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Undergraduate Advice: Avoid People Who Use People
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Undergraduate Advice: Avoid People Who Use People

When you’re studying at university it goes without saying that you should study hard, achieve the best marks you’re capable of, make new friends and have a lot of fun. But, and of course there’s often a but – be careful with your friendships and avoid people who use people. Now what exactly do I mean by that? I mean that there are some students who may choose not to work as hard as you, or students who are struggling with their work and then they try and lean on you. You absolutely must not let them (even in the name of friendship).

Here are 4 things you should be aware of:

1. Allowing other students to read your work

Although you might want someone to read your work before you hand in an assignment, I would try and choose someone from another course who can give you useful feedback. If you allow students on the same course to read your work be aware that some people may plagiarise your work. I’m sure you hope that your friends would never do that, but it does happen and both of you would suffer even if you had done nothing wrong. Be vigilant.

2. Taking notes for other students

Of course there will be times when someone asks you to take some notes for them, because they can’t attend a lecture and you might have to do that yourself. However, be aware of someone who’s always asking, or someone who rarely attends lectures and then comes to you later asking for your notes. This is just freeloading and you don’t want to get caught up in it.

3. Don’t leave work unattended

Always know where your work is. Don’t leave it unattended where other people can freely get hold of it eg in university library, lecture or seminar room.

4. Work with people who share your work ethic

Despite what I’ve said above, it’s good to work with other students. You may find that you regularly want to work with a study buddy, where you help and support each other. This can work very well, just make sure that you work with people who share your work ethic and have a similar approach to studying.

Summary

This may sound a little depressing, but it’s not meant to. University friendships are very special and many continue long after you have finished your studies. Just make sure that you act cautiously in how you work with other people and be aware that not every student will work in the same way as you. That is not to say you should never help other people out, or work with a study buddy, but you should set your own boundaries and make sure that you don’t let anyone take advantage of you.


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