What should you prioritise during your time at university?

Hint: grades aren’t everything (despite what your parents said)

If you went through your years at university focused entirely on your assignments and studies, you would be sorely missing out. The time that you spend at uni should be about so much more than your favourite corner of the library. It is the time to work out who you want to be, and make a start towards becoming that person.

Get involved

Joining societies and getting involved with projects on campus is a way to branch out and discover new things so that you can narrow down. Whether you are pretty sure or absolutely clueless about what you want to do when you finally “grow up”, university is the perfect place to test out what it is that really motivates and interests you and to build up the skills to dazzle prospective employers.

There is unlikely to be another time in your life when so many activities and opportunities are right there within arm’s reach so take chances and use new experiences to learn about yourself.

Form healthy habits

For a lot of people university will be the time when you leave the nest and have to learn how to look after yourself for the first time. This can be as simple as finally learning the hard lesson that bathrooms do not wash themselves, or something more complex, like finding the right balanced diet for your body and learning how to cook. University is a half-way house between “teenagerdom” and being an adult. Prioritise learning about what you need, and work on making sure you are meeting those needs.  Finding a responsible schedule to balance work and play; and figuring out the difference between a positive and negative relationship are key.

Sports clubs and facilities at university offer a chance to try out a wide range of exercise options and find something that really works for you as an individual. Even if you hated PE classes at school and shudder at the thought of running, there will be something that takes your fancy.

Plan for the future

It is easy to get caught up in the day to day life of counting down to the weekend, but taking the time to step back and look at the big picture of where you are headed is crucial. Universities offer career counselling and support with finding internships or part time work to get you started. It is also a great environment to begin networking, or talking to people who are experts in their professions ask them about their fields and potential career paths you could take in your area of interest.

Try to attend career fairs and listen to guest speakers connected to what you might want to do after university, or who just spark your interest. The more options you have explored, the more likely you are to be confident in the next step you take.

Basically – memorising everything you need to know for your exams and slaving away over assignments, alone in the library, will give you good grades, but is unlikely to fully prepare you for life if you don’t venture out beyond the academics and swot up on the most important subject for your life: you.

What do you think you should prioritise during your time at university? Tell us below.

Photo: winnifredxoxo / Flickr

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