Love the Uni Life

University can be, and should be, an amazing, enjoyable experience. Here’s my take on how to make it happen.

First, it really helps to get in a degree that fits you like a tailored suit. So if you haven’t started yet, it is useful to do a bit of a research before hitting that apply-button. Start with the online stuff, and once you shortlist a few institutions, try to visit them in person. If you can’t, exchange a few emails with the leaders of the course – just to make sure you’ll get what you expect.
In case you are in uni already, hopefully you like your course. If, after some time, you realize it is not the case, talk with the staff – it might be not too late to change it.

But while it is crucial to have the course all sorted, it isn’t everything. Even when you like the matters that you are studying; sometimes, when the assignments are piling and deadlines approaching, it can be overwhelming. This is the point when it really helps to fit some time for yourself, time to chill, to recharge.

The reason is super-simple: A relaxed mind can be far more productive than a stressed one. When you relax for a minute, that time-management struggle might start to look easier, and that pile of work become doable.

This is easy to say, harder to do – but it is not a rocket science. The key is to have some hobby that you can get passionate about. Actually, try to challenge yourself to have as many as you can. More the merrier; more choices increase the opportunities. The variety is also good that you are not limited to by weather, other people and such.

So, here is a list of things I like, and how do I connect them with my time at the University of Dundee.

Exploring new places

Well, Dundee might not be a massive metropolis, but they call it “a city of discoveries” for a reason. Did you know that there are three medieval castles here? Did you know that there are two cool lighthouses within a walkable distance from the downtown? Did you know that Dundee has the tallest smokestack from the 19th century in Scotland? How cool is that! Add loads of churches, an observatory, a set of oil rigs to admire… this city can keep you entertain for a while.

HMS Unicorn, a frigate built in 1824, now docked in Dundee City Quay. Did you know that unicorn is the national animal of Scotland?

Mountains

Striking gold here, Scotland has tons of them, well known for their beauty.

And conveniently, one of the University of Dundee societies is focused on scaling them. Joining a society close to your hobby is something I would totally recommend – it is an easy way to get into a community of like-minded people, and do stuff that you love. And the UoD has roughly 200 of them, so there’s a good likelihood that you will find some of your taste. You can see the list of them here.

At the very top of Ben Nevis, the UK’s tallest mountain, with the society last winter. You can read a story about that trip here.

Walking to a summit is a tremendous fun. But what is perhaps even better, is to have a bike and fly down.. that brings me to..

Cycling

Like hillwalking, biking also have a dedicated society, which organize riding trips. This pic is from last weekend – we went to ride in Perthshire and had a blast!

The disadvantage of these above is, they can take time, and good weather is a plus. But when none of these seems to be available, I have a back-up:

Photography

It started as a hobby and before I started this uni, it was my day-job for a few years. This year I am the president of the photography society, so if you are keen about pictures, I hope to see you at our meets. Join us!

Noisemaking

Give me a synth (or a few of them, preferably) and I will be happy as one can be, creating and distorting sequences, sending them through reverb and delay… yes please.

There’s no synth society as of now. But given by the nature of this nerdy activity, it is all right. I guess not many would be as thrilled about that loop stuck at 125 BPM for hours anyway.

Another slightly unusual hobby of mine is to walk on a tightropes, or..

Slackline

Just as synths, there’s no slack-society yet. However, as this became more and more popular over the last few years, there are chances you will find other people who’d be up for it. Talk to people, maybe your classmate is an avid slackliner. You never know.

Talking to people itself is also a very good hobby to develop: it opens so many otherwise closed doors, creates networks of friendships, and can aid your CV too.

So yeah, try to have as much of the good time as you can. Because when else to do that than during the uni?


What are your hobbies that help you keep focused? Let me know in the comments!

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