Making the Most of Your Time at University

University is a really exciting time. It’s a time where you get to learn loads of new things and meet some great people. There are loads of opportunities available to students whilst at university, so it’s important that you’re looking out for them and take advantage of them whilst you’re studying.

I’ve put together my list of tips to make the most of your time at university:

#1 – Don’t skip class!

Once you start university, you soon start to realise how much more freedom and independence you have in comparison to being at school, it then becomes very tempting to skip a few classes! But, my advice is you should try to miss as few classes as possible. Firstly, you are paying for every class you have at university through your tuition fees, so you want to make sure you get the most out of your money. Secondly, missing a class or lecture could mean you miss an opportunity or information that is really valuable. It also makes it more likely that you’ll fall behind the rest of the class.

For students studying fashion design, it can be very tempting to skip classes when you feel you haven’t got enough coursework to show your tutor. You may tell yourself that you’ll just skip this one class so that you can catch up. However, this is usually a bad idea as you end up falling more behind! It’s much better to go to class with the little work that you have done and get feedback on it, and also ask for help if you are struggling. And remember it’s quality over quantity :).

#2 – Join a club

If your university has clubs or societies to join, join one! Have a look if there are any that interest you, they are usually a great place to meet new people that aren’t on your course and learn new things. There may even be opportunities to start a new club or society if you so wish!

Budget

#3 – Budget wisely

Student loans don’t tend to stretch that far. After paying your rent (if you’re not living at home) you don’t have a lot of money to play with. Try making a weekly or monthly budget, and make sure you stick to it.

This tip is especially important for fashion design students. As well as paying for the normal student stuff, and having enough money for any leisure activities. You’ll also need to leave quite a big chunk of your budget to buy fabrics and pay for printing. You’ll want to have enough money so that you can buy good quality fabrics for your final garments. But try not to spend too much money on fabrics in the first year as you’ll want to be saving money for your final collection in third-year.

#4 – Take advantage of your university’s resources

There are loads of resources available to university students from universities, you just have to keep a look out for them. Some resources include career advice, business start-up advice, essay writing help and financial advice. If you’re interested in finding out what resources your university offers, ask your course leader or another member of staff.

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#5 – Get involved

Universities also offer some volunteering opportunities for their students, as well as paid roles. Ask about becoming a student rep, helping out at open days or at any other events. Sometimes these roles will be voluntary, but these can also be paid roles for students.

#6 – Student discounts

Being a student is one of the few times in life when you get discounts and freebies! Take advantage of this and make sure you know about all the best student deals. Some great student discount membership organisations are NUS and Unidays. Amazon Prime also has a great student deal.

New York

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

#7 – Work placements, internships & study abroad

Some universities and courses also offer opportunities for students to do work placements or internships whilst studying. It’s a really great idea to do as many internships or work placements whilst studying as possible as it allows you to make contacts for when you graduate and are looking for work. If your course doesn’t allow you time to take up a placement during the term, you could also look for summer student internships.

Your university may even offer opportunities for you to study a term or a year of your class abroad, in destinations such as Europe, Canada, Austrailia, Asia and the USA. This is a great opportunity to grab if you’ve always wanted to experience life in a different country. Talk to you course leader about these opportunities in your first year.

#8 – Don’t be afraid to ask for help

My final tip is to never be afraid to ask for help. Don’t let opportunities pass you by just because you didn’t ask. University is a time to learn, explore and make mistakes, if you need help, there will definitely be someone at your university willing and able to help you out :).

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