What an exciting time. It’s the start of your first semester at the University of Groningen. 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 University of Groningen student, Tim Brons, 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 the University of Groningen that every first-year student should know?
Tim: The unique thing about the University of Groningen is definitely the variety of things you can do in combination with your studies. Our university offers a wide range of activities to take part in around campus. From sports to study associations, the University of Groningen has something for everyone.
Of course, studying is the most important thing, but you also want to have some fun during your college years! The ACLO (which is Groningen’s sports association) has more than 100 different activities to choose from. The many different on-campus study associations offer a wide range of things to do, from partying to more formal events and self-development activities.
Lix: What has helped you survive a tough semester?
Tim: At the University of Groningen, tough semesters are always present. Some semesters (or blocks) involve big projects or assignments, which can be stressful when coupled with mid-terms or end-terms. The thing I recommend is to buy summaries from Slimstuderen, but there are many alternatives. Just ask some of your classmates for recommendations.
I also suggest keeping your knowledge up-to-date by following along with the required reading material in the books. While it’s very tempting to focus on the fun things happing around the University of Groningen, it’s much easier to get through a tough semester (or block) by staying on top of your reading. But don’t forget to give yourself some time off while studying. Check out this Groningen City Guide to see where to head for some fun and relaxation. BTW—the lunch spots in Groningen are amazing 😉
Lix: What techniques do you use when studying for a big exam?
Tim: There are a couple of things I do when studying for a big exam. First off, review the lecture slides from your course. These slides often contain the key points from the book. However, these slides do not fully cover the material for the exam, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket (or however the saying goes)!
Secondly (and personally), I like highlighting my textbooks and notes in different colors. This helps me organize what is important to remember and helps me keep track of what I need to review before the exam.
And like I’ve already said, it’s wise to buy a summary to freshen up your memory right before the exam. These summaries offer a good overview, but not that many details. So in short, my advice would be:
- Study lecture slides
- Highlight your textbooks
- Buy a summary
Lix: What do you recommend to students who are struggling to make friends at a new university?
Tim: To be honest, there are so many ways to make friends at a new university that no student should have problems. The typical thing to do is to join a student group, sports team or study association. Personally, I joined EBF, which is the study association for Economics and Business students. This has given me the opportunity to do a lot of extra-curricular events and meet lifelong friends.
Lix: What is the best advice you could give a first-year student?
Tim: This is a difficult question, but I recommend to just have fun! The University of Groningen is the perfect place to meet new people, get involved in campus activities and truly find yourself. Keep up with your study material through the Lix app and I guarantee you’ll be more than able to combine your studies while having fun.
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!
Tim Brons is studying Business and Economics at the University of Groningen. In need of some more tips? Check out A Student’s Guide to Cheap and Free Things to Do in Groningen, where Tim offers up some tips on where to eat, drink, shop and be entertained in Groningen on a student budget.