Congratulations on getting your uni applications out there. This is your year to be amazing, and it starts with getting the degree that you want. For that to work, you need to ensure that you are paying attention to what it means to be a student. If you’re starting uni as an adult, you might be ready to do something completely new for yourself. You might be ready to change your career, but are you ready for the challenges that come with being a student?
The applications and the process of getting into uni alone is a total slog, but that doesn’t mean that the work is over. You are about to embark on a course that has the power to determine the rest of your life. Not only will it tell you whether you have what it takes to get to your chosen career, but it could tell you more about yourself than anything else. Getting to uni as a mature student is so very different to going when you’re fresh out of secondary school. As a mature student, people expect that you will be more focused and you will work harder and it’s true. You will be doing all those things because when you study as a mature student, you have much more to lose.
Being a student holds a range of challenges that you will need to overcome, and not just mentally. Financially, this is going to be something that changes the way that you live, from the student discounts in your mobile phone contract, to the fact you could make a ton of savings on the courses with scholarships that are appropriate to them. University study is different, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that different is bad. So, with this in mind, here are some of the best ways that you can make life easier as a student.
- Get some recording equipment. This won’t be too relevant if you’re learning online and distance learning, but if you’re attending lectures, you might need to think about a dictaphone of sorts so that you can record the lectures you attend. Make sure that you get the permission of your lecturer and once you get it, you’ll be able to record the lecture and listen to it later when you need to get some extra help for assignments and coursework.
- Learn when to stop. When you’re a student, life is HARD. You have work, family commitments, a social circle, lectures, readings, assignments – it goes on and that means that you need to learn when to slow down and stop occasionally. You can be the best at everything but if you do too much, you will burn out fast. Instead of going toward the burnout zone, learn holistic learning. Go to Yoga sessions and learn how to be good at moving your body. Once you learn how to move your body and look after it you’ll be far less stressed.
- Reach out and make friends. It’s not easy to do this! Making friends is hard enough as a child but when you’re an adult looking to study, you need to think about reaching out and making friends anyway. You need a study group and they can be both diligent and eager to learn, but equally eager to teach you and help you. When you create a social group of uni friends, you can support each other and you have a group of people to work with and get through who really understand it.
- Get to know where their support is. We’re not talking about your lecturers and guidance counselors. There are a range of platforms online that will teach you all that you need to know about the course you’re learning, and you have to find them. If your lecture is talking and all you hear is gobbledegook, then checking out the topic on YouTube and other collaborative platforms is important. You can then figure out what they’re talking about by listening to another explanation spoken about another way. It’s vital that you choose to do this in your time because the more you can enhance your understanding, the better!
- Exercise. It’s an odd one to talk to a student about but if you want to make student life and study easier, exercising is vital. You need to remember that college is going to take a huge load of mental strength and willpower and for that, you need to be physically okay. Exercising is going to help you to get moving, get your head out of any issues you may have and burn off some built up tension. You might get stuck at the lecture hall for a whole day, so if that happens, you should think about going for a long walk or a gym session afterwards.
- Learn to eat well. A student needs a brain that’s working to function well, and that means learning the right nutrition that you can eat well and power your thinking. You will be better equipped to study if you load up on proper snacks so that you can avoid gorging on high calorie, high salt and high sugar food options. While that is fun, it’s not ideal when you’re sitting around studying. Eating the right foods will power your brain and make you feel good on the inside, while enhancing your vitamins and minerals in your body at the same time.
- Get some more sleep. Sleep as a student? It’s possible – so don’t panic. The one thing that most students of a younger age don’t have is enough sleep but that’s usually because they’re out partying. Instead of this happening as a mature student, you have studying, your family life, possibly a job – it’s all happening and you need to get more sleep to help your brain to avoid pain and stress. Sleep needs to be strict, so if you’re working and with kids, set a time to go to bed in the evening and stick with it.
- Get to know the right apps. Every university has a list of apps that they use to ensure that you can get online with your classes. You not only want to download these, you want to make sure that you are equipped with the right apps that help you to remember what you need. You need list apps, financial planning apps for your rent, food and mobile phone, and you need apps that will help you to take notes, too. The better you get to know the apps available to you, the more you can get organised with your studies. You need this to be a positive thing and apps are going to help you more than you know. This list of student apps will help you to know how best to study!
- Saving money! If you want life to be easy as a student, you need to know how to save as much money as possible. To start, you need to know what money you have coming in as a collective household, and then you need to know what money you have going out. You can then learn where to get the best discounts, coupons, the cheap shopping options and more. There is always a discount somewhere and there are usually supermarket and retail incentives to help you to keep your financial expenses low. You can keep an eye on a range of stores online to know when they are allowing money off coupons and more. The more money you save as a student, the better. You want to do a little research here because you can make so many swaps to everything from your bank account to your gym membership to the student type. When you do this, you instantly save money and that’s what you need.
- Sign on with eBay. Lastly, you should think about opening an eBay account. Not only do you want to save cash, you want to have a place where you can shop light. For supplies for school, for selling older things, for getting cheaper text books and audio books and more – eBay is an excellent resource that you can really benefit from. eBay is just one of many websites that will give you so much back when you are using it and as a student, you’re going to find the options invaluable.
Being a student later in life is a huge achievement. You finally know what you want from your life and that means that you’ll be choosing your path that makes sense for you. Making your life as easy as possible is the next thing that you should do when it comes to trying to have a better future. Student life doesn’t have to be overly difficult, not when you can use all of these tips to help you to get ahead and keep your finances low and your motivation high. You’re going to succeed – it’s your year this year and you can do it – we believe in you!