How To Make The Most Of Your University Experience

How To Make The Most Of Your University Experience

University is one of the greatest times of your life, as many would have told you, and many more are yet to tell you. Those of us who sit there scratching our heads trying to come up with a title for an essay due in 4 hours would be thinking quite the opposite….fair point, been there.

While stress writing reports, barely practiced speeches and submitting half proof-read assignments are all memorable parts of uni life, there are actually ways for one to thoroughly enjoy the 3, 4 or God forbid 5+ years of their degree(s), and here is just how to do it…

1. Join a group

Whether or not you walk into uni day 1 with a million friends, university is the greatest place to make some more! It is true that some of the closest friends you make are during your days here on campus. That doesn’t mean you need to leave your current mates in a ditch, just get them involved too. Nor do you need to be a social butterfly and become besties with everyone you meet. University offers plenty of options suited to your interests, such as sport teams, clubs, and societies like BSoc that offer events such as meet-ups, parties, bar crawls and networking. You just need to find the one or few that you like and dive right in! There’s no need to be worried or nervous, as many people join these groups with the same hopes as you and succeed. 

Groups and societies allow you to participate in something you’re passionate about, have a good time and meet like-minded people at the same time – what’s not to love? Whether you’re a first year or further along your degree, O’day is the opportunity to walk around and browse (collect freebies) of all the different clubs on offer. Otherwise you can have a look at the UTS Clubs website for all the official ones at UTS.

2. Make mistakes

Nobody is perfect, and I cannot stress that enough. Many people go through university with the aim to score that perfect HD or land themselves the best job possible at the end, which is great! However, it is also really important to remember and understand that not everybody is a superstar at academics, and that they may have other priorities. So if or when you fail an exam, miss a due date, stuff up a speech, ruin a lab or any other method of making mistakes, RELAX. It is all part of the whole shebang, and nothing to dwell on. The worst that can happen is that you have to try harder for your next assessment, or even repeat a subject – it ain’t life or death.

If you put huge stress on your performance during your degree, there’s no time to enjoy anything else. Plus, you’ll find that your nerves and mental health become more affected, which is never a positive. University is all about finding out your potential, your limits and becoming the person you want to be. Everyone deals with making mistakes differently, just make sure your way is healthy for you, and those around you. Trust me, you will be built into a stronger, more resilient and focused person from making simple mistakes. In the end, we’re all human.

3. Take your time

People tend to forget that our university days are very limited. Think about it, we only have 22 weeks of actual university a year….out of 52! I get that most students want to pump out their uni degrees and move onwards into the world and their dream jobs, but what happens when you’re out? Will you regret being so rushed? Or regret not fully immersing yourself? You don’t want to be one of those people who stands there and wishes they took it all in; enjoyed being young, enjoyed having flexibility with their time and their pathways.

Sure, it’s a rather dull outlook on things, but I’m here to tell you how to make the most of uni, not how to Speedy Gonzales your way outta here. Don’t be the first one to rush out of a lecture, or ditch the library if you can’t find a free table! Take the time to walk the grounds of uni, go places you don’t have classes in! Who knows, you might even find your fav coffee spot? Chat to people along the way, people you’ve met in classes or group projects. These little things will take time out of your day yes, but when you switch the tussle on your graduation cap and walk off the stage a graduate, you will be entirely satisfied with all you’ve done. So take your damn time.

4. Use the resources

Sometimes it can all get overwhelming. 

“Where is student services? What is the DAB building? How the hell do I reference in Harvard?” 

We have all been there, and currently live there each uni day. However, believe it or not UTS does provide some tools and services that act as a mini-saviour in these situations. There are plenty (and I mean plenty) of online and in-person resources to use for free that could help put a bounce back in your step. For some reason, we love to complain about uni not giving us any help, but maybe the fact is nobody knows its there… Hence why it’s included here. No one should have to do it tough and try and push through a degree when they have no clue whats happening or how to do it properly. 

Some of the services provided by UTS include counselling, career support, general support, ID replacement, timetable help, special considerations, financial assistance, referencing guides, article and reference databases, assignment help, book borrowing, and many more.

Just imagine about how much effort could be saved by all of us if we actually had a clue about what we could use when we need the help. These tools are truly underrated and could be the winning key to a smoother uni experience, as you have more time to focus on the better and fun things rather than be stressed. Take a look here.

5. Attendance…

If you haven’t already rolled your eyes at these suggestions, you definitely just did. Yes, we all agree that attendance is a bit of an elephant in the room here at UTS. There is certainly a theme of attending as little lectures as you can and only to the number of tutes necessary, with the rate of attendance rapidly decreasing from first year to second and beyond. But hear me out….

First of all, you are completing a degree. In order to complete that degree you should probably learn the content, because it will benefit you in assignments, in quizzes, and more importantly in the job you are aiming for. The best way to ensure this is actually turning up to class and listening. Crazy!

Secondly, uni isn’t free! While some of us are lucky to chuck it on the HECS until we can afford to pay it off, other’s are paying upfront to attend and participate. The point is, we will all be paying no matter what. Is there any point in paying for something you don’t attend? Thats like paying for a holiday you don’t want to go on, or paying for Spotify premium (student discount maybe?) when you dislike music…..what’s the point?

Now I’m no scientist, but I would have to say that the best way to make the most out of your degree, and future would be to attend your classes. Plus, you get to see all your mates and meet  even more people simply by turning up.

And there you have it, a guide to a balanced and awesome university experience. Whether you choose to take in one or all of the above suggestions, you will surely benefit from it and make the most out of your time here at university.

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