What an exciting time. It’s the start of your first semester at Aalborg University. Your campus is flooded with thousands of new students from around the world who will be starting their first year at university. For many students (and their parents), transitioning to university is an exciting yet daunting experience. Questions are racking your brain: Will I fit in? How will I make new friends? Am I going to survive my crazy hard Microeconomics course? Lix sat down with Aalborg University student, Mads-Frederik Klostergaard, who shared five study tips to help first-year students succeed in and out of the classroom. Let’s dig in.
Lix: What is one thing about Aalborg University that every first-year student should know?
Mads: The most important thing to know about Aalborg University is how the curriculum differs from all other Danish universities. At Aalborg University, we focus on problem-based learning (PBL), where study groups consisting of 4-6 students receive topics of their choice and then get three months to examine the topic and come up with solutions. That’s what makes Aalborg University unique, and is certainly a great thing for first-year students to know.
Lix: What has helped you survive a tough semester?
Mads: When a semester is tough, I relax by spending time with my friends and my girlfriend. I also try to engage in activities that take my mind off of studying. It can be as simple as taking a long walk, watching Netflix, playing video games or heading to the gym. The most important thing is to clear your head. This way, you can return to your studies more relaxed. If you pressure yourself and never give yourself time to relax, the negative spiral will keep on spinning.
Lix: What techniques do you use when studying for a big exam?
Mads: When I study for a big exam, I start by making a plan for what I need to read per day. I always check the module descriptions to see what I have learned for the specific course. Then, I always make room in the calendar to allow myself a day off from studying because it helps clear my mind and reenergizes me.
Lix: What do you recommend to students who are struggling to make friends at a new university?
Mads: My best advice would be to join the voluntary associations around campus. I did this when I first came to Aalborg from Copenhagen and this really helped. I’m not going to lie—the first six months were really hard. I was wondering if I’d made the right choice moving to Aalborg. The only people I knew were from my study group. Then, I applied for a job in a bar on Jomfru Ane Gade and after that, I joined one of the voluntary associations around campus. It was the best decision I made in Aalborg because I’ve met so many friends because of it.
Lix: What is the best advice you could give a first-year student?
Mads: Keep studying even when it gets tough. And keep up with your reading. It will all pay off in the long run.
Remember, university isn’t just about studying hard in order to achieve one’s career goals. It’s also about making lifelong friendships and connections. So go grab university life by the horns and enjoy the ride! We are rooting for you and wishing you the best as you start your first year of university. And if you need some help organizing your studies, we’re just one click away!
Mads-Frederik Klostergaard is studying HA Almen—Business Economics at Aalborg University. In need of some more tips? Check out A Student’s Guide to Cheap and Free Things to Do in Aalborg, where Mads offers up some tips on where to eat, drink, shop and be entertained in Aalborg on a student budget.