Organisation is key. Whether that's colour coded notes, a work schedule, deadlines on your calendar or phone notifications. Make sure you know where things are, what you need to do and when you need to do them by. This will make revision and coursework deadlines a hell of a lot easier to handle!
2. Work first.. party later.
A bit of a given really, after all you are paying for your course. Go out as much as you like just make sure to complete your work beforehand! This will really make a difference to getting the grades you want. Fit the partying in around your work rather than trying to squeeze work in around your partying. There is nothing worse than trying to scramble together a last minute essay when you're hungover and tired.
3. Get to know academic staff.
A lot of lecturers don't actually get to know their students.. they're busy and teach a lot of different classes alongside their own research but, that doesn't mean you can't get to know a few of them. If you're interested in their work or need some academic advice send them an email, ask them a question after the lecture or schedule a meeting in their office. This will help tremendously when you need an academic referee.. they can't claim to know you if they don't! Plus you will also learn a lot and appreciate your subject a lot more!
4. Do things above and beyond your work.
This is SO important. Think of the amount of people at your university, studying your subject. What makes you stand out? As annoying as it is, it's true what the careers advisors say, you're career depends on much more than the grades you get academically. So do that extra reading, volunteer for a good cause and try something new!
5. Take up as many opportunities as you can.
Lots of universities have academic speakers, chances to volunteer or courses for a specific topic e.g. Improving your IT skills, first-aid or CV building. Make the most of these. I repeat, MAKE THE MOST OF THESE. Even if you can think of a million other things you would rather be doing at that moment in time, you will look back and wish you would have made the most of these chances.
6. Use the library/free resources.
Ah the library. Not the most glamorous place. But one to use! Your university with have lots of free resources in the library and online that you can really use to help your studies or just to research something you are interested in. It really is an academic archive. Use it. Use all the 'free' resources the university provide; careers advice, welfare services, sports classes etc.
7. Societies. Join one. Stick with one.
They really are a good relief from studying whether it is a sport, baking, debating or playing games. Societies help create long-lasting friendships and will help develop your 'non-academic' skills - prospective employers do care about them too. So find a hobby or sport you enjoy (there are plenty to chose from!) and become a part of it. I
8. A positive mindset is everything.
Yes, you have to work hard. Really hard. Yes, some stress is normal and can really help you succeed. But try not to spend your whole degree stressing out and feeling like you're going to fail. It's not a healthy mindset and it doesn't help anything. You get a bad mark (it will happen!)... Ok, work harder next time, find areas to improve and use the resources available to do that.
9. Be yourself.
Don't worry about 'fitting' in or being the 'perfect' student. Stick to being your unique self. Study what you are interested in, do what you want in your free time and don't be afraid to stand up for your beliefs. There are thousands of different people at university; people with different interests, life choices, life experiences, etc. There ARE going to be people who you get along with.. so embrace your own quirks and get ready to find likeminded people.