There’s more to being a university student than updating your social media by day and completing assignments by night. University is the best time to build new skills and expand your knowledge outside academia. Both professional and personal development is important, so here’s a list of activities you can engage in that will benefit you during and after your degree.
This may seem like a no-brainer: volunteering and/or getting work experience during weekends and holidays. You’ll want to get an early start with it too. Paid or unpaid, both are great ways to enhance your skills, get involved with projects that matter to you, and hone in on the experience you’ll need for when you’re out in the workforce.
IT is a really useful skillset to get the hang of; LinkedIn released a list of the top skills that can help you get hired, and many of them are technical. There are numerous online courses you can take for any technical skill you wish to acquire. A lot of them are also free and allow you the flexibility to learn at your own pace.
Perhaps start your own website or blog? Communication is still up there as one of the most valuable skills to have, so it’ll be great practice. Building a professional online platform for yourself will also allow others to get to know you and open doors to many opportunities.
Now it’s easy to get lost in endless reading lists and stressful deadlines – but try not to let yourself go. House maintenance - as laborious as it may sound, is a really productive way to spend your free time. You might also find that taking just 10 minutes to tidy up makes you feel a lot better and relaxed as you get back to studying.
A home-cooked meal will never go unappreciated, especially if you’re living away from home. If you’re not used to cooking, look up some quick and easy recipes, and learn the basics. Once you’ve got those down, why not get creative? It might be something to look forward to during your study breaks. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favour by nourishing your brain with good wholesome food, so put away those instant-noodles and bring out the stir-fry!
Be active! Join a gym or even just go for a jog outside. Working out will give you a boost of motivation, increase your productivity and relieve stress. Make sure to draw up a realistic schedule you can stick to so that you’re using your energy in a healthy way, and not spending too much time cooped up with your assignments.
- By Tasfia Gazi