Tips to thrive while studying at university

Dark blue banner with university students sitting around a white table having a discussion.

Are you starting university this year? Your first year can be stressful, from figuring out your course load, to moving out of home (if you’re relocating) and adjusting to campus life. This article features some tips and tricks to ensure that you thrive in your first year and onwards.

Explore your campus – both in-person and online

Many universities have O-Weeks (Orientation Weeks) for new and returning students. This is an opportunity to explore the campus and ensure you’ve located all your classrooms, the library, and any other important buildings. Depending on your university there may also be in-person tours – the library tour is especially important, so you know how to find physical resources and access short term loans. 

More and more universities are also doing online orientations to make sure you can access email, online resources, and student information. Often these resources are available before the term officially starts, so you can explore ahead of time.

Take care of yourself

It’s important that you take care of yourself as you start studying, make sure to eat and drink healthily and take breaks. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – studying can be challenging. ReachOut and headspace both have a range of resources to support your mental and emotional health.

Organisation and budgeting

If you’re moving away from home – whether that’s staying on campus or renting, make sure to organise everything you’ll need such as sorting out bills or buying textbooks well in advance.

Many shops and business also give discounts to students – this varies depending on your university and where you’re studying so keep your eyes peeled. Read this article from the University of South Queensland to help you budget while studying. MoneySmart also has some general advice for students in this article.

Networking and making friends

University is where a lot of people make lifelong friends – make sure to connect with your classmates and join a social or activity club. The clubs available will depend on the university and its focus but there are generally journalism/media clubs, technology clubs, fitness clubs and more.

Making use of student resources

Universities often provide a range of student resources, from academic and career advice to library resources and more. Make sure to engage with your lecturers and ask questions.

Study tips

There are a few basic items you’ll need to ensure you get the best out of studying, other than a computer. A notebook, pens, a folder for papers, a water bottle and a bag are all necessities.

You don’t need to study 24/7 but you do need to study consistently. Figure out a system that works for you and don’t procrastinate. Maybe this means studying every second day or in the mornings or every weekend.

You can also use techniques such as the pomodoro method, flashcards, and/or studying in a group of friends or classmates. Read this article on study tips from Victoria University.

Correct at time of publication.