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Published on August 2nd, 2018 | by Jones


Your “starting first-year” checklist

A student’s first year of university is both daunting and exciting. The only thing you’re expecting is mountains of stress, tons of work and, somehow, socialising in between it all. But there’s a lot to look forward to as a first-year student.

This is the year where you make new life-long friends, discover your academic passions, develop an ambition towards your future career, earn independence and figure out who you are and want to be. With all of that aside, the fact of the matter is that you’re here to study and learn, and there are a few things you can do beforehand to prepare you for that main aspect of your student life.


A suitable bag


Throughout the course of your first year, you’ll probably go through a couple of bags. Textbooks are heavy and some days have all your subjects while other days are short. Not to mention that you need your notepads, lunch, water bottle, portable charger and other essential electronics with you as well.

You need to make sure that the bag you take with you is not only big enough to carry everything you need but strong enough not to break on you within the first few days. You also need to remember that you’ll be carrying this bag and its contents all over campus… you might want to invest in a rolling bag. Just a thought.


Get comfortable with your student details


When you register with your university, you will be given a student ID card, student number, student email address and login details for the university’s online student platform. As soon as you have these details, you need to start getting comfortable with them.

Memorise your student number and make sure you have a safe place to keep your student card because you’ll need it for everything. That is your new identity for the next few years that you’re completing your course or degree and, without it, the university can’t help you.

Also, without the proof of your student identification, you won’t be able to get any student discounts. And before you think your good with money, the “student life budget” is a real thing and something that every student will experience at some point or another.


Get to know your surroundings


Something else you need to get comfortable with is your surroundings. Before your year starts, it would be highly beneficial for your attendance record to know where everything is. It will take a while to truly get to know your surroundings but do yourself the favour of studying a map, marking off where your classes are and studying the fastest routes that will get you there.

Make sure you know where is the best place to park in the morning that’s both safe, free and close to your main lectures. Know how much traffic there is on the way to campus in the mornings and how long it takes to walk from one end of the campus to the other. The more campus knowledge you can


Stock up on supplies and choose your “notepad”


Then, obviously, you will need to stock up on the essential student supplies. Pens, highlighters, pencils and whichever other stationery items get you excited about studying (we all have that one colour pen that we absolutely must have).

And then you need to decide on your “notepad” of choice. These days, many students choose to attend their lectures and type their notes directly onto their laptops. Now, if you don’t have a laptop, consider looking at affordable laptops for sale. If you do have a laptop but it’s crammed with personal files and takes a century to switch on, you need to look at the laptop deals available and find a “for student things only” laptop that you can use.


Set your priorities


Starting your first year of university can be overwhelming. You’ll try new things and meet crazy (in a good way) people. Because of that, it’s important that you set your priorities before you start your year.

It’s easy to go with the flow and follow what everyone else is doing, but that can be potentially harmful in terms of your academic career. If there’s a party that everyone is going, you aren’t going to want to say “no” when asked on the spot.

You can schedule in some good times while you’re studying but set rules for yourself. For example, don’t attend any social events until you’ve completed your work for the day or week. Another handy rule to set is a curfew and drink-limit for evenings where you have an eight o’clock lecture the next morning or test the following day.

By setting your priorities straight before you start the first-year experience, you’re making it easier to say no and rather be responsible because you’ve already made this commitment. And that’s something your fellow students can respect.

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