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From High School to University: a New World

Date:22 January 2018
Studying is better together!
Studying is better together!

When I was in high school, I would find myself daydreaming of the independence university would give me. Of course, reality isn’t as simple. It takes time to adjust to university education. What do you do when the independence that you craved so long as a teen is finally in your grasp? I am still figuring that one out, but here are a few things I have learned along the way when it comes to adapting to the changes that university brings.

Finding your Routine

University differs from high school in many ways. It is very much up to you to plan out your workload, which is why a good planner becomes the student’s bible. No longer tied to the usual school routine, it’s suddenly up to you to find your own rhythm. It’s important here to find something that works for you. I sometimes get up early because I work best in the morning but for some of my friends it’s the opposite and they work into the night. Choosing a working environment that suits you is also key. I tend to go to the library for individual work and stay in the more social setting of my flat for group projects. Natasha recently did Catch a coffee break! about some great study spaces in the city that might be worth taking a look at if you want a change of scene from the University Library. It’s also always crucial to account for a balanced routine, you can’t have work without play!

Getting Used to Teamwork

Another difference for me was the emphasis on group work in UCG. It can be a challenging process trying to agree on quality content with others and divide the work equally, especially given that everyone has different opinions, ideas and work ethics. It certainly has lessened my workload for some of my larger assignments but I can’t say it has done the same for my stress levels! Learning to trust your work with others is a skill that takes some time but I must admit it is always comforting when you are getting up for a presentation to have someone by your side. Allowing yourself to explore other people’s opinions and ideas can lead to some great discussions. Be open, and you might make unexpected new friends!

Learning for Learning’s Sake

Coming from school to university can be challenging, but I guess that’s what we are here for, right? Better to be challenged than to be bored. One of my favourite things about University of Groningen is the focus on learning for learning’s sake. While masters and job prospects are still in the picture they are not so centre-frame as college prospects were in high school. Exams and grades still matter but the entire syllabus of courses isn’t tied down to fit standardisation anymore. In high school, the lines sometimes blurred between learning for the sake of my exams or learning for the sake of an education. In college it’s different. I am learning for an education, an education that I will get to apply in the real world. Whether or not you’ve already sorted what kind of Master degree you want to do, or what field you want to work in, college can be a stepping stone to finding something that you love, and that’s exciting!

Of course, I’m still figuring it out as I go, so I’m sure I’ve missed some things. I would love to hear what you guys think, what have been the greatest differences for you studying in uni?


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