9 tips for surviving your first year at university

After taking a vocational test, deciding what career to study and where to study, comes the moment of truth. You finally get into the university of your dreams and start making steps to your future career success.

The first year of studies is both a long-awaited and dreaded moment. You have probably been told a lot of things about it, both good and bad. The truth is that now it is your turn to live this experience.

You must have a lot of doubts, anxiety, uncertainty, and mixed emotions. That’s why we give you some tips so that you can adapt as quickly as possible and enjoy this new and exciting stage.

Here are 9 tips for surviving the first year of university:

1. Don’t worry if you have any doubts!

During the first year, you will constantly evaluate everything, and you will ask yourself if you are in the right career. It has happened to all of us. These doubts serve to reaffirm what you are interested in. Try little by little to evacuate them by consulting with professors, classmates, and even professionals in the area that you know so that you will be more at ease with your decision little by little.

2. Be very attentive to your classmates, see with whom you share interests and which ones you identify with the most.

Starting to form a group at university will help you adapt to academic life. You can find good study partners for exam time and, in turn, some great friends.

  1. Be constant and persevering with the goals you set for yourself before you start your studies.

Be attentive to the subjects that interest you most, make contacts with your professors and show genuine interest. In the future, it can open many doors for your professional life.

4. The first few days are critical!

Introductions and presentations are made, and the assessment systems and subject syllabuses are explained. It is essential, even if you don’t take roll call, to attend class.

University life is not school, many issues require extra explanation, and it is always good to understand how the lecturers give the subjects in class, as that is how you will take them in the exams. By attending classes, you will have less to study later.

5. Try to have good grades and be attentive in class.

If you are a bit distracted and find it difficult to follow the class, photocopy notes from classmates who you know have them complete. Keeping up to date with what you have seen in class will save you a lot of time when studying.

6. Organize your time!

Use the calendar on your phone or, if you feel more comfortable, a physical diary/notebook to plan your study time as well as your recreation and sports time. At least in the beginning until you get used to this new stage.

Take our advice: have a calendar with timetables, classes, and subjects to organize a straightforward routine in which you can visualize your times. As you are not used to your new routine, you might miss things and forget something important, but having it visible in a physical or virtual schedule will help you memorize and not miss any important event.

  1. Get involved in activities offered by the university, whether they are academic, sporting, recreational, or even religious (if you are interested).

It’s always good to meet new people and expand your network of contacts. Who knows if one of them will end up helping you in your student or professional life. They can also recommend you some useful resources to prepare for the lessons properly or save time (for example, they can recommend using sites like to save time searching for the necessary research materials).

8. In class, ask questions about anything you don’t understand and try to participate.

There are two benefits: you get your doubts out of the way (in addition to the fact that you really understand the subject) and make a good impression on the teachers. However, be careful; extremes are never good! Don’t become the class bully.

9. Give the same amount of effort to every subject, even the least favorite ones.

Last but not least, as you know, you won’t like every subject or topic in your degree. Our advice is: don’t give up and put the same will and effort into them like everyone else. You never know when you will need that knowledge in your professional life.

To sum up, here is an extra piece of advice. In terms of materials for the first days of class, a notebook and a pen will be fine unless you are told otherwise. On the first day of each subject, there is usually an explanation of what you will do, the form of evaluation, and the course. Your notebook, pen and mobile phone should be enough for you.

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