5 Tips to Make the Most of Higher Education
Considering you options, preparing for, and undertaking further education (FE) and higher education (HE) can be a little daunting to say the least! As someone who has just finished a BSc Geography degree, and had an amazing time doing it, I have compiled some top tips from my own personal experience. No matter what age you are, or situation you are in when embarking on some form of education my advice is the same, so have a read below and good luck with your studies!
#1 Study what you love
For me, this is key, especially at a higher level, when you focus your study on just one area. To be able to stay enthusiastic and keen to learn over a pro-longed period it is crucial that you are studying something you are interested in and passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be bits of a subject area you are less keen on, but if you are passionate for your subject the results will speak for themselves, as studying won’t be a chore.
#2 Be prepared
This is one of my general mottos in life (and no I wasn’t a Scout!), but it is especially important, I have found, in higher education and applies to a variety of areas. Firstly, you will get some much more out of FE and HE if you are prepared going in to lectures/classes, for example, doing the pre reading and research will help you understand what is being presented to you in classes so much better. For HE, and especially if you are moving away from home, being prepared could be learning how to look after yourself, in terms of cooking, shopping, budgeting etc., this is crucial to your experience and enjoying your time.
#3 Make the most out of every opportunity
I have always believed in making the most of any opportunity which presents itself, this is especially true in FE and HE. Sometimes it isn’t possible to go on every field visit, or attend an out of hour’s lecture, but often it is these additional opportunities that can be the most useful, broadening and deepening your knowledge. Often these sorts of events are free to students too, so you really have nothing to lose! Also make the most of the staff and tutors and make sure you ask questions on things you don’t understand, that is what staff are there for and they are usually very willing to help if you are genuinely willing to learn and have put the effort in to try.
#4 Do more than just study
From clubs and societies to extracurricular activities, to volunteering, there is a myriad of opportunities out there, especially at universities. Alongside your education is the perfect time to try new things, it gives you a great opportunity to meet new people and network. You never know where future jobs or opportunities may come from, so get to know as many people as possible. Get involved in things within your institution too, like peer guiding, or being a course representative, these again can be great chances to make connections. Take the option of a work placement if it is offered and is practical for you, these can give you great experience and skills too.
#5 But don’t forget about your studies
This is perhaps obvious, but it is very easy to let your time in FE and HE become all about the extra-curricular, so balancing your time and making sure your studying is a priority is very important. Sometimes the sacrifices can seem hard, but in the end it will be worth when you have worked hard to achieve great results in a subject you are passionate about.
This list is by no means exhaustive and everyone will have a different experience in education, so maybe as a final bonus tip I would say, go with the flow, do what is right for you and above all enjoy it! If you have had a great experience in further or higher education, let us know in the comments below and share your tips on how to succeed.