Getting value from your student loan.
You didn’t agree to pay back all that money for nothing, right? University (or college) is a place of higher learning. So, you want to get the most out of the experience by drawing as much metaphorical blood from stone as you can. This way, you’ll make the most of your student loan.
We have some suggestions for how to best go about imbibing not alcohol, but knowledge. Be sparing with the liquor, you’re here to learn.
Engage with lecturers.
Now is not the time to be shy. Instead, you should engage with the lecturer of your subjects – especially the ones you’ve selected as your majors.
Lecturers tend to be very warm to students, happy to pass on any knowledge they have. Simply go to one after a lecture has ended and speak to them about anything you’re unclear of during the lecture session.
You can also speak to them in their office, especially about course work or even exam preparation. One-on-one sessions, however brief, are excellent ways to pass on knowledge and for you to improve your grades.
Be liberal with your time in the library.
Sure, we live in an age where almost anything is findable on the ‘net. Except that certain works are protected by copyright and aren’t reproduceable on cyberspace. Although it is possible to access these works through academic websites, these papers normally require you to pay for this access.
Where you’ll find all the information you need is the university library. Simply speak to the librarian on duty and they’ll help you locate the associated works you need.
For example, if you’re a Philosophy student struggling with understanding Hegel, you might find comprehensive works by academic commentators who will clarify the subject for you.
In addition, you’ll also be able to use this material for the purposes of referencing your papers. Just remember to attribute! This access to the university library is typically reserved for students. Considering you took out a student loan, make the most of this resource.
Don’t limit yourself to just your subjects.
You can learn a lot from your peers on other subjects of interest. For instance, using the philosophy example again, if you’re a law student, you might find the way philosophy students debate along structured lines to be similar, but complementary, to legal arguments.
By paying attention to them as they debate the nature of free will – for instance – you could learn a lot about how to argue cases for and against a murder accused in a class case study.
Even paying attention to subjects like Classics can teach you a lot about the foundations of Roman Dutch Law.
Then there’s simply the love of learning. Hearing a physics student explain how a glass of water could topple over the edge of a table “on its own” because of the nature of sub-atomic particles and chaos (in the scientific sense) could be enlightening for its own sake.
Take up extramural activities.
Being a student gives rise to the opportunity to do new hobbies and sports. For instance, got a thing for the martial arts? Joining an aikido class could give you a foundation in essential aspects of self-defence… which you may need as campuses aren’t as ideally safe as they should be.
Besides, classes like this help instil a strong sense of self-discipline that will be useful in other areas of your life.
But with so many groups to join, you have a huge pick. Which will help with finding one that fits your personality perfectly. It’s a good way to get more bang for your buck.
Make use of the Computer Room.
Most universities have some sort of computer room. Especially if you come from a less privileged background, the computer room is a perfect way to get acquainted with the power of the Internet.
You can use it to further your knowledge and for writing essays and other course work. It’ll at least put you on equal footing with other, more privileged students.
We hope this has helped.
Your university years are the most important of your life. Be sure to take full advantage of everything the university has to offer and your student loan will end up paying dividends in the long run.