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Student top tips for getting involved

Who best to tell you all about getting involved at university than students themselves! Paddy offers six top tips.
students with their faces painted
© Alex Holland at the University of York

Getting involved at university is important. Your university years can be some of the best years of your life. Here are my top tips to make sure your university experience is fulfilling, rewarding and most of all, fun!

Embrace learning

This may sound like stating the obvious, but we students tend to forget the importance of learning during our university year. This is especially true in the midst of managing deadlines and trying to moderate our daily coffee intake. Engaging in the classroom is key to building skills in communication – say hello to the people around you whilst you wait for your class to start! Be brave and ask questions in a seminar. Listen out for opportunities to get involved or help out in your department in some way.

Having fun builds new friendships

Having fun at university is just as important as getting good grades. It’s also an important way to de-stress, unwind and relax. One of the best things about university is that it puts you in contact with so many new people. This provides a great opportunity to learn from each other and share experiences. It’ll make you a more rounded person and equip you with the skills needed to work with all kinds of people in the outside world. This course outlines many of the ways you can meet new people and ensure you make the most of the opportunities available.

Own your student journey

Life at University gives you the opportunity to be yourself. Universities are inclusive, diverse environments and there is no pressure for anyone to conform to any particular norms at university. If anything, university is a journey of self-discovery. It can be a bit bumpy, with many highs and lows that will encourage you to develop and get to know yourself. Socialising and learning will help you build resilience and motivation.

Look after your health

Whilst your time at university may turn out to be the best years of your life, it is not unusual to struggle at times. Stress and pressure exerted by your work, finances or more personal issues can be difficult to manage. Universities have a large number of trained professionals on hand to offer help; being as proactive as possible in receiving help is vitally important.

Keeping a healthy mind at university can be improved by maintaining a healthy body. Making sure you manage at least three meals a day and keep up a healthy diet (rather than living off a variety of takeaways) whilst remembering to drink a lot of water can be a boost to your system.

Likewise, regular exercise provides structure to your week and the endorphins released by exercise actively improve your mental state. Universities often have fantastic sports facilities and joining a sports team or even committing to a regular exercise class is a great way of making new friends.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Leaving home for the first time, university can be a big lifestyle change and students sometimes have problems settling in. A lot of students underestimate the different pressures and stresses that they might experience during university time. So it’s important to be kind to yourself and ask for help when you begin to think you might need it.

Check your university emails!

Students receive many emails, but a lot of these contain vital information that can help you along your student journey. Opportunities to socialise, learn and earn money will arrive in your inbox several times a week so it pays to allocate 20 minutes a day to go through them and sort them out. If you are a current student at the University of York, you are encouraged to find out about all the great tips our IT services have put together to help you make the most of your university’s Gmail account .

Over to you

What is the best learning-related ‘top tip’ someone ever gave you? Do you have any learning-related top tips to share?

We look forward to reading these in the comments below

© University of York
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Pathways to Success: Making the Most of Your Time at University

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