10 Things I Learned in my Freshman Year of University.

Happy Monday. Today, I have been very nostalgic, coming towards the end of my first university degree. I have been thinking about all the tips and tricks that I have learned over the years that have made my university life more manageable. It seems like every year in your degree; it gets a bit easier because you learn more and develop better strategies to succeed. So, here is a list of strategies and tips that I have learned throughout my degree. 

  1. Work-Life Balance:

University can be some of your best years. It is important to balance school, work, and your personal life equally. Do things you enjoy, and don’t feel guilty about it. University is exactly what you make it. Of course, focus on your classes, but don’t forget about yourself and your needs. It is also important to do this to maintain a healthy mindset.

  1. Communication:

The number of people I have met in my years of university has helped me grow as a student, and a person is incredible. There are so many opportunities to make long-lasting connections and relationships. It is also essential to communicate to authorities, such as professors, teaching assistants, and advisors. They are there to support you and are can sometimes help you achieve great things in your degree and after your degree. 

  1. Time-Management:

Time-Management is one of the most important skills that I have improved on over my degree. I have many strategies that I have adapted into my day-to-day life, even outside of school. However, I have many strategies as a student that I learned over the past few years. Check out my blog post on my 6 Best Time-Management Tips for Students:


  1. Utilize Resources:

Universities have so many resources available for students that are not freely available for the public, such as the library, supports, and local information. The library is one of my favourite resources because it has so many free articles to read. It also has many resources on academic policies and expectations.

  1. Speak Up:

Speak up in class. In my first year of university, I never really talked or put my input into class, but I really felt like I got the most out of class when I started participating. I was also scared to speak in class because I didn’t think that I was smart enough to have an opinion when, in reality, some people found my comments really helpful. 

  1. Utilize Weekends:

Weekends are usually when students take time off a party, hang out with friends, or just relax. I prefer to spend my weekends doing all of my homework for the week so that when I am tired of doing weeknights, I can just sit down and watch movies. I can go out for dinner with friends or do other activities I would rather do instead of spending weeknights studying. 

  1. Alone Time:

Make sure to take time for yourself. There is so much going on in the university, especially living in the dorms. It is important to take time for yourself and have some alone time. Some time to meditate and focus on yourself.

  1. Dorm Life:

I never lived in the dorms, but I spent a lot of time there. I regret not spending one semester in the dorms. You can meet amazing people, and it can be some of the best memories of your life. Although sometimes it can be stressful meeting new people and putting up with a roommate, you will create amazing memories.

  1. Schedule for You:

Schedule your classes around what classes you want to take. I have talked to so many people who have taken classes specifically because their friends are in the class. The majority of the time, they end up hating the class and wanting to transfer.

  1. The Struggle is Real:

It is okay to be struggling. Everyone at university is going through a stressful first year of university, and everyone has different circumstances that impact their education. It is okay to admit that you are struggling and ask for help. It is normal. I did. I had tutors, bad grades, and mental breakdowns. However, it is doable if you focus on it and yourself.

I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the weather warming up. 

-Caitlin ❤

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

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