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University: A fantastic new world

University is a world full of wonders. It is a world where people come together in the pursuit of knowledge, passion, science, sports, art, music, friendship and so much more. It is the place where people find their true interest, where they learn how to become who they want to be and hopefully meet some companions along their way. University is the place where people discuss complex problems with excitement and strive to revise their beliefs. It’s also a time during which you can party on a Thursday night without feeling bad because: you are a student.

Of course this new world can be overwhelming at first: you need to learn the rules, you need to learn where you can go, how to get there and how not to get lost. But don’t worry. We got your back and support you with advice from older, wiser and successful students.

The first thing you will probably be worrying about is what every student is worried about: exams! It’s the one occasion where you can show what you can (and also cannot). The most important thing you should do to be effective is buying a calendar; these are cheap and look nice. Make a plan that clearly states when you are going to do what, and how long it will take you. List your tasks, do urgent things first and most importantly: start early to avoid panic studying in the middle of the night. Skip a party, if you have a lot of things to do the next day. There will be many, many more of these. If you have one of those bad Mondays, don’t beat yourself up, take the day off and work on Saturday instead. Go ahead and make that coffee break, but maybe don’t discuss Marxism or how you feel about Donald Trump and his latest tweets for three hours. Don’t stay up till 2:00 am, if you have to get up at 6:30 and of course you can take a weekend off every now and then, but don't fly to Madrid two weeks before your exams.

The second thing you will realise when studying psychology is: there’s so much free time. While you might really enjoy this at the beginning, you might get lost along the way. So get active! University offers all kind of activities: yoga, volleyball, kung fu, sailing, orchestra, theatre, students associations (psyCH maybe?), fraternities and sororities. Whether you want to get politically active, show your talent on a stage or swim across the ocean, your University supports you.

The third most important thing is: you are in an environment where you can try everything, be great at something, fail at another thing and observe where life is taking you. People usually tell you that they had the time of their life when they were at University. Now this might not be true for everyone but this time for sure is unique and we should try to enjoy it while it lasts. University is a world full of opportunities waiting to be grabbed, go ahead and take them. Explore your potential and lead others to new ideas.

And welcome to our world.

Eva-Maria Stauffer, University of Basel, Master in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience