q Top 5 University Tips | JM

Top 5 University Tips

Graphics and Words by Caitlin Chuah

As a teenager, I always dreamt of going to university. I couldn’t wait to be on my own, being independent and enjoying university life. I thought high school would never end, but surprisingly, it ended a lot faster than I expected. Pretty soon I was knee-deep in lectures and assignments, leaving me pretty overwhelmed. Here are some tips that I wished I had known before beginning my higher education.

1. Don’t take it for granted

Skipping lectures, doing assignments last minute, too many nights out…are just some of the rookie mistakes that many students make. Don’t take the opportunity to pursue a higher education for granted. Take your university life seriously, be excited at the chance to learn new subjects, to make new connections and to achieve great things. Work hard for yourself, to unlock your full potential and to open as many career opportunities for yourself in the future.


2. Develop a work-life balance

Tip number one was for the party people, now let me speak to MY people, the perfectionists, the easily-stressed and studious ones. You need to relax! University life is not all about studying and getting a 4.0 GPA. It is also about the experiences you can gain from it, and that includes your recreation. Ensure that you set time aside for having fun and relaxation, to prevent you from burnout.

One good way to do so is by joining clubs and societies, where you can meet students with similar interests. Push yourself to make friends, have nights out and explore the city. Create memories that you can smile back on in 20 years’ time. As long as you do it in moderation, you will still be able to achieve great results academically.

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3. The small things matter

When I say small things, I mean: sleeping early, eating healthy, getting enough physical activity, managing your time, keeping your room tidy…I know I probably sound like your mom right now, but you need to take care of yourself and your living space so that your physical and mental health are kept in check.

Do not underestimate the power of these small things, as they can be what makes a difference in having a good or bad university life. By maintaining these healthy habits, you will stay ahead of the crowd, as well as feel more secure and stable during stressful times, such as exam season.

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4. Learn how to budget

In university, you probably will be given an allowance, or a salary if you are working, free to spend on what you want as you wish. For students who manage their money well, university is the beginning of collecting capital and creating life savings. However, for many others, it is a time of developing destructive spending habits, leading them into a life of unruly financial management.

To prevent this, come up with a budget, create a target of how much you want to save each month and year. However, keep your targets reasonable, do not become hyper-obsessed and allow money to control your life and emotions. By learning how to manage your savings, you will be more equipped to handle “adult-life” once you finish your studies.

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5. Make many connections

My mom always tells me that she met her best friends of today at university, and I’ve heard the same from many other adults. For many, university is the place where they meet their lifelong friends. Make it a priority to meet as many new people as possible and to create a multitude of friendships. If you’re naturally a bit shy and making friends might be challenge, then there are options such as school forums where you can chat with fellow students online. Then, once you’re more comfortable, you can meet up with your new friends in real life.

Other than making friends, get to know your lecturers, as they are usually experienced and well-known in their fields, which may come in handy for you in the future! It never hurts to know people 😉.

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Now that you are equipped with the top 5 tips to lead an awesome university life, you are more than ready to enter the next chapter of your life! If you have any questions regarding university applications, or simply need some guidance choosing a course and/or university, feel free to contact us, we are more than delighted to create a smooth transition to university life for you.

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