University may seem full of assignments, lectures and study groups; and while that is often the case, the social side of Uni is where all the fun is. If you want to make the most of your time and help shape the experience that leads to so many life-long friendships and memories; these University tips can seriously help you out.
Make the Most of Free Stuff
Let’s face it, University is a serious financial investment. But if you play your cards right and make the most of student discounts, incentives and free trials; you’d be amazed how much you can save.
From movie tickets, phone plans to big-name brands; there are some serious reductions in price offered to students not just at University, but TAFE too. Some companies offer 60% off or even more to students, so make sure you keep an eye on your favourite brands to see how much you can save.
If you’re not sure, then just ask, most places offer student discounts or deals. Signing up to websites like Student Edge or myunidays.com.au can allow you to access hundreds of discounts online or in-store
Want to get away for a while? There’s plenty of travel and flight discounts too, so start searching and keep an eye on all the money you start to save every week.
When people say, University is ‘the greatest years of your life’, they aren’t joking. This crucial ‘pre-responsibilities’ stage allows you to enjoy the relaxed nature of University before you start full-time work, so making the most of it is the key to success.
Making friendships that can last a lifetime and shaping memories that’ll have you laughing and reminiscing for years to come are part of the experience and the best way to get these is to get involved.
In Australia, Universities have hundreds of clubs and associations that cover virtually every area of interest; sports, politics, religion, recreation, gaming, socialising and cultural clubs are seen everywhere, so check out your university website to see what you can join to start meeting like-minded people.
Student unions are also a great resource and can be seen at every University.
Joining them can open up a huge variety of social events, including balls, galas and parties galore. not only are these extremely worthwhile in terms of extending your social circle, but many also give you the opportunity to mingle with professionals in the industry you’re looking at entering, and networking can make a world of difference when it comes to finding a graduate job.
It may seem daunting at first, but there really isn’t any time like your University years to get involved and put yourself out there. Guaranteed you’ll be on your way to meeting new people and extending that social circle in no time.
Preparation is King
This cannot be stressed enough; University success = preparation.
Being a full-time Uni student can be costly, both in terms of time and money. It may not seem like it at first; with fewer contact hours than high school, but factoring in assignments, group meetups and studying does add up. If you want to save your time the best you can and maximise your reward time watching Netflix or going to parties; then prepare yourself for both the week and semester ahead.
Procrastination is the biggest cause of failure when it comes to assignments. Preparing your schedule and doing what you can to avoid this is one of the best things you can do. This is especially the case when you find yourself taking part in one of the many group projects found at University.
Creating a schedule and knowing the time you need to study, meet with others to put an assignment together is one of the best habits you can get into. With so many online collaboration tools available such as Google Docs and Slack, there’s always a way of staying on top of your growing list of things to do and keep that HD result in sights.
Start Saving; It’ll Pay Off in the Long Run
The spending cycle is one many students’ find themselves in over the course of their studies, especially when it comes to food. The reason why it’s so easy to lose track on the amount and frequency that you spend is because of the seemingly random hours Uni life brings.
Spontaneous late night study sessions or painfully early morning lectures that are over by lunch make planning meals difficult and make the need to bring food from home seem unnecessary.
Even if you put a couple of snacks in your bag the night before, it’ll pay off in the long run and you won’t find yourself searching for the nearest MacDonald’s when you get hungry. Another very valuable tip, always bring a bottle of water with you.
Every University is bound to have drinking taps to refill, but when you get thirsty, saving the extra couple of bucks a day buying a drink saves up a lot.
If you, like 99% fo the student population have a caffeine addiction, then instead of sacrificing your morning barista -made coffee, try to invest in a cafe that has a loyalty card, so at least you get a free one every once in a while. It’s also worth asking yourself whether the caramel shot in your latte that costs an extra dollar is really worth it.
Travel for Free
This is one of the greatest perks of University life; Scholarships. They may seem difficult to apply for and not worth the time, but trust me, they definitely are. Just about every University in Australia offers overseas experiences, study tours and exchange programs, many of which have attached scholarships that can virtually pay for the entire trip.
Even if it’s just a few thousand dollars, a university scholarship can certainly make the difference between a good overseas trip and a great one. Spend the time researching your options and what’s available to you, not only do these look amazing on a resume and help you gain international exposure; but the experiences you’ll have along your journey will be with you forever.
Many of these overseas ventures offer networking, industry workshops and mentoring programs included which can help shape you into an international expert in your field of study, a very beneficial skill set to have in the emerging global-focused business world.
An overseas program can also give you the chance to develop your language skills, which is always a great skill to have and an awesome addition to your resume.
Make the Most of University Support Services and Resources
Many Universities offer a range of services and resources to students either free of charge or at a discounted price. Services can be for health and wellbeing, welfare and financial assistance, diversity programs, religious support and academic assistance.
Some even offer free programs such as ‘quit smoking’ or health checks for travellers and if you need counselling services, then these are often readily available on campus or sometimes even online.
Many Universities also have their own health clinics, where health checks or services can be free or bulk billed at a cheaper price for students. Financial and legal assistance is also a great resource to use, especially if your Universiy finances are starting to get the best of you.
University is very much an independent experience, with you and you alone being responsible for keeping up to date with assignments and understanding the content of lectures. If you feel like you’re falling behind however, then University academic support services are for you.
These can come in the form of student mentors, tutors or even online resources to help you wrap your head around areas that you may find difficult, no matter what you’re studying.
There’s always plenty of programs, workshops and study sessions to help you out with common areas of difficulty, such as statistics, report writing, referencing or even exam preparation.
The investment Australian students make to go to University can definitely pay off in the long run in terms of career opportunities, but the time spent at University can be as hard as it is exciting. Knowing what’s available to you and understanding the hacks that can help ease the University experience are definitely key to getting the most out of this rewarding and unforgettable time in your life.