At university, you have to organize yourself very differently than at school. You are now on your own and can neither rely on your parents sending you to the bus on time in the morning nor on anyone praying the material for the next exam for you. You have to grow up and manage yourself. We will try to show you how you can do that.
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Set (And Pursue) Your Own Goals
At school, the curriculum determines what you must be able to do. Your teachers set the goals for you and tell you exactly what you need to achieve in order to get good grades. Good grades and a good average in the Abitur are the main goals for students.
At university, your goals can be completely different. As a student, you need a vision. A vision of who you want to become. Based on your vision, you determine your own goals. These goals do not have to be related only to good grades. They can also include your personal development, experience abroad, or good networks – in short, everything you need to be able to achieve your main goal, your vision.
Think about who you want to be and set personal goals. Always remember to also define sub-goals so that you don’t overwhelm yourself right from the start. By the way, you don’t just do this at the beginning of your studies. Your plan has to be checked and adjusted at regular intervals – preferably at the start of the semester – and your sub-goals have to be redefined. It might also be useful to find some useful services like a research proposal writing service online so that if your goals would change it would not influence your academic performance much.
At school, other people decide for you: parents, teachers, ministry, director, curriculum, assessment of learning levels – at university it’s a little different. Of course, there are also specifications here, for example, examination regulations for your degree program that everyone must adhere to, but you have more freedom to make your own decisions.
In some courses, there are modules that consist of different options. This means that you can choose your lecture or seminar yourself from a portfolio of offers. In addition, there are various specializations in many courses that enable you to become a specialist in a very specific area.
During your studies, you will repeatedly be confronted with decision-making options that will challenge you. These junctions are your chance – remember your vision and make a wise choice. Your main goal can change during your studies because your interests change. That’s not bad, it’s the beauty of your newly won freedom!
During school, you get pampered really nicely – so much that almost nothing can go wrong. When you’re studying, there’s suddenly no one around to mimic your alarm clock and spread your school sandwiches. Nobody pays attention to whether you are present in the lectures. There are hardly any formal obligations, no homework and usually, your learning progress is not even checked during the semester.
And that is exactly what tempts you to put your feet up in between and leave your studies behind. Being lazy can be nice at times, but if it doesn’t get you on track with your daily routine, the worst that can happen is that you’ll lose touch and end up failing.
The solution: You have to have certain self-discipline and don’t let yourself down. Ensure a regular daily routine, take care of orderly everyday life and keep an eye on your studies. Also, go to your lectures and have short study sessions during the semester to catch up on the material in time. Later, it can also make sense to take a vacation or develop content at home and skip a lecture for it – but first, you need an orderly structure.
Once you start your studies, there are no parents or teachers who take responsibility for each other’s performance. Everything you do or don’t do reflects on only one person: you.
No professor will call a parents’ conference and tell your parents that you didn’t study properly for their exam or that you didn’t attend the lecture. Nobody will offer to help you with the follow-up of the learning material without being asked. This is your beer now – it is your risk and your opportunity in equal measure.
So: do something with it! Take responsibility for your actions, think about your goals, work on yourself, set sensible priorities, and stand by your decisions. Only if you take responsibility for yourself will you be successful and happy through your studies.