As with anything, hindsight is a great way to look back on your own experiences and impart some useful advice to others that might be going through the same thing. Which is exactly what these students on Reddit are doing, sharing tales of their university days and offering up things they wish they’d known while they were studying.
1.’Make the most of organising your own schedule’
“Go to class and take advantage of all the things your uni has to offer such as clubs, sports, etc. It’s an absolutely incredible opportunity – you’ll never have as much opportunity to dictate how you spend your time again (gym, work, dinner/errands take up 90% of my time now).”
2.’Look after your mental health’
“Your mental health is important and the idea of the depressed, struggling college student being the norm is unhealthy. Take care of yourself first and college can be enjoyable. Take advantage of any counseling services your college provides. You’re already paying for it!”
3.’When it comes to revision, reading and understanding is more important than cramming’
“[When you’re revising, focus on reading and understanding, not just cramming as much of the book in as quick as possible. Studying was completely useless for me sometimes because I didn’t actually take in any of the information. Study groups are a great opportunity to explain concepts and stuff to the other members – and you know what they say, the easiest way to tell if you get it is if you can teach it.”
4.’Don’t buy your books from the university – you can get them cheaper online’
“Don’t buy the books on the university’s bookstore. Find them on another store, or even search them online. Scribd is a good source if you need to look for a single chapter or a sample. Or use Textbook Spyder; they compare the cost to buy or rent new and used books across a collection of textbook sellers.”
5.’Go to lectures – and sit at the front’
“From personal experience: sit as close to the front as you can, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. This is ESPECIALLY important in larger lecture halls. There will be fewer distractions from other students, you’ll always be able to see/hear clearly, and more likely than not the professor will notice and you’ll get (unofficial) brownie points.”
6.’Socialising is almost as important as studying’
“[I wish I’d known to] make the most of the social opportunities. I only started to put an effort into joining clubs when I had almost finished college and wish I had done it earlier/in my first year, because the connections I made through these clubs, in the end, did help get me my first internship. It’s just as important as academics; I don’t mean party every weekend, but do try to make friends/connections.”
7. ‘Quality revision is better than quantity of revision’
“When studying for exams, you don’t need to learn the entirety of the course you are in. Identify key knowledge (which is usually emphasised in the course outline or can be determined from past exams) and focus on that. If you try remember everything, you will end up knowing less.”
And with that, consider yourself informed.
This article first appeared in Cosmopolitan.com/uk.