I will tell you 12 things I wish I knew before studying. These are really great if you are about to start your studies. Try to apply them and y0u won’t do my mistakes.
1) You will lose many friends in Uni
You might get scared or worried when reading this, but it is actually a very natural thing. Just believe me when I say, it is a good thing when that happens. Because you won’t lose your best friends for ever (or however you call them), if they truly are what they say. But before going to Uni, you might know a lot of people, you may have a lot of friends, but those friends, will either turn their backs on you or they will just find their own path in life, that is different to yours. The former might be because you now have to spend a lot of time studying and reading and preparing for classes. It’s also possible that they get jealous because you find new friends in Uni and hang out a lot more with them, as you have the same schedule and/or interests. Or, they could get good opportunities at work where they have to move to another place. There are so many reasons and the truth is, that with most people you know, one or another can come true. So don’t be sad if it happens, just embrace the new possibilities and maybe one day your paths will cross again in the future.
In other words, you will only lose friends that weren’t meant to be in your life forever.
2) Save money, before and while studying
I was able to work 2 whole years before starting with school. I knew that I wanted to go study soon so I tried to save as much money as possible. In good months I put aside around 60 – 70% of what I was earning. That was a good amount of money. (Read more about why you can benefit from a gap year before studying.) That was possible because I was living at home and not paying many bills, but I still had a car, gas, phone and transportation costs to pay. So I made a budget of what I was going to spend each month, and what I was able to put aside. I tried to stick to than plan as good as possible, still rewarding myself every now and then with a good meal at my favorite restaurant or with cute shoes or clothes etc. I am still profiting from it, because I am able to go traveling or just afford a good night out if I want to. Don’t be too sad if your bank account is empty after your studies. This is also totally normal and it will fill up fast anyway, starting your job after Uni.
3) You will enjoy studying
Okay, not every time and certainly not for every course. But I know for sure, that there will be some courses that you will enjoy studying and reading for. After all, it was you and your interests that made you decide to do your specific study course. As a result, there will be many topics that entertain you. Studying and reading will get a lot easier and you might even catch yourself looking forward to reading about a certain topic, go to class or write an essay about it. Furthermore, you will get a pro at that topic and your excellent marks will be the icing on the top.
4) Time management will be your best friend
No one can get through Uni without a good planning and a good time management. Maybe at the beginning, you will struggle a little with it, but soon you will figure out what works best for you. (Click here to find my best organization tips for every student.) And when you get really organized, everything will be a lot easier at Uni. You won’t forget any deadlines anymore nor to start studying soon enough for an exam. This will improve your marks and also be way better for your nerves. You won’t get around time management so might as well just start doing it at the beginning. Pro tip: Make studying a part of your daily routine. I like to get it over with in the mornings, when my brain is still at its sharpest. Afterwards you already feel live you’ve accomplished something important that day and won’t feel as bad if you only binge watch your favorite series for the rest of the day, lol.
5) You will save a lot of time by preparing for your classes and participating
Another very important tip of the things I wish I knew before studying was to prepare my classes. I never liked to prepare my classes because I didn’t see any benefit from it. I was going to hear about it anyway, so why should I be spending time on reading it beforehand? Boy was I wrong. There were classes that I liked going to and those were mostly the ones I was prepared for. Whenever I had the readings done before the classes, I wouldn’t be bored in class because I knew what he was talking about and I could actually ask questions and reflect on everything the professor said. I had no idea I was doubling the benefits from that class. On one hand, I didn’t have to do the readings before the exam anymore and on the other, when studying for the exam, I felt like I learned everything much quicker, as I had already gained a basic knowledge. This is something that I learned very late in my studies and I still regret not doing it from the beginning. I will start my Bachelors Degree in International Business Administration, and I know that I will use this tip ab initio.
6) Make time for your hobbies
Not only that, but also make time for long breaks doing whatever you just feel like doing that moment. You won’t keep your sanity, if you don’t. Studying constantly, being trapped in your room and not going out, or feeding your soul with fun things, won’t get you that far. You will feel less and less motivated and that is not the point of your student life. You should be enjoying it and while a lot of studying is just a natural part of it, you have to make sure to not lose yourself in the process. Reward yourself with fun evenings out with your friends or with a long run to free your mind.
BTW: I know a lot of people struggle with not having too many hobbies and not doing too many breaks, but that is a whole other point. If you are one of them, let me know if I should do a blogpost about how to stay focused and not get distracted too much.
7) Being social doesn’t mean sacrificing a lot of time
I am a very social person and I like being around people and meeting new friends. But when I am studying, I would rather miss a really good event everyone is going to, than to feel like I didn’t invest enough time in studying. I feel like I can meet them another day or attend the next event. But every now and then it is incredibly important to go out and have a nice girls night out or chill the whole sunday and watch netflix series with your friends. It is balm for the soul. If you can’t afford to lose time going out and hanging out with your friends because you have a big exam ahead, just invite your classmate. Plan a nice sleepover and study together. Cooking and talking to each other will be a lot of fun and will help you feel like you have a normal life and friends, haha.
8) All nighters shouldn’t really be an option
Change the strategy, wake up early in the mornings and just do it. Study what you have to study, read what you have to read, summarize what you need to summarize. Just start and get it over with. You are never better off studying the whole night, losing sleep and getting crazy at that big workload you still have ahead. They just decrease your ability of retaining bunch of information and you just won’t feel good the following day, right? Why do you even do it, then? Try changing your strategy and sticking to it.
9) Study smarter not harder
I have a whole blogpost about this very important point. If you want to read 10 tips on how to study smart click here. Just a quick and brief summary: By having a good strategy of how to tackle your tasks you will save a lot of time and nerves. Studying hard is not a bad thing. Not at all. But if you study smarter you don’t have to study hard, and who like to do extra work, when it’s not necessary. Not me and most of you won’t either, am I right? So try using my 10 tips on how to study smart. They have helped a lot of friends and readers.
10) Notebooks should always be within reach
Here is another tip on how to save a lot of time. Having notebooks around you all the time, means that you can write down everything you read or hear. If you take notes while reading a book being in class or hearing a podcast, you will retain more information. (Pro tip: Use a blue pen. Studies showed that our brain can withhold information much easier, which was written in a blue color.) This gets a habit after doing it a few times. You will unconsciously start taking notes whenever you hear or read something that might be of importance for your exams.
11) Sleep. A LOT.
I know that we all think we are invincible and that sleep is for the weak. But many don’t take in consideration that our brain is doing a lot of work while studying. It does consume all our energy and without any sleep, new information won’t stay in your head. You might do the work twice or three times even, and still feel like you aren’t prepared for your exam. Any good student that has high marks tries to sleep every night around 8 hours. Listen to your body. There might be days where you feel like 9 hours are necessary and there will be days where you feel perfectly fine and fit after only 7 hours of sleep. Just make sure you don’t sleep less than 7 hours. Your marks will improve, only because you sleep more. This is amazing!!
12) Fill your refrigerator with healthy food
Try to have healthy food in your refrigerator all the time. Even if it means to go to the grocery store once or twice per week. It will be easier anyway because you wont have to carry home a lot at once. If you don’t buy fresh food and fruits and salads and only eat food that you can throw into the oven without doing anything to it, you will feel that you get a lot more tired, because your body will take a lot of you energy away while processing the very condensed and really processed food. By eating fresh things and light food, you will feel a lot more energized and not too sluggish. I get a whole lot more done when I eat a salad with tomatoes, tuna, egg and carrots with a piece of bread than if I eat a lasagne to throw into the oven. (I mostly have to sleep half an hour after doing that, because I get REALLY tired.)
These were my 12 things I wish I knew before studying
I hope it was somewhat helpful for you! There were my 12 things I wish I knew before studying. Do you have one to add? Please let me know in the comments: What is something you learned in Uni? From which tip did you benefit the most?
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