6 things I wish I knew before my first year of university

Written by Cao Thao Uyen Nguyen

For most people, the university experience is a new and exciting chapter in their lives, like it was for me. I’ve learned a lot of new things since commencing my Media and Communication course, some of which seem incredibly strange. As a third-year student, when I take a look back on my first-year misadventures, there are certain things I wish someone had the heart to tell me at that time. Here are six nuggets of wisdom I wish I knew before I started university.

1/ Do not be afraid to ask.

Academic advisors and professors may seem scary, but they are there to help you. They enjoy supporting your efforts and want you to succeed. I know it can be tough to ask for help, but you are never alone in asking. So don’t be afraid to ask for help or just to get to know your professors and tutors better outside of the classroom. Asking for help is not only makes a big difference in your grades but also helps in your job hunt.

2/ Study hard to maintain your GPA.

The higher your GPA, the more appealing you will be to employers in the future. This is under your control, so don’t slack off during your first year. Try to stay organized and be aware of your course load. Remember to study hard, come to class, build relationships with your professors and maintain good grades, you will not regret it.

3/ Expand your friendship circle.

Getting to know new people might be one of the best things you could do in your university years. It is time to meet other people and be exposed to different perspectives. Chatting with your classmates or participating in a student’s organization to have a chance to build a new relationship. Orientation week is also the best place to strike up a conversation with many icebreaker activities. There are lots of opportunities to make friends and you owe it to yourself to take them.

4/ Plan ahead.

Another tip is to ensure you have your subjects planned for the entire year before enrolling. University is what you make of it so your routine can be completely customized to suit you and where you are at in your life. Take advantage of this and plan ahead, developing a routine that works for you to make sure everything always runs smoothly. It is also important to keep track of deadlines and get started on tasks early so you don’t get blindsided later.

5/ Start thinking about what you want to do in the future.

Imagine graduating not having considered what to do with your career at all; it’s like starting a full minutes after the starting pistol. The sooner you think about your career path, the better position you will be to leverage your knowledge to get in a career position when you graduate. University gives you an opportunity to take the time to explore what you want to do and prepare for your future career. So do not leave it to your final year, you will waste three years studying, networking and job opportunities. During your run at university, try to apply as many different internships and positions as you possibly can.

6/ Learn from people in the industry that you want to work in.

When you know what industry you want to work in, you can ask for advice from the professional in that field in your network. Generally, people like to give advice to students, so take advantage of that and meet as many people as possible. Going to a networking event or attending a professional’s presentation,reach out to these people to learn from them and figure out how to get your dream job.

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