Getting used to the university life can be an extraordinary change in the lives of many first-year students after their high school life. During your first year at the university sometimes will be great, sometimes will be stressed. The sudden change about your lecture, education materials, and your environment might intimidate or worry you. Especially if you are an international student abroad because you’ll probably miss your family alongside all of these challenges. But in my perspective, What I learned and experienced in my first year of university was that they were completely normal. I realized this feeling after I saw my other first year friend’s situation and experiences. The important things about my first year at the university was learning good habits and making good friends which put me into good shape for my university life and for my future career.
Throughout this blog article, I will be sharing the 3 most common difficulties based on my experiences as well as those of my friend’s first year. Hopefully, you will have obtained some useful and helpful insight from a current University of Pécs senior student.
Planning your studies
As a first-year student it can be difficult getting used to the university environment and system. For example, I am thinking about my first weeks at university in which I was stuck inside a no-exit loop. I did not know how or where to start to my university life as a new student. However, I was aware that I must get rid of this loop and start studying to my lectures. After spending a few hours on google I had found a lot of useful information and found several words of advice of people who had been stuck in the same situation before. But there was one advice which was a game changer, and I am still thankful today to have come across it. This advice was about a web application called Notion (notion.so).
When I looked deeply at this web application, I really liked it because of my Computer Science major, and it was completely lifesaver for me about finishing that no-exit loop with planning my semester day by day. In a short, if you have a problem about planning your studies or do not know how to do start to your studies as a first-year student, this web application will help you to organize everything and follow your progress as an online calendar and to-do application.
Stress management and adapting to the university life as a foreign student
University life moves quickly, and you will have to adapt yourself to this environment. This might be easy, or it might be hard. I know that university life is stressful because of the importance of good grades and high GPAs but despite what many students believe, joining extracurricular activities on campus doesn’t necessarily take you away from these obligations and responsibilities. University clubs, student groups and volunteer tasks might seem like a distraction activity, but they’re totally necessary and useful for many people. They prevent you from going crazy every night in the depths of your study desk and books, they prevent you from feeling overdosed from high levels of stress and help to decrease it.
They also force you to get organized and be efficient, and they can teach you important things about your current major and future career. Even more important that all these things, they give you a community and a network; a group of people who will support you in your time of need.
Finding the balance between personal life, social life and studies
Finding the balance between personal life, social life and studies can be a right move but on the other hand it can be a difficult challenge for students. Therefore, here is some useful advice about keeping balance between personal life, social life and studies.
1. Find your priorities: Finding priorities is crucial and necessary at university. By focusing on priorities, you will be able to plan your time effectively. Be sure to prioritize those tasks that are of the highest value to you, but have in mind that priorities constantly change. Last but not least, do not forget that getting an education is the number one reason you are in university.
2. Get rid of distractions: We know how hard it is for us to avoid distractions. We are living in the era of technology and there are too many of them. One of the best ways that I can tell you are how to avoid distractions is to turn off all electronic devices while you are studying and be a completely offline person. You can always check all your notifications end of your study.
3. Have a healthy and well-balanced social life: You do not have to spend all your time behind books because there is more to being a young student. Connecting with other people is important because you need to unwind and be unstressed from time to time. To develop healthy personality, you need to socialize with others. An active social life gives you a time to relax and have fun but be sure to not lose the balance between your academic education and partying because it will surely cause some serious issues about your academic performance.
4. Sleep well enough: Due to an overload of activities and assignments we do not get enough sleep. Frankly, this is one of the bad habits of being students but if you do not get enough sleep, your brain will not function normally. You will become more forgetful, and lack of sleep can negatively affect your academic performance. Therefore, to study better try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep.
Before I finish my words, I would like to remind you that we all had a first-year experience either good ones or bad ones, but the important thing is that knowing the value and uniqueness of that first-year from every perspective. I hope my advices help you about to keep motivated on your first year. What we always say, sharing is caring and knowledge is beautiful as it is shared.
See you on next blog!
Written by Nedim Can Ulusoy
International Student Ambassador from Turkey
Computer Science BSc
University of Pécs, Faculty of Sciences
Study in Pécs, Hungary - Turkish portal