How to make the most of university…in my opinion

As a third year student I feel like I’ve got this whole “university life” thing sussed out.  That’s why I’ve decided to put together a list of just 5 different ways you can make the most of your time here at the University of Essex, because unfortunately you won’t be a student forever 😦

  1. Join a sports club or society. Even if it’s something you’ve never done before, just go along and try it out!  The best way to find out what we have to offer (and get lots of free stuff) is to go along to the fresher’s fair which is the first Saturday of term (3rd October in 2015).  A lot of clubs offer ‘come and try’ sessions where students are able to go along and trial being a member without any cost (with that said all of our sports club memberships are now free of charge) it also gives you the option to try lots of different things before seeing which one suits you best.

Essex Flames Cheerleading Squad

  1. Find some work experience or a job. At the end of the day, we are all at university to have better job prospects for when we finish our degree – so why not make the most of your years here by getting some all-important work experience in whatever field it is you’re interested in? As well as external work experience, you can get paid experience working for your department or the students union by completing a frontrunner placement for one term (or more).  With all of that said, any experience is good experience and most jobs will provide you with a set of transferable skills suitable for any workplace.

P.S. visit our careers website – where you can find paid and voluntary work on campus, around Colchester and around the UK!

career hub

  1. Volunteer or raise money for charity! A great way to get experience and improve your CV is to take part in voluntary work.  Our students union has its own volunteering scheme called vTeam, who run a variety of weekly projects as well as one off projects.  Not only is it a fun experience, you will also get to meet lots of new people along the way!  Lots of societies and sports clubs also run their own volunteering events which students can get involved in.

Essex Tower Abseil

  1. Study a language for a year (for free!). Here at the University of Essex we have a fantastic scheme called ‘Languages for All’ which allows students to study a language, at either beginner or advanced level, alongside their course…for free!  Better still, if you pass the course it will be printed on your transcript (it’s like your results sheet) which employers will get to see!


  1. Take part in the Big Essex Award. This is a unique award that essentially recognises all hard work and any volunteering you may have done over the course of the year.  Also this is another qualification that will appear on your transcript, so it’s definitely worth your time!

the Big Essex Award

So, there you have some of my top university tips, which will help you to settle into university life quickly as well as making a bunch of new friends.  I’ve found that I’ve developed a lot since coming to university – particularly with my confidence as I have pushed myself to the maximum and have achieved a lot.  I hope that you will enjoy your time at Essex as much as I have. 🙂

Shannon x