I’ve completed my Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Auckland and often times first year university students get overwhelmed with the assignments, exams, fast paced environment and a lack of support. What you put in at uni is what you’re going to get out. If you invest time in relationships and your network you’ll get out of it potential job offers and long-term friendships, if you invest your time to just study you may get high grades but not grow in your interpersonal skills, so balance is the key. I know people who have just studied, never met new people, never really took hold of opportunities and today have a limited network and a crap job. Anyways, back to stress. Students get stressed because they let university get to their heads because they have no capacity to handle pressure. I recommend you to embrace hardship and let it become your new normal and as a result your capacity will increase and growth takes place

Set your mind

An average student will endure 3-4 years of lectures. I think we get too caught up with the pressure of attending that we quickly forget the reasons why we’re there. Are you studying for the sake of it or are you actually wanting to study because you want knowledge? I know MBA students who work at petrol stations and they are not satisfied, because they did it for the wrong reasons. Why are you studying what you’re studying? Are you passionate about it? Are you going to stick to your degree rather than changing every 6 months and increasing your debt? Book knowledge is good but life knowledge is crucial and to a certain extent university gives you wider perspective of people and different experiences. Set your mind to have a purpose.

Expand your network

Meet people. Develop professional connections and get on LinkedIn. Who you hang around with at uni matters, I’m glad I always studied with people who were smarter than me and helped me along the way. I stress this because your friends have differing perspectives on study material and collaborating your notes and ideas create a room for growth. The average student pays about $18-20k over a couple of years educating themselves, that price includes access to lecturers, tutors and unfortunately most students I know haven’t even bothered to get access to this kinda stuff. There’s no reason to shy away from tutors and lecturers that you pay for – they get a very good salary,  use these resources to its full capacity.

Learn your learning style

Don’t study anything unless it excites you. What do you want to do with your time at University? Are you enjoying what you’re studying? Or is it just pure stress and unnecessary pressure? There’s no right way to study. You have to find your rhythm quickly, if it’s visual, use visual aids, If it’s listening to someone teach, maybe listen to a recorded lecture and record yourself saying out the material, whatever way you learn, dominate it and become a master of your technique. Even before going to university you should really consider and check the way you learn best. I know of engineering students who never went to lectures, but still passed with flying colours.

University is not life. The best way to succeed at university is to ask questions, organise yourself, make a plan what you want to do, take breaks, sleep and don’t put off assignments. Keep on top of things so you don’t have to deal with the pressure. Think of university as just a season of your educational life. Never stop educating yourself as knowledge is power. If you don’t like what you’re doing, do something about it!