Your time at university will probably be the fastest few years of your entire life. It’s almost impossible how quickly you go from being a shy Fresher to wearing a cap and gown; the time in between is precious.
So you have a choice, you can waste your days away eating pizza and playing video games, or you can seize an opportunity and strive for something really great. (To be honest, both are good options that I can’t recommend enough).
But before you do make your final decision, have a look at these opportunities that are just waiting to be taken advantage of…
1. Going on a travel trip
Any time you find yourself with an opportunity to travel you should grab it with both hands. But if you can travel and have it count towards your degree as well, that’s a real winner.
The cultural and social benefits you gain from travelling can be eye-opening and genuinely life changing. You’ll struggle to find someone who’s been to the far reaches of Asia, India or Africa and hear that it didn’t have a profound affect on them. It always does.
2. Taking a semester abroad
Sure it might be a little scary to think about, a year away from your regular life, but at the same time, how exciting is that? A year away from your regular life!
With a semester abroad you get the rare chance to immerse yourself in another country’s culture and way of living, all while studying and continuing your degree. It’s a brilliant method of gaining knowledge that you couldn’t achieve any other way, both in your chosen field and as a person.
A challenge like this shows you who you really are.
3. Playing for a sports team
Aside from the obvious health benefits, one of the main reasons students join sports teams at Uni is because of the social atmosphere and camaraderie that comes with it.
University sports are a great as they allow you to experience team building and learn to work with others that you might not usually mix with in regular life. This kind of co-operation is not only essential in sport but also in the workplace. These skills will serve you well, long after you’ve left university, so learn to be a great team member if nothing else.
Plus, with the amount of teams that Coventry and other universities offer, this can be your chance to try something you’ve always wanted to.
4. Joining a society
In the same way as sports teams, societies give you the chance to pursue your own passion and meet likeminded people. Having the opportunity to share something you love with others is very rewarding and offers a nice change of pace from your usual friendship groups.
So if pizza and video games is still looking like your perfect choice, remember that Coventry University does offer a gaming society… Although, sadly, there is no pizza society at this time.
With that said though, there is also the option of creating your own society, giving you the joy and reward of building something from the ground up. On top of that, it’s a great addition to your CV. Maybe you could be the one to bring a pizza society to your Uni!
5. Working for the university
Many universities offer student positions in a variety of departments, which can help you gain great working experience as you also earn your degree.
In the modern working world, employers really want to see candidates with qualifications and relevant work experience. Working for your university can be the ideal way to achieve this. Other part-time employers often aren’t as sympathetic to the demands that studying requires.
Not only that, but working with your university is a great way to observe how departments are run, what roles they contain and if you can see yourself on that career path one day.
6. Choosing a module with a work placement
You may find that your course offers a work placement module in which you can organise an unpaid temporary role within a company and report on your time there.
Some see this as a chance to take it easy and pick up a solid grade with minimal work, but with a little more effort it can be a fantastic chance to make contacts, network and gain a good foothold into a career you’re interested in.
7. One-to one time with your tutors
Depending on the size of your university and how your course is structured and scheduled, finding any time to talk to your tutors on a one-to-one basis can be extremely rare.
Do your best to set up a scheduled meeting. If your tutors are hard to get a hold of they probably won’t ever be able to just sit with you after a lecture. Instead, email them and try to get something concrete put in place. If it makes it into their calendar, you’re golden.
It is a bit of a hassle but it’s well worth the effort. Going through assignments and assessing your general outlook of the course with your tutor can be the difference between one grade and another.
These are just some examples of opportunities that can come your way at university. Everyone’s time is different, so just make sure you’re always on the lookout and up for a challenge.
Some other opportunities that shouldn’t be passed up include, any time anyone offers to teach you how to cook something, when someone says they’ll help you put clean sheets on your bed and any time there’s free food.