I’m not sure about everywhere else around the world but university has started for us Aussie students so I wanted to do a complete post on how to make the most of your studies, especially considering that university/college represent some important years of life before you’re forced to enter the ever so scary workforce. =O It will be my third year of university this coming week and I wanted to share my experiences and tips that I’ve had along the way. Admittedly, I didn’t research much about university (not even my course, which was very stupid of me ><) before I walked in and I was so shocked by the transition from high school to university. It truly is an entire new world that I was not expecting but I’m here to lessen the fear and make you feel prepared for what’s ahead of you! I’ve broken my post down into a few key categories.
Being organised and having great time management skills are absolutely important (with anything you do really!). University = lots of homework, essays, exams, extracurricular activities etc. With all these things you need to do, it’s important to keep track so you don’t leave things to the last minute or forget any important dates.
♡ Use a planner/diary! Note down every single event you have on and plan ahead! If you have an essay due, schedule out in your planner so you won’t be leaving it all to the night before. Many subjects have frequent smaller assessments throughout the semester and it’s easy to forget them so don’t just write everything down, remember to consistently check your planner/diary at least once everyday!
♡ Make a to-do list! Studies show that making a checklist makes us more likely to actually get everything done because checking off all the things you have done for the day is really fulfilling and satisfying. It’s a bad feeling when we have to cross something off that we didn’t get done!
♡ Separate each unit of study/subject. It will get confusing if you compile everything into one and it gets incredibly messy, so splitting them up and making it clearly obvious that your documents/papers are distinguished as different subjects such as through colour coding or using dividers and binders/folders will make things so much easier for you!
Ok so I know that a majority of students only attend their tutorials and not their lectures because most lectures (in my case) are recorded online so they’re readily available at your convenience! But it truly makes it hard to be up to date because in most cases, you end up procrastinating and not catching up with the recordings at all so they pile up. Then when you get the chance to catch up, you’re not giving your full attention because you just want to get through them quickly to get up to date. Therefore the greatest advice I can give is quite obvious, attend all your lectures and tutorials! It will make your life so much less stressful when it comes to doing exams and assessments during the semester!
♡ Tutorials are the best places to ask questions. Your tutors are there to help you and they are more than happy to. If you’re unsure about a certain portion of your subject or you need clarification, ask them and don’t be afraid to!
If you’re a full-time university student, it’s inevitable that you will have so much content you need to go through and revise. In my opinion, the best approach to not be so overwhelmed by it all is to be consistently revising! Don’t leave it to the last minute or leave it until a week before you have an exam on! This is a struggle that is so common among university students because who actually enjoys studying right? LOL. But it truly makes a difference in your stress levels! By the time you need to prepare for exams, you will spend a shorter period of time revising because you’ve already been doing it the whole semester!
♡ Know your syllabus/unit of study outline! It is probably the single most important paper in university. The syllabus sets out points on exactly what will be taught and can be examined in your assessments. If you are aware of the possible content that can be questionable, it will make studying so much easier because you will only be revising over information that you actually need!
♡ Plan ahead. Know your scheduled assessment timetable so you have a decent heads up on when you will need to revise most thoroughly and work out how much time you need to spend on each subject. If you’re extremely knowledgable in one subject but lacking in another, allocate more time on the subject you’re struggling with so you can excel in both!
One of the most expensive things about university are the textbooks that you are told you have to purchase and they truly add up. But you definitely don’t! Figure out if the recommended textbooks are actually examinable. Most of the time they are for supporting materials and if that’s the case, just go into the university library to look up the pages you need! If it is fundamental that you need to purchase a textbook, don’t worry! I know that where I live, there are websites that sell discounted textbooks. If not, you can sell them after you’ve used them!
♡ The library is your best friend! Only buy what you need to spare some money. =) Textbooks are incredibly expensive (especially if you purchase them directly from the university store) but most of the time, everything you need is right in the shelves.
♡ Always have spare pens and pencils! This is especially important during assessment period, you would never want to be in a situation where your pen has run out of ink or you’re out of lead! Even in examinations that require the use of a calculator, I would bring a spare one just in case one suddenly runs out of batteries midway through.
People say that the friends you make in university are the friends you keep for the rest of your life! Even until now, I’ve definitely realised that some people from high school were only my friends because I saw them everyday. I have to say that I’m not a completely social person and I was nervous entering university because most of my closest high school friends were going separate ways and this meant that I was forcing myself to be in a situation where I would actually have to go out of my way to introduce myself and interact with other fellow uni students. However, this is something you really need to overcome! University is tough so it’s important to have friends around you to support you both academically and emotionally.
♡ Spare time for your hobbies and friends! You need to destress somehow and spending time with good company definitely helps alleviate a lot of the stress!
♡ Make time for yourself. Don’t forget to pamper yourself sometimes and never feel guilty about it! You can’t possibly be doing university work all the time so go paint your nails, take a relaxing bath, do a face mask.. do anything you want. =)
♡ Join campus societies and clubs! They’re a great way to meet some new faces and do fun activities together with. Being part of the committees is a great way to boost up your CV too!
For those of you that are starting university or have started already, I wish you all the best in your studies! =) Try your best to be organised but also loosen up a little, don’t get too stressed out and remember not to be too hard on yourself! I know you have the motivation and determination to study hard until you graduate so keep at it! If you have any other questions you want to know or have any requests on future school related posts, please feel free to leave them in the comments!