11 Ways to Make the Most of Your University Education

Mike Vardy

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Whether you are on a taught undergraduate degree or you are studying an MBA online, the outcome that you want to achieve is the same. You want to complete your studies while gaining as much academic experience as possible. Your degree or postgraduate studies may be a stepping stone onto a greater career.

University days should be some of the best times in your life, however, you will want to make the most of them. That means being proactive in your learning and maximizing your productivity while you are able to.

In this article, we will look at how you can make the most of your time in university education.

Be Proactive with Your Learning

When you’re in a university, nobody is going to spoon-feed you information. It isn’t like school where you will sit and listen to the teacher and only have to learn what is on the curriculum. In university, you will be expected to do all of the learning off your own back.

For this reason, you will need to be proactive with your learning. Use your time wisely and spend as much of your spare time reading books that are either from your reading lists or recommended as further reading.

Create a reading schedule. Set yourself time each day to read at least a little bit on every subject that you are studying.

Determine Your Priorities Early On

It is essential that you determine your priorities at the start of your course. Work out what you want to achieve from your degree and then you can work at trying to achieve this.

For example, some people will want to achieve the highest grade possible, while others will see university as an opportunity to gain experience and build up a network of connections.

Wherever the goal you are trying to achieve, the earlier you understand what it is that you want to get out of your course, the more chance you will have of focusing your attention on what matters the most to you.

Capitalize on the Strengths of Your Peers

When working on projects with other students, don’t be afraid to capitalize on their strengths while playing to your own. Your university studies should not be about competing with each other, instead, they should be about complimenting each other and working collaboratively.

University offers great opportunities to learn to work well with others. Make sure that you play up other people’s skills and benefits.

Learning Happens Everywhere

In schools, education happens in the classroom. However, by the time you reach the university level, you should be learning wherever you are. Your studies should take place in the lecture theater, the learning resource center, online, at home, on the train, and anywhere else you can work. By joining a club or society, you will be enhancing your learning too.

Give Feedback

Don’t be shy in giving feedback to course leaders. Your feedback would be what is needed to improve the course for future learners. If something works or doesn’t work on your course, let your lecturers know. Without your feedback, they may never find out.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

University life can be hard. At times you will have an enormous workload and you need to ensure that you can handle anything that you take on. If you are struggling though, there is support for you. Head to your university’s student union or student support department.

If you feel homesick or that you are burnt out, you should get in touch with the university’s health and well-being department.

Mental health issues are particularly prominent among students and it is important that you feel able to speak up about them. As a society, we are becoming increasingly more accepting of mental health conditions and we’re gradually starting to show more of an understanding as a society. And so it follows that there is more-and-more support being offered and provided on university campuses.

There is nothing to be ashamed about in admitting that you are struggling. Reach out and ask for help. Everyone needs a hand from time-to-time. Taking care of both your physical and emotional health is essential. With the right support, you could be back on track for academic success before you know it.

Make Use of Your Network

Many of the people that you meet when you are studying will eventually go on to become market leaders and experts in their fields. Although your peers may just be students right now, they are the next generation of business successes and you should understand that your professional networking should start with getting to know your fellow students now.

There are plenty of networking opportunities throughout your time in university which should be seized upon. Everywhere you turn there is a chance to network with someone that could become a major player in your sector a few years from now. Make sure they remember who you are. Take advantage of these chances to talk whether it be in the university bar, the corridor, the cafe, or after your lecture.

Make sure that you meet as many people as you can and follow up with them. You may need to step outside of your comfort zone in order to do this, but this is how opportunities come to life.

Find a Mentor

When you start your course, you will be assigned a personal tutor. You may not have a connection with this person, however, there may be other lecturers in the faculty that you do have a stronger connection with.

It may seem intimidating to ask one of these other tutors to become your mentor, however, it is really not that difficult. If you are lucky and find the right person, you will find that you will have support from them for many years to come- even after you have finished your studies.

Take the Opportunity to Try New Things

You may never have a time like this again in your life. There will be opportunities for you to join societies and clubs that will provide you with an enhanced experience. Take part in extracurricular activities and build your confidence and strength along the way.

Take Care of Yourself

Studying is hard work. There are no two-ways about it. It is vital that you take good care of yourself. To do this, you should always ensure you are getting enough sleep. Eight hours each night will mean that you will have the mental prowess to thrive in your studies. Make sure that you are eating well. A good balanced diet will give you the energy you need to do the work that you need to. Finally, exercise plenty. This will help you to deal with stress.

Study Abroad

One of the ways to get the most diverse educational experience is to gain first-hand insight into a foreign university system. There may be an opportunity for you to study for part or all of your degree in another country.

Wanderlust comes to many people, but if you have the opportunity to go and see the world and to study while you’re doing so, then you should give serious thought to this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Of course, studying abroad isn’t just about getting the opportunity to jet off on a glorified holiday, you could gain insightful experience with an international internship, learn to speak a new language, or take a course in a foreign university. All of these will enhance your resume and get you ready for the jobs market while opening you up to international work opportunities.

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I'm Mike Vardy, better known as The Productivityist, and my goal is to offer ideas, insights, and information that will help you craft your time better and become more personally productive.

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