Starting university can be an exciting and scary time. Where are the local hangouts? What happens if you need help, such as help from an essay writing service? What is the appropriate schedule to take on as a new student?

It feels like you need all the answers before even getting started. Though it isn’t likely that anyone has them all, there are a few important things to be aware of. Here are five tips in particular that most first-year students should be aware of.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Gears

One of the biggest misconceptions that university students have when they begin is that they have to have their path laid out. You have to know what your major is and stick to it without any question, right? Well, that’s not exactly true.

It would probably be surprising to know just how many people stick with a major that they don’t care for simply because they feel like they have to. Remember, you’re there for an education, but no one is making you stick with a path.

If your major isn’t working, try to dabble in other things. Exposure to other paths could be just what is needed to either appreciate your current major or move to something else.

2. Learn to Write Properly

We’ve all heard the same story: a last-minute, 10-page essay that needs to be done by morning. Without turning to an online essay writing service, it can be a trying task. In the lead-up, it seems like it would be easy to just get ideas down on paper.

The fact of the matter is that it is tougher than one would think. Being able to get those ideas out on paper in a coherent manner is important. Learn to write better so that you can articulate those ideas in a more sound manner. It will pay off across the board.

3. Record Your Lectures

Notes are everything, right? That’s what we hear from high school on, and it’s absolutely true. When you have great notes, you have great reference material. Great reference material means a stronger study experience.

Instead of trying to jot everything down in class, consider recording the lecture and just listening. You will be able to listen without pressure at the start while getting more accurate, detailed notes later on. It will have a huge impact on the way that you study in the end.

4. There Is Time for Connections

Learning is an essential part of the collegiate experience, but so is developing connections for the future. While it may seem important to develop those connections while you are in school, you can take a breath. There is time.

Part of navigating university successfully is learning, taking the time to avoid burnout, and to make connections, be it friendly or potentially professionally. University is supposed to be a growing experience and sometimes you can’t shoehorn in the things that you think you should.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Stray From Your Comfort Zone

Finding a level of comfort, of routine, sounds ideal. But straying out of that comfort zone can be wildly beneficial in the end. It is scary but branching out into other areas that may not make you the most comfortable can wind up being the best move you can make.

Take courses that you may otherwise not have. Look into groups and activities that you may not have otherwise. That does not mean that you need to completely stray from your desired path. Simply explore and see what is out there and you may be surprised to see what fits.