Plan, plan, plan
Balancing your personal and student life is not easy. Since studying and working are already challenging tasks on their own, finding time for both of them can be overwhelming, especially if you have family to support. Get a personal planner or calendar and plan your schedule carefully. Writing things is not only a good way to plan, but also a way to relieve stress. Seeing things written will give you a sense of purpose to replace the sense of suffocation.
Don’t stress if you fail a test
Everyone flunks every now and then and it is nothing to be ashamed of. If you had a bad exam, don’t worry! The Finnish university system is forgiving and allows you to retake exams without losing course progress. If you already passed your exam, you can even aim for a higher grade on the next exam opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to mingle
Interacting with your fellow students is not always intuitive, especially if there is a large gap in years. At the University, interaction is more straightforward as you all have similar goals, such as passing the courses. In settings that are more informal, things might get trickier. You have presumably been there and done that before; however, it doesn’t mean you can’t still hang out with other students and party. You might even end up having a good time and making many new friends.
Don’t be afraid to say no
If partying is not your thing or you are otherwise occupied, you can also say no to parties. Even when your friends are going out to rock this city to the ground, if you’re not up for it then it’s better to live to fight (read: party) another day. Alternatively, you can also find student groups that fit your interests, such as board games, climbing, singing, and martial arts.
If you do say yes, be wary of alcohol
If you do party, remember: a drink or two can relieve some tension. However, 20 beers, 10 jägerbombs, and a bottle of ‘jallu’ will very likely kill you; and if you are (un)lucky enough to survive, you’ll have deal with the dreaded and legendary many‑day hangover. An 18‑year old can recover in a day, but anyone above 25 will experience a living nightmare.