AUBG Student Hacks
With the approach of midterms, most of the AUBG students are on their toes. They manage different activities at the same time, but they end up procrastinating, scrolling through pages on the Internet, full with student problems they can easily relate to, or looking for student hacks, that will solve all their issues.
Every student often finds tips like “Get the notes for classes from people, who have previously taken these courses” or “Studying incentive with food – for every read page eat a gummy bear”, but the best ideas on how to manage your time, study fast and effectively and choose courses successfully come from your university. Whereas professors can offer valuable experience and knowledge in their fields, AUBG students are the sources for “hacking” the courses and life in the campus. They can enlighten you with the specific tricks to survive university and help you with their suggestions.
A fourth-year student’s advice
The oldest students presumably have the most information to share. Ivaylo Stefkov, a fourth-year AUBG student shared a list of the tips he learned during the years in the university.
1.Do not accidentally go through the emergency exit doors instead of the regular exit doors, they are alarmed, there is a fine.
2.Do try and set up your internet connection on all your devices as soon as possible.
3.Do not feel stuck with your first roommate, some people are great, but they are just horrible to live with, if you get that feeling, feel free to ask around for the quickest way to move out into a new room.
4.Do not tell junior or senior that you have too many things to do or that you are too busy, you will be laughed at.
5.Do not lose or forget your student ID, if you are one of them people who often lose or forget things, pay special attention to your student ID, it opens everything for you.
6.Do not think this is high school, it is not.
7.Do not buy all your student books and things before the start of classes, some of them you might get for free, some of them you might get cheaper from older students, some of them you may not even need.
8.Do buy a mop for your bathroom.
9.Do buy adhesive putty (office gum in Bulgarian) for all your posters and stuff to put on your walls, it is also incredibly useful for minor repairs.
10.Do not suddenly realize that you can do whatever you want now that you no longer live with your parents and feed only on cookies for two days straight.
11.Do not be afraid to be yourself, you are no longer stuck with a set group of people as you were in high school, just be yourself and the people whom you fit in will just sort of appear around you.
12.Do buy an electric kettle with instant coffee, or an actual coffee machine for your room, it is simply not affordable to go and get coffee every morning.
13.Do buy a knife and a chopping board, they will come in handy.
14.If you are really lazy, the cleaning ladies around the campus can clean your bathroom for a fee.
15.Do have a small stash of medication, and if not your neighbors probably do.
16.Do have basic knowledge of how to use the library, you may have to use it only once or twice (or all year long), but it will come in handy.
17.Do not sign up for a bunch of 9 a.m. classes, you could get up early in high school, but it is no longer as easy.
18.Do read your syllabus before you ask your professor anything course-related.
19.Do remember your professors are human, if you have issues with your courses, if you have too much work, if you have personal issues and cannot handle the course work, they understand, they will postpone your deadlines, they have a soul.
20.Do learn basic Bulgarian – at least enough for cabs, for ordering food and for telling the weird old people around the clubs to not bother you.
21.Do know that there are counselors around campus, not just for academic related things, but also for emotional and anxiety issues.
22.Do join at least one club, it is fun, and if there is not a club for what you want to form a community around, you can always make one yourself.
23.Do not join all the clubs – it is doable, however it will take too much of your time, trust me, I was in seven at the same time at one point, it is not physically feasible.
24.Do always have a bottle of water an arm’s reach from your bed.
25.Do have a small stock reserve of tinned food and other long lasting foods, you will need this if at some point you run out of money.
26.Try to procrastinate as little as possible.
27.Don’t drink six energy drinks in the span of ~10hrs. Just don’t.
A third-year student’s advice
Jetmira Allushi, a third-year student and a member of Radio Aura, also had interesting tips to share.
1.Take General Education classes that cover topics that you aren’t familiar with. Since you need to take such classes might as well learn more.
2.Join clubs that are major specific (political science club, business club etc.) and work towards being club president, it is a good CV enhancement.
3.Try as many new things as you can, you will probably discover interests you never knew you had.
4.Participate in class and get to know professors. They have a lot of valuable experience to offer.
5.Do not panic about grades. The more you panic the worse it is. If you procrastinate and have too much to do within a short amount of time, prioritize. It is better to do two things well and sleep, then to do six things poorly and then fall asleep in class.
6.Do not eat junk food. It is the easiest thing to do, but also the worst for your body, since chips and soda at 2 a.m. lower your energy and make you drowsy.
A second-year student’s advice
Going lower on the student standing ladder, Georgi Georgiev, the Vice President of the Student Government, gave some insight into the successful academic and personal life in AUBG.
1.The choice of classes determines your social life. It is very important to know what to study as soon as possible in order to structure your program. Your free time varies according to the intensity of the classes you have and how you manage your time.
2.Try to learn to sleep in any environment.
3.Go and talk with the RA‘s when you have a problem – there are trained and prepared for that, they are always there for you.
4.Define your priorities, whether you want to go for the club life and sacrifice your academic performance or part of it or you want to concentrate on the academic performance and don’t engage in the club life. The answer is somewhere in between, in the golden mean.
5.You have to be really passionate about what you are doing. I encourage people not to get into a club just because of the benefit of putting it on your CV. People should get into activities that they like and find valuable.
6.The very first priority is that you are investing your time, money, energy and youth in order to study, so at least a substantial amount of one’s time should be devoted to studying.
7.Go talk to professors. People make this mistake – when they have a problem, they do not go to the professors and that is crucial. We are a small university and professors usually know us personally – our performance, strong and weak sides. They can always help and provide advice. This is a resource people don’t use that much.
8.Keep track of your duties and responsibilities and assignments you are supposed to do. Separate the work you have to do in small chunks.
9. Keep in mind that Blackboard may crush.
10.If you leave a large material that would take hours for the last minute, that is when procrastination at its finest happens.
11.At least seven hours of good sleep is needed, preferably in a dark room. If you do not sleep consistently, it would be negative to your health, appearance, mood. Sleep is the moment when the memories are kept in the mind. If you read all night, especially in finals week, there is a big chance that you will fail, because your brain is tired.
12.It is always nice to find your way of studying. Some people prefer to study in a friendly environment with other students, others prefer the seclusion. Find what works for you and do not try to copy other people, because we have different abilities to memorize and reproduce information.
13.Drink a lot of water. And not so much coffee and energy drinks, because they are extremely bad for you and after some time passes, they have the reverse effect.
14.Try not to memorize, but to understand the information.
15.I encourage people before registering for a course to ask as many people as possible, who have taken the course, to get feedback.
16.Talk to your family, when you need relaxation and reassurance. Always the voice of your close ones will make you feel better.
17.Figure out your major as soon as possible. Try not to invest in a major and then drop it. Keep in mind the prerequisites and take them on time.
18.Take at least one General Education course in a semester. Balance the courses between General Education courses and those for your major.
19.There is time for everything, but you have to think before engaging in activities, which may harm your overall performance.
First-year students’ advice
Even though first-year students just dived into the university life, they already have some tips and tricks up their sleeve.
Bojana Pejkovic, a first-year student, shared her own:
1.Do not take the first floor room in Skaptopara. You will no sleep.
2.Take notes in class and you save at least two hours of studying.
3.Watch YouTube videos for some classes, if book is long and somehow boring.
4.Don’t take 9 a.m. classes on Wednesday and Friday, because Tuesday and Thursday night are the best to go out and party.
Georgi Leshkov, a senator in the Student Government, also revealed what he learned so far in AUBG:
1.Everything in university happens fast and spontaneous. Make sure to keep up.
2.Manage your time wisely, but always make sure you have time to hang out with friends at a bar, playing pool, or just chilling in a campus lobby.
3.Before you go to a nightclub, make sure you know how much alcohol you can tolerate and try not to overdrink. That is, if you want to be a boring human and not have any cool drinking stories to tell.
4.If you are a foreigner, make sure to travel Bulgaria occasionally. It’s a beautiful place and deserves to be seen.
5. Be active in your community. Join clubs, meet people, and voice concerns to student government. They are there for you!
6.Enjoy every moment of your freshman year. It only gets harder from there.