You’ve submitted your application, got that all-important acceptance letter and finally started getting ready for your first year at IE University. While you may know everything you need to know about your program, figuring out what to expect from student life is a different matter altogether. So how can you best prepare?

With such a diverse student body and endless extracurricular opportunities, every student at IE University will live a unique experience. There are, however, certain steps you can take to ensure you’re making the most of your first year in higher education—from forming healthy habits to simply giving yourself time to take it all in!

  1. Take control of your time

Throughout your degree, you’ll have a fairly consistent workload all year round. As a student, the way you structure your day is more or less up to you, so it’s a good idea to set some rules for yourself and make strong study habits at the start.

Although you’ll have some days where you’re not in class as much, it helps to think about your degree like a normal 9 to 5 job. Each day should have a fixed start and end time, and you might benefit from planning blocks of time around classes for course reading and study. This way, you’ll also ensure you have a cut-off point in the evening, giving you space to enjoy all that IE University has to offer!

  1. Get cash savvy and learn to budget

Going to university means learning to budget. At first, thinking smaller is thinking smarter, breaking down your budgets into chunks you can keep track of. For example, knowing your total monthly budget, you can set weekly or daily budgets to regulate your spending. Alternatively, you might set some smaller budgets for different spending categories. To get started, consider downloading a budgeting app for a smooth transition into savvier spending.

  1. Autosave is your newest ally

We’ve all been there. Just as you’re putting the final touches on a piece of work you’ve been pouring over for hours, your computer gives in and you’ve lost your work. Unfortunately, computer malfunctions generally won’t excuse a missed deadline, so it’s worth being meticulous about backing up your work.

If you’re using a word processor, saving different versions of your work at regular intervals is a tedious but necessary drill. Increasingly, students are using Google Drive to manage their files, where the autosave feature means you’ll never lose your work as long as you’re connected to the internet. Totally free to use, the Google suite also makes it easier to do collaborative work, handy for any group assignments.

  1. Don’t be afraid to make studying social

When you’re against the clock with a big assignment due, you’ll sometimes need to go it alone to get individual assignments done. But throughout the term, mixing up the way you study will help to give you some variety and motivation.

Try forming a co-working group to make studying that little bit more social, or even set up a study group with people from your program. Not only will you be able to learn from each other and discuss course topics, but it’ll also be useful for exam time—whether it’s pooling study resources or just a bit of moral support!

  1. Stop for a chat with your professors

At IE University, your professors will be leaders in their fields and often have years of industry experience. Don’t be afraid to go a step further and get to know more about their work, ask them questions about your program and get feedback where you can. In addition, they’ll have many connections in industries that might be of interest to you, so it’s never too soon to start networking!

  1. Use your first year to boost your experience

Although going to university will be a step up from school, your first year will usually entail a lighter academic workload than later years. Use it to develop extracurricular interests, join clubs, or take on a volunteering role. This will develop your experience in a more rounded way, giving you more employment prospects, connections and an extra boost in confidence.

  1. Look out for your friends—and yourself!

Pursuing a bachelor degree often means moving to a new city, country or even continent. Managing the change of scenery with a high workload, looming deadlines and hefty social calendars can be a little overwhelming at first—but most people will be feeling the same. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your peers and make sure they’re doing okay.

Equally important is looking out for yourself, ensuring you stay mentally and physically healthy. Remember to observe the hygiene measures required in public campus spaces, washing your hands frequently throughout the day. If you find yourself struggling emotionally at any point in the term, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone you trust or seek guidance from the student health services available at IE University.

  1. Stay in touch with people from home

Check in with family every now and again to let them know what you’re up to and how you’re settling in. Although you’ll be meeting lots of new people, you might want to stay in contact with friends from home too. If they’re studying, you’ll be able to exchange experiences of different universities to get some outside perspectives on university life. Soon enough, you’ll probably find you’ve got a list of people wanting to visit you!

  1. Get out and explore the city!

Whether you’re on our Segovia or Madrid campus, there’s a whole world of local treasures to be discovered and enjoyed. Boasting famous traditional cuisine and historic architecture, the charming city of Segovia can be both peaceful and lively (at the right times), while the eclectic Spanish capital has something vibrant to contribute to every cultural scene imaginable. Both are welcoming, student friendly environments committed to making life easy and affordable for young people—so make sure you take advantage of what they have to offer!

  1. Be open to trying new things

Going to university is the ideal time to start doing things your own way. Try something new with your community through IE Clubs—whether it’s an fascinating new hobby, a skill you never thought you’d master or an event you wouldn’t usually attend. With everyone in the same boat, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll get into new things when you throw yourself in, so don’t hold back!

With these tips for going to university, you’ll have everything you need to start off right when you step onto campus. Remember to always enjoy the journey!