What should all mechanical engineering students know

Starting your studies: 16 tips to get you started

It's that time again: For some, the long semester break is over and everyday university life starts all over again. For many others, however, a completely new phase of life begins: The Start of studies heralds the next big phase after school life. Great expectations and a good deal of uncertainty are now finally meeting reality. In fact, the first semester for many students is a leap into a completely new world in which you first have to settle in and find your way around. To the To facilitate the start of studies and we have to make sure that you consider everything important 16 tips to get you started collected…

With these 16 tips you will master the start of your studies

First of all: Nervousness before starting your studies is completely normal And you don't need to worry if you feel like you don't know about everything you need to know. Yes, there are a handful of students in each year who have already made their first appointments at the university several months in advance, who have planned the course up to and including the master’s degree before the first day and who have every detail in their head by heart. For everyone else it is but the first semester was a completely new beginningwhich changes a lot - but which you need not be afraid of.

To take away a little of the initial excitement and To equip you for the start of your studies, we have put together 16 tips to help you get started successfully and the Overview of the most important things not to lose:

  1. Don't skip introductory events

    Does the university really only start when the lectures begin? A common belief, but don't fall for it. Although there is no compulsory attendance at the introductory events at most universities, you should definitely go there. Here you get all the important information that will make it easier for you to start your studies.

    Perhaps even more important: all new students come together at the introductory events and freshmen weeks. you get to know each other and make important contacts and friendships. Many of the acquaintances that are made here will accompany you throughout your studies. And last but not least, you will also find out about the first big student parties here, which of course shouldn't be missed either.

  2. Get to know the university

    The campus is huge, the various university buildings are winding and orientation seems almost impossible. You should definitely use the first few days to get to know the university, Walk around the campus and find out where the different rooms are or buildings that you will visit during your studies.

    The best and probably also the most entertaining way is to just march off on your own or with a fellow student. Somehow it is part of starting your studies to get lost on campus and asking for directions to a room - and then realizing that you are at the completely wrong end of the site.

  3. Explore the library

    At the latest when you are writing homework and preparing for exams, you will need the library and probably spend a lot of time there. You should therefore familiarize yourself with it right from the start so that you can make the most of the opportunities it offers.

    Often a Guided tour of the libraries which also explain how books are borrowed, where different subject areas can be found, which books belong to the reference inventory and how you can use the library's online system to search for literature or to reserve it for yourself.

  4. Find important contacts

    At some point during their studies, every student has important questions or needs help. So it is good if you have identified the most important contacts for questions and problems right from the start and know who to turn to. Be it when choosing your modules and subjects, when planning a semester abroad or with exam questions: There are corresponding positions at the university for each area.

    The most important are the Student council, the student union and the student secretariat. All questions can be asked here and there is a lot of information about studying and your specific course of study. If you cannot find a solution on your own and your fellow students are also overwhelmed, you should know where to find these contacts.

  5. ask for

    Much is new at the university - for example, too some of the terms you are likely to encounter for the first time during your first semester become. Don't make the mistake of simply accepting this ignorance. You may be embarrassed, but the chances are many others are exactly like you.

    So when terms or abbreviations come up that you simply cannot explain yourself: ask for. It doesn't get you anywhere if you haven't understood important information for weeks or months because you didn't dare to ask a question. In addition: It is even more uncomfortable if you have to ask about it at a later point in time, because then everyone assumes that you have long understood the terms.

  6. Know the study regulations

    Your entire course of studies is based on the study regulations, it specifies which subjects you will take, which performance you will perform and which requirements you will have to meetto successfully complete the course at the end. Far too often, however, there is only a dangerous partial knowledge in this area, which can lead to suddenly missing exams and having to catch up on them.

    When you start your studies, you should therefore take the time to Read your study regulations to understand the key points. That way you won't get unnecessarily stressed later. If you have any questions, you should definitely get in touch with the contact person mentioned above in order to dispel any doubts and uncertainties.

  7. Don't forget to register

    For some events it is necessary to register in advance. Sounds easy, but is always forgotten. So make a list of all the lectures or tutorials for which you have to register in good time. This is also particularly important if, for example, a tutorial is offered on different dates and the demand is very high. If you are not here fast enough, you have to stick to the appointment that remains.

    That is just as important Registration for the exams at the end of the semester. The deadlines for this are usually announced early, so don't wait until the last minute, but register as soon as you know which exams you want to take and at which dates.

  8. Don't be intimidated

    Everything is new, the topics covered are extensive and complicated, the university is large and the number of students is terrifying. Especially in the first semester, all the new impressions can be very intimidating and lead to that you feel overwhelmed with the whole situation. The good news: it will get a lot better over time if you persevere at the beginning.

    From week to week you will get used to it, get to know the requirements and develop a routine in the new environment. It can help here to speak to fellow students who are similar. The difficulties of starting your studies can usually be mastered better together and problems are only half as big if you don't have to face them alone.

  9. Connect with fellow students

    The start of your studies should definitely be used to to make new friends, to build acquaintances and to create a social environment at the university. Connecting with fellow students can make all the difference between a contented and happy study and the feeling of loneliness.

    The longer you wait, the harder it is to catch up with an existing group. You quickly feel left out. Therefore, approach your fellow students from the very first seminars, seek the conversation and don't be left out. Whether at an introductory event, at the first party, in the cafeteria or while talking to your neighbors in the lecture: Make contacts!

  10. Don't forget your free time

    You probably have quite a lot to do with your studies right from the start, but don't forget, too Organize your free time and take advantage of the many offers for students. These can be language courses that you have always wanted to take, but also the offer of university sports, where you can take part in many different sports.

    You should too Making time for the many university parties and pub crawlswhich take place regularly in most places and are organized by various departments. On the one hand, these are memories that will accompany many students for many years, on the other hand, you will also get to know other students from higher semesters or other courses here.

  11. Put organization in the foreground

    Starting your studies requires a lot of organization not to sink into chaos right from the start. Accounts and accesses for various services have to be created, documents need to be stowed well and, above all, sorted and, last but not least, as a student you should always have a good overview of your own finances so that there is still enough money in the account at the end of the month.

    The documents and documents for the university or the BAföG office should be particularly well filed. Here Different folders and a proper sorting are recommended. Such a system takes a little time, but the effort is worth it in any case, because nobody wants to search out the one document that is currently in demand from countless loose sheets of paper.

  12. Create a learning plan

    Learning is always very individual and everyone has to decide for themselves how they want to cope with the learning quota before the exam phase, so the only tip can be given: Make yourself a study plan. Don't make the mistake of underestimating the effort that you will have to put into preparing each exam.

    Many high school graduates are initially surprised at how much learning material is covered in each event. Therefore, do not wait until two weeks before the first exam before you sit back and retake it. Professors recommend prepare and follow up each event. That sounds exaggerated, but it can be worthwhile in order to be really well prepared in the end and not have to beat the next one under time pressure.

  13. Find study groups

    Many a lone fighter can prepare for the exams on their own, but in many cases it is advisable to set up a study group at an early stage and to tackle the project together with fellow students. If you are looking, you can of course take a look at the relevant events - or you look in the online forum of your universitywhere learning groups are regularly searched for and established.

    The big advantage of study groups: On the one hand, you can split the content of the event and, for example, make individual summaries from which everyone benefits in the end. On the other hand, you can help each other with questions and work on and understand difficult topics in the group.

  14. Don't wait to be taken by the hand

    One of the biggest keywords for starting your studies is: Initiative. As a student, you need to learn that Organize things yourself and not rely on someone else to take care of it for you. The professors will provide you with the knowledge and content, but it is your responsibility to prepare accordingly.

    You should also show initiative at the university itself. There are many student programs that you can register and actively participate in. This not only looks good later on in your résumé, it also has the charm that you can make a difference at the university and not just stand by it without being involved.

  15. Try everything

    The start of your studies is also the time to simply try out everything that comes to mind. Register for various courses, learn something new, look for a student job, take individual subjects or lectures from another course that you find interesting.

    The further you progress in your studies, the more difficult it becomes to find time for such experiments and simply to test them out. Who knows: you might find something and stick with it. You will only find out if you try it out.

  16. Make timely feedback

    It still seems a long way off, but keep it in mind: At the end of the semester you have to re-register in good time for the coming semesterin order not to lose student status in the next semester either. The deadlines for re-registration are very generous, but you still have to remember that.

    How exactly the re-registration takes place can vary from university to university. If you do not know where and how to re-register, either ask your fellow students or find out more at the university.

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November 6, 2020Author: Nils Warkentin

Nils Warkentin studied business administration at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. In the career bible, he is devoted to topics related to studying, starting a career and everyday office life.

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