured!
3. Manage your time wisely
I have an insanely busy schedule now that I work full time, while being a full time student. So I had to get to know what my strengths were in order to ensure that I could juggle it all successfully. Given that I don't have any spare time at all, I know that when it comes to group assignments, that I can't rely on mishaps or f*ck-ups. I usually let my team members know about my lack of time, I take charge on ensuring everyone get's an equal amount of work, and I make it happen quickly.
4. Surround yourself with people who will up-lift you
The biggest mistake I ever made in first year was surrounding myself with people who always had some sort of drama going on, and often times, I was sucked right into it. I learned that the faster I cut off negative people, the more I enjoyed meeting people who were positive.
5. Understand that you're a customer
I have a zero-tolerance for any power struggle when it comes to my professors. I demand mutual respect, from every single person, no matter what they do. I've had many moments where Professors would disregard my questions or concerns, and at the end of the day, it is their jobs to ensure that you are getting the most out of your education. If you don't understand something, clarify. If you're having a disagreement or you feel undermined or disrespected, let them know, or take it to the right authority.
6. Select your courses wisely!
Gurl! I've had at least half a dozen courses which were nothing that I thought they would be. In second year, I would look at the title and add it to my course enrolment, without further investigation...BIG MISTAKE, HUGE (In my Julia Roberts voice). Take a look at the course outline or briefs provided by your university and ensure that it's something of real interest, otherwise you're going to most likely not do well and waste your $$$$.
7. RateMyProfessors.com is key!
Although many Professors have expressed a disliking to this website, RateMyProfessors.com is actually super vital. You can really get a sense of what the professor's teaching style is through real peer reviews. However, do note that majority of the negative reviews are from students who failed... probably because they didn't work hard enough (and in the rare case, some Professors are really that tough).
8. Work hard now so that you can reap the benefits in the future.
The University life is a hustle! But do understand that 1. you're paying for it and it ain't cheap, 2. the short term pain will bring long-term gain. Time really does fly when you're in university, so make sure your #1 priority is your career, which will hopefully go on successfully for decades.
9. Utilize University Facilities
As some of you may know, I have major depressive disorder and anxiety (which started prior to University). However, there are some amazing services that my university offered that helped me cope with it successfully.