Looking for advice about to help you succeed and thrive at university? You're definitely in the right place.
When I decided to go to university to study Law after being out of school for 8 years since college. I had people telling me that I won't be able to do it. It will be hard they said, why bother putting yourself through that they said, this fuel my determination. It also woke me to the fact that those people were definitely judging me by their standards, or lack thereof.
Continue reading to learn how I prove them all wrong. I warn you now, my advice may be offensive and hard to hear or read, but again so is the truth.
These are the advice to give to students who aspire to be successful at university.
This post is all about student advice UK for academic success.
7. Loose the 'Herd Mentality'
Unless you have a twin, you weren't born to shine together with anyone else. You need to distinguish yourself from amongst the crowd. This means the people in your class, even in your friendship groups.
Your teachers need to know your name. Get over you shyness, introduce yourself (alone) to ALL of your professors. Wait till class is finish or go to their office and introduce yourself.
Stand on you own two feet and craft a separate identity from your friends. Its your time to shine.
Say My Name
If you have a long or hard to pronounce name, then shorten it or ask your professor to call you something else, that's easy to say. You DO NOT want your professor to be referring to you as a friend of your friend. E.g. Sara's friend, or David's Friend.
6. Don't share your marks (grades) with your friends or Classmates
Peer pressure is still a thing, even when your an adult. Remember, life as an adult really isn't that different to life on the playground. People are still as petty and jealous. Do not tell your friends (or any classmate) your exact grades.
This was a mistake I made and it honestly changed the way some of my friends/ other classmates interacted with me. Maybe they though I was bragging or just being honest for transparency. Nevertheless, they actually asked me what mark I got and I wasn't shy about revealing it. If they outright as you to tell them. Politely declined, or just say you want to keep it private. You do not want to know their marks either to make it fair and also to protect your self-confidence.
Remember, you all cannot be marked together academically (even when doing group activities). You still get marked individually and their marks is none of your business.
People (even your friends who are suppose to love and support you), do not want to know that you're doing better than them. They can suspect you are or guess you are. But to know for a fact is a harder pill to swallow.
Ask yourself, if your friends was getting higher marks and doing better than you in a class- would you want to know?. For me- hell no! Take this student advice with a grain of salt as there are genuine friends out there who supports you aiming as high as you can- but they are rare.
5. Don't make yourself less so that others feel like more
If this doesn't make sense to you, then congratulations- you have surrounded yourself with true supportive friends. Yay you! However, if it does, then you have surrounded yourself with 'judases' and 'losers'. The second your spotlight hit near there's- they feel threatened and they will come for you.
When we were a kid these traits was easier to identify because a child would tell you to your face they don't want to be your friend anymore. However, as an adult, people just find a settler way of stabbing you in the back (metaphorically), but you don't need me to tell you that, or maybe you do.
Do you want to be academically successful?, if so then you have to push yourself to do more than what's expected of you. Raised your hand in class, ask thought provoking questions. Your classmates will talk and gossip behind your back- pay them no attention. They are 'losers', this means they will be losing out on all the wonderful things you bring to the table and having someone as awesome as you in their lives.
Truth is- you're better off without them! Ask yourself, do you really want to be mates with someone who would talk crap about you behind your back or would be afraid of you 'outshining' them?. For me- again-hell no!
4. Stay away from TO-DO list- its a motivation killer and a Procrastination Enabler
Using these are a waste of time, even making these are a waste of time. When was the last time you got through everything on your TO-DO List- for me= NEVER!
You're just setting yourself up for failure. Work from a calendar instead, use google calender or the calender app on your iPhone to plan it out.
It's more realistic and you have a better chance of actually getting things completed, when you can visually see how much time you have left in a day. What you need to be doing and when and more importantly, how much time you have to get the task done.
3. Look out for Number 1. Sage Student Advice-You need some TLC first
It's not selfish to want to spend some time by yourself. At uni, you'll be pull in all different directions.
- From your nagging parent, complaining they haven't' seen you since the day they dropped you off at uni or only when you come home to do laundry or ask for money.
- To the friends you made in and outside of your course, nagging you to go out and party or hang with them to blow your student finance money before the term has even finished.
- The professors who will pick on you in class if it looks like your not participating or engaging with the material. Let me give you some student advice- raise your hand more often to ask them questions and they won't pick on you because you're actively interacting with them.
- To your girlfriend/ or boyfriend, demanding more of your time.
- From your employer (if you work), requesting that you work faster and that the customer that annoys you is always right.
- To the social group you joined in freshers week, nagging you to actually show up to one of their gatherings for once or leave the club.
You can't catch a break! but you need to. That where the TLC comes in. Take a break, go for a walk, run, play your video game for an hour, watch a movie, go cinemas (by yourself). Do something that is just for you to enjoy alone and protect your peace.
2. Snap out of your Mediocrity
As a student, you will have a lot of free time on your hands outside of lectures and seminars, but don't be fooled. Your workload will take up a lot of your time and after a while (usually after the first week or two of starting uni), you may start to procrastinate. Trust me I've been there, everyone has.
Whether you're spending your perceived 'free time' going out with your friends or binge watching a new Netflix series, you could be using your time more productively and in a helpful way. For example, making a start on writing your essays and doing your required reading for your classes. This will get you ahead and reduce your stress because you came prepared, there is no better feeling as a student that knowing your staying onto of your workload other than getting a First in your classes.
To do this your must set S.M.A.R.T Goals for yourself. Always study smarter, not harder.
"There is no faster route to mediocrity than procrastination. This is your wake up call mate". ― Netflix Series
1. Never aim for less than a First Class mark
I had a friend that did this, it drove me crazy. I know not everyone was a go getter like me but she was making up all these excuses of why she believed she couldn’t get it. Like “I’m not as smart as you” or “it’s only brainy people that get a first” and on and on the excuse mill span. (Spoiler alert: she didn’t get a First because she believed she couldn’t), there’s nothing wrong with a 2:1, its still a good mark, but if you can- aim for a First and make life a little easier on your future self.
BTW- getting a First is no automatic guarantee for a great job or make you a better candidate over a student who got a 2:1. The true is more people graduate with a 2:1, than a First.
No matter how hard you try, you're never going to get through doing all of your required reading for your lectures and seminars (if you want to have a life outside uni and studying that is). So, don't be afraid to take shortcuts:
- use 'Concentrate Books' that summaries everything you need to know about your topics to get a better understanding of it.
- Look through past papers of people who has done research on your course and done the work before, or better yet
- go talk to someone in the year above you who have done it before (literally last year so its fresh in their minds) to get tips, trick and to get a head start.
Remember, study smarter not harder.
I will leave you with the below quote that chilled my very bones when I was at uni, feeling overwhelmed and in desperate need of some student advice. When your at the end of your tether and feel like giving up, please remember the below quote from the Entrepreneur of the World Famous Ford Motor Cars.
“Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right.”― Henry Ford”
You've got this!