#1 Get your priorities straight
Here at Student-Helpr, we love to party as much as the next student fraternity. But learning to know your limits early on is an important way to make the most out of your first year at university.
By all means meet people, party and try out the local beers - just don’t stay up all night dancing if you should be working on your latest research paper.
The best way to uncover what you need to prioritise in your life is to write out a list of the things that you have to do. Rank each task in importance and set deadlines. If you prioritise your studies early on and do small bits of work over a longer period of time, there should still be time to have fun.
It could also be useful to set yourself some life goals. What do you hope to accomplish? What is most important to you? This way you can work out the steps you need to take to get there and let go of the tasks that are less relevant to your overall life goals.
Learn to balance out your time properly between work and fun - this will guarantee you success in your studies AND your social life.
Your time at university is the perfect opportunity to get talking to the right people and start networking.
Spend time mixing with fellow students, attend networking events and make strong connections with your professors. One of our recommendations is Venture Café, which organises events every Thursday. There, you can always meet new people, your potential employer or just expand your network. Check their agenda on the website, we are sure you will find the perfect event to attend.
Building a strong professional network early on will be invaluable when you leave the university bubble and start looking for work in your chosen career path. After all, the whole point of studying is to develop yourself and then go on to enter the job market.
For more on how to network, follow our tips here.
#3 Join a student association
The best way to meet new people and make friends that will last a lifetime? Join a student association.
All universities in the Netherlands have student’s associations which organise meet-ups, events and games to bring together people from different backgrounds.
These associations are run for and by students. They each have their own character and values, so go ahead and attend events to get a feel for whether you would like to join.
If your dutch isn’t good enough to get involved with the Dutch student associations, don’t worry. Dutch universities also have a number of associations with an international focus.
Join these to meet like-minded students from all around the world - it wouldn’t harm to have a sofa to sleep on next time you travel to Sri Lanka, Russia or South Africa.
The details of these student associations can be easily found on your university's website.
#4 Study right
You’re heading to a bunch of buildings filled with students, computers and books, so there’s no surprise that you’re going to spend a lot of time studying over the next few years.
But just like everything else in life, there’s a right way to study - and ways that are less effective.
To ensure you are studying effectively, it’s time to get organised. Planning ahead is key. Map out the free time that you have over the course of each week and figure out what and when you plan to study.
Set targets and goals so that you know what should be completed by when, and try your best to stay on track with these.
While it can be tempting to focus on the subjects that come easily to you, try and complete the work you have to do for more difficult assignments or modules first.
Spend more time on these and you will reap the rewards in the long run. Plus, those easy topics will feel like a treat after you finish up the tricky ones.
#5 Be kind to yourself
In between all that socialising and studying, remember to take time for yourself. If you’re studying all day, make sure that you are taking frequent breaks every hour or so.
Give yourself the occasional night off from studying and hanging out with friends to give yourself some time to unwind and reset. This could be anything from doing your favourite hobby to simply lying in bed and binge-watching Netflix.
Sometimes it’s necessary to allow your body and mind to relax so that you can approach student life feeling fresh the next day. Otherwise, you run the risk of doing too much and burning the candle at both ends.
Follow the five tips above and we’re sure that you’ll get your student career off to the right start.