What an exciting time. It’s the start of your first semester at Maastricht 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 Maastricht University student, Radina Ivaylova Andreeva, 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 Maastricht University that every first-year student should know?
Radina: At Maastricht, we work under the problem-based learning (PBL) system. Most of our learning happens in small tutorials under the guidance of a tutor who helps us work through real-world problems using methods we’ve learned in class.
Lix: What has helped you survive a tough semester?
Radina: Personally, I added exercise to my routine. Last year, during the winter semester, I was overwhelmed with all the assignments that were due, and I felt like I didn’t have any free time. But I forced myself to go to the student sports center at least once per week. I only needed to go a couple of times until I realized the benefits far outweighed the costs. After that, I started going more regularly and soon noticed a big improvement in my mood.
Lix: What techniques do you use when studying for a big exam?
Radina: I find that just reading the material simply isn’t enough. The best way to study for big exams is to practice (and memorize) old exams until you’ve mastered the material.
Lix: What do you recommend to students who are struggling to make friends at a new university?
Radina: My best advice is for students to join an association. It doesn’t matter if it’s a student association or a study association—both will give you plenty of opportunities to meet new people and grow as a person.
Lix: What is the best advice you could give a first-year student?
Radina: Don’t only focus on your studies—get involved in extracurricular activities like committees or sports teams. Committees are really cool—you and a couple of other students will work towards a common goal while having fun and getting to know other students.
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!
Radina Ivaylova Andreeva is studying Econometrics and Operational Research at Maastricht University. In need of some more tips? Check out A Student’s Guide to Cheap and Free Things to Do in Maastricht, where Radina offers up some tips on where to eat, drink, shop and be entertained in Maastricht on a student budget.