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10 (Useful) Tips for University Students

It can be a big leap preparing to leave high school for College or University. A.S.E Tutoring & Mentorship is a national community of volunteers here to help you each step of the way. Our student-led organization is based across the country providing tutoring and academic support, along with incredible opportunities to exercise your leadership, make an impact, and connect with an inspiring community. A.S.E Tutoring & Mentorship is a registered not-for-profit, and with +100 student volunteers recruited last month, we’re one of the fastest growing youth-driven organizations in Canada. Learn more at to see how we can help you get ready for your next steps.

Here’s a few tips put together by one of our very own outstanding volunteers! (Matthew Masoudi, UBC Graduate).

1. Get involved

University life is what you make of it. There is so much to do and so much to get involved with. Oftentimes, just by engaging in a conversation with someone, you’ll learn about opportunities that are offered that you thought you would never be involved with– and this may just become your new passion! By putting yourself out there and leaving your comfort zone, you’re opening doors while having fun and connecting with new friends.

Link: Article about the importance of involvement at University

Link: Check out great volunteer opportunities with SOS - there’s something for everyone

2. Play a sport and exercise

You don’t need to be varsity material to be on a sports team. Joining a recreational or intramural team is a fun way to blow off steam and keep your health in check. Try gathering a bunch of your friends and create your own intramural team, you’re guaranteed a fun time. Also, there are plenty of sports clubs at university. Why not join one? Exercise is something that is often pushed aside by students who are “prioritizing their studies”, but what many fail to realize is that exercising actually helps improve your studies! It’s a given that exercising is good for your body, but it’s also really important for maintaining sound mental health. Exercise boosts your memory, helps improve your mood, and you’ll get much better sleep. Just do it!

Link: Exercises to do in your dorm room

Link: Mindfulness Apps that may also help ease stress

3. Focus on your diet

Maintaining healthy eating habits is so important at university. It can be convenient to go for the “quick and easy” option for time’s sake, but in the process you’re missing out on the proper nutrients you need to get you through the day. Obviously, students face many financial burdens and it can be daunting to look for affordable and healthy options, but fear not– there are plenty out there. Your body and your mind will thank you. Your body will also thank you for giving it a break from eating out all the time. Meal prepping on Sunday nights is a great way to save money and time– try buying things in bulk and prepping your meals ahead of time.

Link: Meal Prep Guide for College Students

4. Enjoy in moderation

For a lot of people, being away from home and parents, university can be their first real taste of freedom. You’re in charge of you, and that means you can decide to do whatever it is you want on a Friday night (or a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night). Parties can be awesome for meeting new friends or kicking back with old ones and just having fun. Fun is encouraged! Irresponsibility is not. Make sure you’re pacing yourself and try not to get sucked in to going out every night– your health, grades, and overall priorities are subject to suffering. A good tip would be to pick out dates to go out once or twice a week after you’ve finished off your tasks for the week– like a reward for your hard work!

LInk: Helpful article about Party Safety

5. Put that phone down!

We’ve all been there. We have an assignment due tomorrow yet somehow managed to spend an embarrassing amount of time scrolling through our social media. It takes a lot of self-control, but put that phone down and get to work! It’ll still be there when you’re finished and your followers will just have to wait. Studies show that you decrease your own performance and the performance of people sitting around you when you’re on your phone in academic settings.

Link: Apps that help with smartphone addiction

6. Print lecture slides beforehand

Professors usually post lecture slides online before class. Printing out lecture slides is a super helpful way to get an idea of what you’re going to be learning, and also you can add helpful notes that your professor mentions during lecture that aren’t already on the slides.

Link: Most effective note-taking methods

7. Go to office hours

Going to office hours is incredibly useful. Even if it’s just to introduce yourself to your professor after your first week of class, you’re creating a connection with your professor– and they’re not as intimidating as you’d think, they’re there to help you! Go to office hours and ask questions or clarify a concept you’re having trouble with. You’ll be happy you did it rather than trying to Google the answers.

Link: Tips for Office Hours & Office Hours Do’s and Dont’s

8. Have a hobby

Just because you’re in university doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make time for the hobbies you enjoy doing. Whether it be a long-time hobby, or you’re just discovering a new one, it’s important to find something to do that isn’t just academic. Make sure you’re never too busy to make time for joy in life– your mental health will flourish. Chances are, your university has a club for your hobby of interest!

Link: 100 Cost-effective Hobby Ideas

9. Save money

As if tuition isn’t enough of a financial burden, university comes with a hefty list of costs that you may never thought you’d have to face. However, there are plenty of ways to save some of that hard-earned cash of yours. For starters, try buying second-hand textbooks or selling your old ones. Limit the amount of meals you eat out. Be mindful when using credit cards– using cash gives you a better idea of your spending. Shop wisely– a lot of stores offer student discounts, take advantage of it! And finally, take advantage of the free software and textbooks that are available for students, for example, Microsoft office is free for students.

Link: Personal Finance & Budgeting Apps

Link: Canada Student Discount Guide

10. Consider doing a co-op or work placement

University is a time where you should be exploring career options. If you have an idea of what field you’re looking to go into in the future, definitely consider doing a co-op or work placement in that field or one similar. By doing a co-op, you’re getting a direct insight as to what the field is like, and getting relevant experience. Not only that, but you’re sure to develop new skills and potentially make some useful connections by networking with others in the industry. You’re also getting paid, which is always a bonus.

Link: (Hatching Student and New Grad Careers)

11. BONUS TIP: Find Your Study Buddies!

Having a friend to study with is a great way to be productive while enjoying the company of others. If you don’t already have a friend in your lecture, don’t be afraid to reach out to the person sitting next to you to change that– odds are, they’re looking to meet a buddy to study with as well! When exam season rolls around, make sure to gather a group of friends and enroll yourself in A.S.E Tutoring & Mentorship. Your friends will thank you for it!

About the Author: Matthew Masoudi is a current researcher at Providence Health Care Services. He graduated from the University of British Columbia, earning his Master’s in 2018. He has extensive tutoring experience and was COO of one of one of Canada’s largest tutoring companies and President of one of UBC’s largest student clubs.

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