The Do’s and Don’ts of University

Saturday, 25 May 2019

The emotional roller coaster commonly known as University can be the ride of a lifetime but can also feel like a never-ending plummet of stress, anxiety and mental breakdowns. If you feel like your student life is a total mess, I’m here to tell you that everything you’re experiencing right now is completely normal. But every now and then, we may need a little counselling on what to DO and what NOT DO in university. I hope you find these tips helpful in not only surviving university, but thriving through it!

The DO’s

1) Write down your schedule on a calendar

With 5 courses in full swing, it may be difficult keeping track of your schedule, especially when assignment deadlines overlap with exam days. I found that managing my time was more doable when I had a visual presentation of my school week.

If you don’t already, I would highly recommend spending a couple of minutes looking through your course syllabi and transcribing it onto an agenda or laptop calendar.

2) Step out of your comfort zone and make friends

Whether you are a commuter or a campus resident, heading into university alone is pretty intimidating – especially for an introvert (like me)! But undergoing the sweat and tears that university may bring is much more bearable with a friend by your side!

So next time you sit down in class, try complimenting the person beside you. You’ll never know if a simple “hello” could be the start of a lifetime friendship! 

3) Self-care

Yes, I know – easier said than done. It’s no doubt that the challenges of university, along with the struggles in our daily lives, can get in the way of taking care of yourself. When I was a student, I was so obsessed with being ahead in my readings that I would let homework take over my life.

But here’s the thing: school minus self-care can eventually take a toll on your health, resulting in major stress and burnout. With that being said, balance is key, and self-care is crucial for your mental health.

So, take 10 minutes out of your day to just breathe, eat healthy and mindfully, and be active. Get A LOT of sleep, and don’t forget to spend time with people you love. Lastly, figure out what therapeutically re-energises you, and make time for it! Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and you will never regret taking care of both your mind and body.

The DON’Ts

1) Pursue a career solely on what society thinks is “right”

One thing I want to set straight is that this life is YOURS. Don’t fear what people will think if you choose to chase after your dreams, no matter how out-of-the-ordinary it is. I also speak for those who feel the need to put aside their own dreams just to live out their parents’ dreams.

Pursuing something that is less of your passion will lead to an unhappy, unfulfilled life and your happiness should always come first. We only have one life, and it’s too short to regret missing out on the “what-ifs”! 

2) Procrastinate

Pretty self-explanatory. But somehow, we end up pulling all-nighters to study for an exam the next day.
Here’s a tip that will help you avoid procrastination: Create a study schedule two weeks before any exam (ex. I will study 1-2 topics a day). In addition, if you are studying topics back-to-back, make sure the content within those topics are different, as it’s easier to mix up similar content.

3) Don’t wish for university to be over

If there was one thing I would change about my university experience, it would be to 1) stop over thinking about the future and 2) embrace the present moment before it’s gone.

University is one of the best times of your life! Sooner or later, you’ll be in the “real world”, stressed out at work, wishing you still had the freedom of a student. Therefore, make the most of the time you have left as a student, and just have fun!

To sum it up, university may not be at all what you expected. You will have days where you feel on top of the world, while other days feel like hell. But you know what? It’s normal, and it’s okay. Your grades don’t need to be perfect, your path to success doesn’t need to be perfect, and YOU don’t need to be perfect. Just remember to breathe, accept the uncertainty, and take it one day at a time.

By Ruffa Sison

Ruffa is a lifestyle blogger based in Vancouver, Canada. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree and currently works as a pediatric & mental health nurse whilst fostering two extraordinary little toddlers. Along with her love for everything-matcha and exploring the world, Ruffa enjoys sharing her personal experiences in hopes to spread positivity and light, and ultimately help others reach their full potential. 

You can follow her adventures on Instagram @ruffaa_sun


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