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How To Survive University

Monday, 23 February 2015

Those of you in University in NZ are most likely starting some time in the next few weeks. I've seen a lot of first year design students walking around town with their stationary and it takes me back to two years ago when I decided to buy my first A1 folder on the windiest and slightly rainiest day of Feburary... That was a mistake. My uni goes back today so I thought I'd share some of my tips for starting back after that long four month break.

Talk to people
Talk to everyone; the tutors, your classmates, that student in the library who looks your age. If you don't like talking to new people get used to it, knowing people more than just sharing eye contact once in a while is going to get you through uni. I struggled in my first year to talk to people but I tried my best and it does land you with a lot of acquaintances who don't mind sitting with you in class which is great! If you're a first year try asking them where they're from in the country, what their major is, what their other classes are. It gives you a jumping off point and it may lead you to having a few classes together.

Listen to your tutors, but don't ignore your opinions
I've made the mistake a number of times of listening and doing everything my tutor tells me and ignoring my judgment and most of the time it hasn't gone well. I find it's awesome to get feedback from your tutors and whilst they do know best sometimes it's not best for your work. Trust your instinct, if you don't think making the type bright pink will work for you then don't do it, but do try it out first!

Do your readings and find more 
Or at least skim read them. It may be personal to me but I've always gotten better grades on essays when I've actually looked at the readings. Uni students are lazy I know but they're set readings for a reason they will help, plus you have to quote them most of the time so it's great to have the best quote, not just the first one you see. Also go to the library and find non compulsory readings on your topic, it's a bit more work but it'll pay off in the end when you get an A.

Be healthy 
Try and plan your meals and buy food for those meals rather than buying a load of chips and frozen chicken nuggets to get you through. Make use of fruit and veg markets. Also for handin week or exam week, whichever you may have, maybe call home for some meals to be sent to you to reheat and eat. If all else fails drink lots of water with your energy drinks and microwave pies. 

Don't skip class
I know a few people including myself once or twice who have skipped a class (mainly lectures) because they'd much rather do something else, like sleep or homework for another class. But it pays to go to every class, lecture and discussion classes as you're paying for it and there might be important information that's never repeated and is compulsory to pass. It's worth it okay, just promise you'll go? 

So long holidays I'll miss you terribly but bring on third year! I certainly will be doing some of these more this year!