First year of higher education? Some tips for you…

Succeed your first year

High school graduates entering higher education are experiencing the beginning of a new chapter that may require adaptation time. Between working methods, rhythm, autonomy, stress… several students failed in the first year and found themselves in disarray. We even talk of school dropout for some of them.
To better prepare your new student life and succeed in your first year, here are some tips you can put in place.

Choose your path based on a professional project

Building a professional project will give meaning to your studies. It will allow you to organize your school career and better select the appropriate optional subjects. Find out in advance about different universities or schools, their courses, exam success rates, training, job opportunities and more. You can also visit open days and meet teachers and counsellors. Compare learning by talking with students from universities, BTS, preparatory schools, business school, … Don’t choose your orientation because it looks interesting or because someone tells you it’s okay or the person thinks it’s right for you.

Instead, ask yourself the right questions, such as: your interests, motivations, values, and vice versa, what you don’t like. What are your academic skills? What subjects do you prefer and why? Would you rather have a synthetic mind or an analytical mind? Are you more literary or scientific, or both? What are your personal skills? Creative spirit? Manual skills etc.

Be methodical and organized

You must realize that higher education requires more rigorous work and more autonomy in the organization. Studying regularly is a key daily habit for students who understand the challenges of this first year.

Summary sheets are often a good way to review courses that are often very complex. They will serve as a revision support. Start by asking yourself what your teachers expect from you at the beginning of the year. Indeed, each teacher has his own way of teaching, working, and correcting. For example, you may wonder if this is a pure restitution of courses? Questions focused on understanding? Are the questions about lessons or exercises? Thus, you will adapt your working methods to each of your courses.

Books, and documentation in general, are essential to effectively succeed in your first year. Do not hesitate to contact the libraries for your revisions.

Build a network of friends

Sometimes some students come from another city or even another country and don’t know anyone, while all the other students enroll with their friends from high school. This often leads to loneliness for these students, which then leads to isolation or even dropping out of school. It’s not nice to spend the year alone, especially when classes take place in an amphitheater filled with a hundred students.

Having classmates allows you to have someone you can count on in case you miss classes, someone you’d review your classes with, work in groups, and attend student parties. To make friends you can for example: go to others and start the conversation, invite others to go out, participate in group work etc.

Ask for help

Sometimes it can be hard to accept that you need support. Telling yourself that you can’t do it alone and daring to ask for outside help can be extremely complicated for some. If this is your case, you need to understand that it is legitimate to ask for help. This is not a sign of weakness and there is no shame or guilt to have because it has already happened to everyone to get help from someone.

Do not hesitate to set up sharing times, to help each other and to organize group review sessions. Having extracurricular activities on campus will be an asset to meet other students. In addition, revising in small groups allows you to help each other and overcome your weaknesses. Each has facilities for a specific subject, which makes it possible to explain to others what they do not understand, and vice versa.

Do not hesitate to ask your teacher for additional explanations, deepening of course points, clarifications, etc. Treat your teacher with respect and humility to facilitate this approach. When you sympathize with teachers, they respect you more and are more willing to help you when you need it.

Do extracurricular activities

Getting out of the framework of studies from time to time is something we strongly recommend. Student success is not just about work. Of course, it is necessary to reserve free time during which you can recharge and recover the energy spent on learning.

Do activities that create a balance between school and free time and can help you reduce stress. For this, you have several possibilities: you can do sports, social, creative activities… during your studies. For example, attending galas and events organized by the BDE or associations. It will also allow you to develop your network, live experiences outside of your studies and boost your personal development.

Follow us on the networks

As a reminder, Lift Etudiants is a non-profit association that works for the well-being and development of students in difficulty. Thus, it sets up activities and projects with the aim of improving their daily lives and educational careers.

On our social networks, we share informations from the Ministries of Education, Higher Education and Research, Crous, as well as organizations working in the school environment to inform and help students as much as possible. We also organize competitions, moments of exchange, sharing between students. You will always be able to inform yourself by staying connected and get closer to the association by email in the contacts tab for more information.

The association

We are a non-profit association created under the law of 1901 and which works in the sector of education and professional integration.



43, rue Frédéric Faÿs Villeurbanne - 69100, France