Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Helpful tips to be a happy Engineering Uni student - or any Uni Student for that matter.

Freshers!

Second Years! (Sophomores or equivalent)

Third Years! (that's me!, Juniors or equivalent)

As a first year undergraduate, I learnt a lot academically but also a lot about how I want to live my life from that point onward. This learning process on how to balance my life, a quest that I very much sought the answer to in my first year, took two years for me work out. I could write an advice section with my own words sharing onto you what I think will help make your University lives smoother, more enjoyable, and more richer. Instead in this blog post, I am going to share with you some videos with content that offer the advice that I believe articulate helpful advice in how to get the most out of University.

Top First Year Advice: Be Organised. Take control over yourself and take responsibility over your environment for a clear mind and healthy attitude.

                                         
                                Shirley B. Eniang - How To Be Organised (8 Tips) | LIFE

Now, as a person who studied Mathematics at University, Ms Shirley B. Eniang, is a smart lady. Also, as she is imparting some wisdom of how to be organised it alludes that she is highly organised herself. As a first year student, you are going to be inundated with lots of social events as well as getting used to living away from home, living in student accommodation with shared living and cooking spaces, and adjusting to a new style of teaching and learning at University. It is a lot to take in, and being organised certainly helped me a lot.

Other First Year Advice: At University, there are lots of clever people but even they may hit a bit of an obstacle that will manifest into declining academic performance. Or even, you may experience this. This video will explain why and how you can overcome it.

                                        
            Marie Forleo - Why Smart People Underperform and What to do About It.

Marie Forleo is a life coach, sharp dresser, and someone that is worth listening to if you want good advice that is amusingly and intellectually served. She is someone on Youtube that I always enjoy learning from, and inspirational names such as Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey have endorsed her for the high calibre work and expertise she gives to the world to help people live the brilliant lives they can have. I think this is such an important video to watch as a University Student. From an engineering student's perspective, you all begin the course at around the same academic level and potential. Yet, you may feel you or observe a coursemate who is under performing and it brings unwelcomed feelings and thoughts. This video's advice is really insightful in encouraging great habits to fix that state you may find yourself in.

Top Second Year Advice: Developing a vigilant attitude will be a the making of you. Apply a vigilant attitude to all parts of your life that makes you happy.
                                     
                                       
                              Marie Forleo - The Mental Exercise that Turns Wishes Into Reality

Third Year Thought: Not really advice, as I am starting third year myself. This video helped a mind deliberation I had recently. Though, I had the opposite scenario. I was too busy planning about my future that I felt I was losing sense of my present. I feel I have got the advice I needed from this:

                                          
                      Marie Forleo - How to Be Present and Still Plan for the Future

Also, Marie is H I L A R I O U S L Y amusing. It seriously makes the difference.

I very much believe in 'studying the greats'. Some of them have been presented here, and looking back at these videos, they would have certainly helped me if I watched them before the academic year started.
I am now at a happy place emotionally when I think about my academics and social life. By the end of first year I had adopted healthy habits, mental shifts, and lifestyle choices that has made me the successful and happy engineering student that I believe am today. I hope these videos will equip you with the necessary know-how to establish a great well being and life skills that will positively benefit you after University.

Okay, okay... to end this blog post have some personal advice.
To the freshers: As a first year engineering student, my timetable was full of lectures, labs, weekly personal tutor meetings, and although I was part of many societies I chose to put my social at a low priority. Perhaps that was wrong, but I was figuring out what worked for me. It is possible to both succeed academically and be social but I believe you need to personally define what each of those things mean to you and how far along the spectrum of work and social priority you want to put yourself in in first year. How well you understand your core concepts in first year of University acts as a foundation of knowledge for your second year, third year, and beyond. Make sure your foundation is solid by taking time out to really understand why you are studying something and make connections between the topics. Keep striving forward, join societies, start building coursemate friendships, stay true to yourself, and your morals - people will respect you for it and admire that.

To the second years: Hurrah, you are no longer one of the new kids on the block. You can walk a bit taller, feel like you have earned your right to be at University after completing and surviving your first set of final University exams. The workload will step up a gear, but hopefully if you stuck to your studies in first year the jump in academic expectations will not feel so high. Second year felt smoother for me because I guess I spent so much mental power understanding why I was learning my degree's content and developed my curiosity as to why it was interesting. From this, learning somehow became fun again. First year became frustrating for me sometimes but I never gave up on myself nor forgot why I wanted to go to University originally - to study topics I was passionate about. I reduced my society obligations to the very few but had a great time meeting new people, saying yes more often to opportunities, and making friends in the unlikely of circumstances. Yes, second year can be a magical year if you let it.

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