You’ve settled into university, had a few lectures for each
of your modules, done a bit of reading or at least attempted to, and now… The
lecturers begin to mention assignments or coursework.
This was mostly my scenario. Although we’d been informed in
our introduction session how the module is assessed it doesn’t dawn on you that
work is real and its approaching until its more candidly mentioned in lectures.
My first deadline was mid-November, leaving me a good two months to settle into
university, though that won’t be the case for every degree.
I remember stressing quite a lot leading up to beginning to
work on it, I’m a perfectionist but I also wasn’t sure how it’d be marked. In
addition, I’d never referenced before or had to write academically, so there
were a lot of factors revolving around this one piece of work. However, eventually,
one October afternoon I just sat down and wrote it. Actually, writing the piece,
exploring not using contractions, referencing myself up to the hilt; it was a
very relaxing experience. Reading texts I’d not read before to gather information
to back up what I was saying was very enriching to my understanding of the
concept I was discussing.
Moving forward, I tackled all my deadlines the same. If I
could I’d give myself ample time to write out my essays, or piece together my
presentations. While not everyone will do this and will be able to refer to
their memories as being a lot more stressful, this way of working had ensured
my university life thus far has been quite relaxed. My uncle once said a degree
is a marathon, right now I’m very much jogging, though I’m not sure when I’ll
need to sprint.
Getting my work done ahead of time has also ensured grades I
can be happy with. My first piece of work bagged me a high 2:1, pieces done in
a similar method have also gained those grades.
I’m sure at some point I’ll write a follow up to this blog
discussing my panicked deadline where I was writing up against the clock.
Though, for now I can simply say the first dreaded deadline doesn’t have to be
Welcome back after the Easter break, I hope you have had a good Easter break and managed to have some well deserved time off from your studies.
My Easter has been quite eventful, I went home for a few days to catch up with family and friends as I had not been home in quite a while! But, as I am in my third year I have had a lot to do and it has included quite a few late nights in the library! The weather has been so nice as well so it was lovely to be able to spend some time in our garden doing work.
This week is actually the last week of semester two and then we move on to the joys of exams and assignment deadlines, it is such a strange feeling for me as I only have three more deadlines and then I will have completed my degree. I can’t believe that three years have gone so quickly and I only have a few months before I move home and released into the real world!
I would love to know what you all got up to over Easter! and good luck to everyone handing in their dissertations over the next week as well as to everyone with deadlines, summer is fast approaching!
It’s that time of year where students can be found busily working around campus, especially in the library, ahead of assignment deadlines. Here’s a few tips to help you to stay on top of your work throughout the year so that you can avoid any last minute rushes to the library for books!
Find out your deadlines as early into the semester as possible, along with your learning objectives. You can find many countdown apps to help you to remember these deadlines.
Create a plan and leave plenty of time for reading, getting feedback if possible and drafting your work. Reading around the topic can help to increase your knowledge of the subject and often helps to give you the wider context of your module. Setting structured time can help you to stay focused and don’t be afraid to reward yourself afterwards for your good work.
Create a plan for your assignment and work out what you want to include. Mind-maps can help with this as they can be used to help you to find links between your ideas, helping your assignment to flow. Always keep the question in mind!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If the lecturers or seminar tutors are able to provide feedback make sure you take them up on their offer.
Check over your work thoroughly – little mistakes such as poor spelling and grammar and not using the correct font, font size or line spacing can lose you easy marks. Always check if a header and footer is needed too.
Once you’ve completed your assignment, put it away for a short while then check back over it with fresh eyes. This can be useful for ensuring there are no mistakes and that each sentence says what you intended it to say.
Allow time to submit your assignment early, don’t leave it until a few minutes before it is due in. This can help you avoid any last minute problems, whether these are technical difficulties or personal problems such as ill-health.
What are some of your top tips? Please share them in the comments below 🙂
It may only be February but the summer will soon be here and with it will come the stress of exams and deadlines. University and school life can be difficult, you could be under a lot of stress and it may become a bit overwhelming at times. There’s no shame in admitting that you let work get on top of you sometimes, we all have those moments. So here are a few tips of how to keep calm during those stressful work periods and they will hopefully have a positive effect on your mental health and performance level.
Do something you enjoy
You may struggle to relax when you have a lot of stressful things to think about but it is important to take time out of your day to do something you really enjoy and find relaxing.
This can be anything from taking a relaxing bath, reading, watching a film or playing video games. Taking a break from your stressful routine to chill out is incredibly important and will help your mind de-fog and restore your motivation so you get more done.
I find that using apps like Headspace can help calm you if you’ve had a particularly stressful day. If you take out 10 minutes of your day to meditate it can help improve your mood and performance whilst also helping you stay a lot calmer. I have used this app quite often to help me take back a bit of control and keep myself nice and relaxed. Whether you use it as a one-off or even make a routine of it meditation will help you concentrate when you aren’t feeling your best.
Candles & Scents
It has been scientifically proven that scents can help to improve your mood, perhaps lighting a candle – or using a scent diffuser as a lot of student accommodation forbids the use of candles – will make you feel a lot calmer and will fill the room with your favourite smells making you feel happier whilst you do your work.
If things are starting to become more and more stressful and you’ve been stuck in a stuff room for hours on end take a break – go for a walk or meet up with some friends for an hour or two just to clear your head and then you will be much better. I find this a really effective strategy as when I return I have a renewed motivation and feel ready to tackle the workload.
So it seems to be that everyone is slowing down on the run up for Christmas, getting all their shopping done and going out for staff parties, but not me! This is one of my busiest times of the year! Being a student studying a coursework heavy degree, Christmas time is all about getting a million and one assignments in and making sure they are all to the very best they can be. I really shouldn’t complain though I do literally get a whole month of in January – bonus! But not only is it a busy time for me, I’m guessing it is for you too and trying to decide what uni is best for you in order to get that UCAS (is the word driving you crazy yet) in on time. So here are my top tips on how to decided which uni is right for you!
The Course- If you love the uni and don’t like the course, probability is you’ll get really bored and want to drop out after a matter of weeks. Picking the right thing for you is so important because you have to put up with it for 3 years! And doing something you love just makes everything so much easier.
Extra – What do all the universities offer you that others couldn’t? Will they offer you opportunities to enhance your CV and make you more employable?
Area – Think about whether you want a campus uni or city, weigh up the pros and cons. For me this was so easy, I wanted a campus university, but not too far away from a major city, for shopping and nights out.
Societies and Facilities- Does it have everything you want and give you opportunities to try something new? Check out everything that’s going on at the uni and make sure there’s stuff you’ll want to get involved in.
Can you honestly see your self there? – That sounds like a bit of an odd one, but when I came to visit Edge Hill I instantly felt at home, and I could just see myself settling in straight away, go with your gut instinct, usually they never fail you!
I really hope this helps some of you guys and helps make the whole issue of picking uni’s that little bit less stressful!