So freshers week has gone off without a hitch, said no one in history ever. Anyway it is done with and we know have stories to tell for the rest of the semester.

The first week at university is normally a doddle but towards the end of September the work really starts. Many have assignments due in around October and exams in December; University work has gotten real- perhaps not real enough to stop the party though. There is no doubt in my mind that telling first years to study 3 hours a night and only go out once a week would be like telling a cat to paint Van Gogh’s sunflowers- it’s just not going to happen. However, I have assembled a few tips that may help you pass your first year.

  1. Don’t leave it to the night before. Yes, the classic thing that you have been told since regular academic work made its way into your life; but have we quite gotten it into our heads yet? Generally the answer to that is no. I Know people who have managed to get through university without taking it on board but please, even if it is just to relieve the stress of you flatmates, do. I think it is probably okay to still be tidying it up the night before but the bulk of it should be done in advance.
  2. Study alone and in small groups. By studying alone you have the quiet and concentration needed to get through a bulk amount of material. You can effectively learn the basics then when you think you know a lot of it but just want to clarify things then go and work with others. By working as a part of a small group it gives you a chance to ask questions but also to teach others what you know which in turn reaffirms your understanding making you remember it better.
  3. Try to stay up to date with your lecture notes. People fall down here a lot. Normally everyone starts really well but after the first month they become very brief or non existent. Everyone has their own way for collecting notes. I personally write out my notes on paper and then a week or so later type the notes onto a word document annotating the lecture slides. I make a new document for each module and then at the end I print them off to use as a study textbook. Some people use their laptops and annotate the slides as they go and others keep them entirely written, or have voice recordings.
  4. Make use of the Universities library. It is a lot harder to be distracted in a library. In addition you are surrounded by useful resources and it is psychologically proven that studying away from your room is better for your general mental health and for your sleep.
  5. Be all you can be. Don’t look back; keep moving forward with your head up high. Believe in yourself because sometimes you will be the only person who believes, and above all be fabulous 🙂
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