Maximising your university experience

Mauro is a final year undergraduate student studying BSc Management, enjoys playing football and competing in 10km races.

My first tip for university is to not cope with it, but to maximise it.

This change of mentality will allow you to become a more engaged, social, and academically successful student.

Here are my tips how to make the most of your time at university.

Make use of the support teaching staff can give you

City especially offers students a tremendous learning environment with  constant feedback and support. For example, students can examine any comments made by the examiners on their assignments/reports, and look to improve their further submissions based on this feedback.

“From personal experience, I can say that cultivating a good relationship with your course directors, lecturers, and tutors, is a tremendously important aspect of maximizing your university experience.”

I would often ask for extra help from my tutors, such as completing coursework or tutorial questions and asking them to review it. This allowed me to be more prepared for my exams, to further my knowledge of the field, and also gain an insight into why my tutor/lecturer chose this specific field. This aspect is often overlooked as many students mistakenly assume that there is nothing more than subject-related matter to learn or discuss with the people who organize and deliver our course.

Teachers have more than just classes to teach…

One of my most pleasant surprises was to discover the diverse depth of life experience from all of the different members of staff – both of high and modest rank. Never mistakenly assume that they have nothing else to teach you. The university environment is one in which the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of an older generation, is in mass availability for the younger generation.

For final year students especially, it is extremely useful to develop these relationships because you may receive invaluable advice with regards to career progressions, different pathways to success (and failure), and how to live a happy life.

Remember that no one is immune to failure

Though it is generally preferably to avoid this, you can also experience the pain of having to resit an exam. It rarely happened throughout my time at City, but over the course of my second year I did in fact have to resit three exams.

It was an uncomfortable experience on its own but having to share that  disappointment with  my  parents (especially my father) was particularly disturbing. In retrospect however (and in very informal English), I label this as one of those ‘It is what it is’ events.

The main thing to learn is that no one is immune to failure, always be extra wary of any signs of overconfidence or fear, and remember the 5 Ps:

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

Challenges and Gains

Despite this uncomfortable experience, my biggest challenge was  undoubtedly towards the end of my final year, in which I had to effectively  manage my time in sports training, stay active during the Student Union Elections, and produce a high-quality dissertation.

It was extremely challenging because towards the end of March, every hour not spent on my dissertation amounted to five hours of stress and endless  worries! Furthermore, there was also the pressure of having to prepare for the final exams, which would often disturb my sleeping patterns.

In the end, the main skill I have gained is the ability to believe in the quality of my own work and submit it regardless of the circumstances. In a world full of aggressive competition and tremendous pressure, and also heavy criticism for failure, it is a sigh of relief to have faith in yourself and your ability to carry out your plans straight through to their  conclusions.

As Giacomo Casanova said “I have always  believed  that  when  a  man  gets  it  into  his  head  to  do  something,  and  when  he exclusively occupies himself in that design, he must succeed whatever the difficulties.”

Read more about Mauro and his university experience here

You can also read Niffy’s posts about surviving the first year of university:

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