Growing up, I’ve always enjoyed those “my university experience” articles because I thought they might give me some insight into “the real deal”. To some extent, it was true, but I felt like I had to write down my experience as well.
I’ve done 1 and a half year of university face-to-face and the other 1 and a half year online, so I’ve seen how both systems actually work. So, here are some things I’ve learned along the way and some tips and tricks as well.
1. Don’t skip classes, apart from the times when you’re not feeling well
After the rigorous schedule, we had in high school (if you miss one class, the teacher will mark you as “absent” and too many of these will be awful long-term), the university seems to be heavenly: attendance is not mandatory for some university lectures!
Yay, more free time! Wrong. Just because attendance isn’t mandatory doesn’t mean that the lecture is useless. If you’re attending lectures, it will be easier to study when you’ll have a midterm or the final exam.
A lot of people miss every single one of those lectures, and then they are very confused during finals time. So try attending them, because you have exams to take.
2. Try starting your university assignments long before the deadline
This is a tough one and, to be honest with you, it’s still difficult to follow through. But when I did this, my future self thanked me. By procrastinating and leaving everything last-minute, you might feel anxious and stressed out.
Everything will seem to be out of control. Try planning everything in order to be up to date with everything university-wise, so you won’t feel like jumping off a cliff.
3. Travelling and culture are important
As saddening as this is, this can’t be entirely achieved during these times. But, for the future, when this pandemic ends, I have a piece of advice: travel as much as possible during these years!
If you’re studying abroad, visit everything: from museums and theatres to exhibitions and monuments. Expose yourself to culture and new things. Broaden your horizons and open your mind!
So what should you do during the pandemic? While we can’t travel and most things are closed, there are many online tours with places from all around the world! I know this doesn’t really replace the experience you had while actually visiting the place, but the good side is that you’ll learn new things about them, and when it comes to some of them, it feels like you’re actually there!
4. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer!
During our university years, we have many opportunities for volunteering. So make use of them! Not only will you gain experience from various points of view, such as leadership, project management, teamwork, etc., but you will also make new friends. This has helped me a lot during these years.
I became more sociable, I pushed myself to be better, I stepped outside my comfort zone many times and I met amazing people that shaped me into the human being I am today! Moreover, I learned a lot of new things and I discovered new passions I want to fulfill in the future.
There are many other things I’ve learned along the way, but these are the main ones, in my opinion. Try enjoying this experience as much as you can, because you have so much time on your hands! This is when you learn new things and shape your personality.
I know that it is difficult to enjoy it during this pandemic, but it is not impossible. There are various online tours and various ways through which you can connect with your friends and play some games or watch a movie. I know it’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing!