What is expected of you at uni is pretty obvious; work hard, go to lectures, concentrate on your studies, do your assignments and always be highly motivated. But if that’s all you do at uni, then what stories will you have to tell your children later on?
An official bucket list for university must include things like, ‘get good grades’, ‘start revising early enough’ and, ‘don’t arrive late to lectures’; but is that the whole picture? How about devising a bucket list that’s a bit more fun? I have come up with an (albeit somewhat personal) bucket list: 10 things that every student really should try at least once!
(The real) to-do list for students
- 59pm: Who hasn’t done this? You have so much to do that you have no idea how you are ever going to meet all those deadlines for the various professors. What can you do about this? It’s easy, just don’t worry about it and submit the assignment or essay just before midnight, because usually the deadline does not have a specific time, just a date.
- Wild nights: For many students the weekend begins on Thursday evening and most like (quite rightly) to party. But what if you still have a lecture on Friday morning? Just get up and get on with it! Party the night away and then go straight to uni – it’s a whole new experience! After all, you’re only young once.
- The library: The library at the University of Stuttgart is open until 10pm. So why not stay until 10pm and study? Being the first person to arrive at 8am is not as cool as being the last to leave at 10pm. Say hello to the security guards from me!
- Lectures: Listen attentively to a lecture, jot down notes and then realize after an hour that it’s the wrong lecture. We all make mistakes, but then again it’s not a bad idea to do this on purpose. Have a go at an entirely new subject and try to understand it. This could turn out to be an ‘AHA’ moment of personal enlightenment.
- Uni info day: Attend a uni info day or campus trade fair. This gives you a good opportunity to further your education and find out how to enhance your career options. But make sure you take away as many biros as you can carry, or even just go to drink the free Prosecco or eat the sweets. Why not?
- Hold a presentation without having done any preparation: You get given a presentation date at the beginning of the semester. Then at some point you realize that the seminar really isn’t all that interesting, but of course it would be rude to just not turn up. You need improvisational skills to deal with a situation like this. It might end up being embarrassing, but that needn’t matter because at least you’ll have a story to tell later.
- TV series: Who hasn’t been there? You’re feeling lazy and just want to stay at home and watch your favorite TV show in peace. No one can blame you for that. But why not watch it at uni? In a lecture? But of course, this will only work if you’re good at multitasking. And, make sure you don’t get caught!
- Jogging pants: Always being well-dressed for uni can be hard work sometimes. Why not have the occasional “jogging pants day” and show up with that classic ‘relaxing at home’ look? It’s definitely more comfortable.
- Be broke: Between travelling during the holidays, partying at the weekend and the occasional shopping trip, lots of students end up broke at some point. Then you might borrow money or use your overdraft. But why? Just be broke for once, buy fries for one euro from the cafeteria and try to get through until you get the next cash injection. Give it a go!
- Ask the prof: You always need to learn a lot for an exam. But is it really likely that you will be asked about everything? The best way to find out is to ask a professor (preferably one you don’t know well), ‘Is this likely to come up in the exam?’ This is a favorite question with students – and is always well received!!
Studying at uni can bring with it some surprises and things may not always go to plan. That’s why it is all the more important not to miss out on the fun. Real life begins soon enough and by then it’s good if you have a few funny stories to tell from the past.