Being a student is exciting and challenging at the same time. During your 4-year degree, you will go through many fun and struggles, which you will have more depending on you. Therefore, I collected some tips and advice from graduating students, alumni, and professors that will help you to get the best out of your student years and get prepared for adult life!
The first tip is to find your learning style. Some students prefer to study in groups, while others prefer individual work. Some feel the most productive in the morning, while others wake at noon and can function only after 2 p.m. Some students perceive information r auditory, others only visually. The preferred learning environment is also different for everybody varying from a quiet library to a somewhat loud café. Everyone’s learning style is unique and has its pros and cons. You need to find what fits the best for you and master it to become very efficient!
The next tip is to remember that your career begins in university. Postsecondary education provides you with theoretical knowledge, essential work and communication skills, and opportunities for getting an internship or a summer job to further build connections within the community. UNBC has an excellent career center and co-op program to help you obtain specific work skills and experience. They hold resume and professional communication workshops that provide tons of helpful information! Each year the UNBC holds a career fair where students can meet multiple potential employees and give them their resumes. Moreover, you can get this valuable experience through volunteering for different student-led organizations and other companies. Both volunteering and short-term job experiences gained through the university will help you build a better professional network and increase your chances of getting a job right after graduation!
Another tip is to keep learning about yourself. Young adulthood is a time for developing and acquiring new tastes, beliefs, and friendships. Do not be scared to explore – try to meet new people from different countries, try fresh foods, and have unusual hobbies. Going out of your comfort zone will help you learn what you enjoy, expand your mind, and approach life with an open mind. Thus, you will discover your strengths and weaknesses in your professional and personal life and how you can turn negatives into positives.
Multiple people also suggested learning how to communicate with professors and administration effectively. From time to time, we all face challenges such as not preparing the assignment on time, not agreeing with our grade, not getting the proper documents on time etc. The common thing between these situations is that you need to communicate with people who are ranked higher than you and find a way to communicate with them effectively. Never burn bridges with people you might end up working with in the future, especially in small communities! When having a conflict, stay calm, polite, and thoughtful. Try to find common grounds with your professors, explain your situation, and find compromises. Remember, nobody likes to be treated disrespectfully, especially with doctorate degrees. Learning how to communicate with people effectively will significantly benefit you in your future career, no matter what profession you decide to commit to.
Do not ignore student-led organizations and clubs is another piece of advice from former students. Such organizations are a great place to meet more people and find new interests. Participating in their events will increase volunteer hours, leadership skills, and lots of fun experiences! There are tons of great clubs on the UNBC campus, so you will be able to find whatever interests you! The best thing is that you do not need to limit yourself to one, and you can participate in as many as you want! Also, if you are a big sports fan, sign-up for intramurals competitions and cheer for your Timberwolves teams!
And the last but not most minor tip is to use your student benefits. You might not be aware, but many companies and apps offer special deals for students. For example, many music apps offer a cheaper subscription to students. Another helpful app is UNiDAYS, where you can sign-up (for free) to receive the news about the best deals and discounts for students! Also, remember that you are paying for an extended health plan, so you might as well use it! I find that many students forget that they might save some money on dentists or eye doctors by using their extended health benefits plan. If you are also struggling financially and to buy enough/healthy food, go to the UNBC foods bank that will provide you with some free food. Search for other student benefits because many businesses offer some help to students!