Top 10 Things You Should Do in Your First Year of University

New school, new rules. Everyone starts university with a clean slate, however there are many things that every student wishes they knew when they were in their first year. Here are the top ten things a student should know about “university life”:

Don’t miss an Important Date

You don’t want to miss your last day to pay your tuition, or miss the last day you are able to switch your class schedule around. Every university publishes their own calendars with important dates, so be sure to ask Student Services for a copy. University calendars can also be found online on your university website.

Is there a computer lab in my building?

Getting familiar with your university campus is a must: Get to know where your classes are located and find those handy, hidden study nooks, as sometimes it gets tough when exam period comes along and you can’t find a quiet study area on campus. Every university has its hidden gems; you just need to look around to find them.

Free Money!

Do you know that most students are not aware of the different scholarships that nearly every university offers? Getting a scholarship is a way to access free money. Applications are always available to everyone, and make sure you apply for them before their deadline.

Attend the first week of class and all your classes

It’s always a good idea to attend class on your first week of every semester, even though it may be a shorter class than your usual three hour lecture. Professors will highlight important dates and assignments, as well as address any question you have about the course, exams, and assignments. It also goes without saying that you should never miss any class if you can help it; you don’t want to fall behind and besides, learning is fun!

Purchasing Books

The best time to purchase books is after your first lecture of every course. Make sure you get a copy of the book that is required in the course. There are some situations where professors may not use any books, so you should never purchase them  in advance. With today’s technology, you can now purchase e-books, which are less expensive than hard copies. If you can’t use e-books, you can also save a lot of money buying used books. There are many copies of used books available and in good condition; check out bulletin boards where students often post used books, or local used book shops.

Helping Hand

Is Math not your strength? English? Universities do offer aid in these areas and others to improve your grades. Most universities offer free services to assist students, so take advantage of them. Whether you’re an ‘A’ student or a ‘D’ student, there’s always room for improvement. Also, professors or teaching assistants can lend a helping hand. Take advantage of their time; ask any questions if you don’t understand something in the lecture.

Schedule yourself

An agenda or calendar is a must in university student life. Make sure to schedule yourself some studying time, and write down every important date, such as assignment due dates, exam dates, project meetings, etc. Plan ahead on your course work.

Take notes, notes, and more notes!

Note taking is essential. Pay close attention to your professors. While taking notes, listen to anything that the professor repeats,  and/or emphasize and write down examples to help you study later.

Read like your life depends on it

Make a habit of doing the readings every week. Leaving it to the last minute will be tough on you. You don’t want to be stuck reading all 15 chapters one day before the exam.


Get to know the people around you. Introduce yourself to your classmates and professors. This is the time in life to really enjoy school and make friends and networking is a key ingredient to university life that has a huge payout in the future. It’s always helpful to have someone in your lecture that can help you in the course when you miss a class, or miss a point in the lecture. In addition, they are a potential contact for the future when you graduate.