(The things I’m about to say really only come from my own experiences, we’re all different and all courses are different so please don’t assume that what I’m saying will definitely be applicable to you)
The summer before I started university, I was keen to be as prepared as possible before I started my course. I bought the books on the reading list as soon as I could. Despite this, I was only a couple of weeks ahead (at the most) of my classmates who hadn’t done anything to prepare, so I wouldn’t worry if for whatever reason you can’t start reading in advance. However, once you’re at university the reading really must be done as soon as possible. To be honest, I found first year easier than Sixth Form. I could easily handle the essays and reading that I needed to do. The only thing that took a bit of time to get used to was learning to reference my essays properly, but this became second nature to me eventually. First year went by in a blissful haze full of relatively good marks.
When I started second year I went into a state of shock for about a month. I would say that the workload tripled. I don’t want this to scare any of you like it did me; it’s not as bad as it seems, honest. But at the time I didn’t know how to handle it. But I eventually did, and this is how: I read three books a week, every week (one for each module) and completed any additional work for seminars that I was asked to do (there was a fair bit – but this all depends on the tutor and the module). I also squeezed in writing essays whenever I needed to, normally over the holidays and Reading Weeks when I had a bit more time. It wasn’t easy, my grades weren’t as good as first year (although still decent), but eventually I made it through.
Third year was less of a jump in terms of workload. Although it did still increase a bit from second year, I was able to manage it better. I’d perfected my technique in getting my reading done and I learnt how much time to put aside to get my essays written properly, even though now they were required to be longer than ever before. My grades went up, and I managed to have a really decent social life at the same time. Third year was wonderful, I really enjoyed it. It really was all about gathering the skills I’d learnt over the years and pulling them together to succeed. Tomorrow I will be graduating with a 2:1 and I couldn’t be happier!
So we’re finally in the last stretch! For me it’s the last stretch of second year so lots of assignments to be getting on with and for you I’m assuming lots of coursework or exams revision! I remember being so stressed this time two years ago, I remember finding it really tough to study and juggle coursework and exams in 3 different subjects! I think the pressure of knowing you need to make good grades for uni really makes the whole ordeal a whole lot more stressful! I thought I’d share a few tips today of what helped me stay calm around exams time and helped me make it to uni!
1. I love to re-write things out! – That sounds a bit obvious and simple but it really helps it stay in my head. Im also really visual so I liked to make revision cards and posters with coloured pens!
2.Past Papers – I failed my A level English exam first time round. So in prep for the next one, I did past paper after past paper and made my teacher mark them until I got better grades. I got an A in the end so it must have helped!
3. Collaboration – I used to get together with other class mates and revise together and test each other. Sometimes we’d go for a walk along the beach and just chat broadly around the subject, I was really surprised by how much this helped, and the information you can retain from an informal chat is amazing!
4. Don’t turn into a workaholic revision robot! – Make time to chill out and exercise. I used to still go to all my dance classes when I was studying my A levels, and I think this helped take my mind off revision, so I could then go back to it with a fresh pair of eyes and motivated mind set!
I really hope some of these tips help! I know some of them are slightly less conventional, but they really helped me! And finally…GOOD LUCK! You’ll do amazing 🙂
With Liverpool down the road, and an endless supplies of bars and clubs seconds away from campus, it can be pretty hard to stay on the ball and focus at university! Believe me, the distractions are endless! The biggest difference between studying at college and university is self motivation. When you come to university you suddenly find yourself away from home, away from parents telling you what to do, and without teachers breathing down your neck about homework deadlines. But in order to succeed and get the grades you want, you’ve got to find the right balance of work hard, play hard – and this is pretty much the key to keeping a good work ethic and a social life. It’s probably taken me until now, the end of second year, to finally figure out the balance but here are a few tips I’ve learnt along the way!
1. Get organised – I had never owned a diary until this year, but planning out my week helps me so much to keep up with everything. I love a good list – yes very sad I know, but I find if I plan my week ahead I achieve so much more!
2.Surround yourself with motivated people – I am so lucky to have a group of girl friends that are all in the same work hard, play hard mind-set as me! Surrounding myself with creative and motivated people keeps me on track and makes me want to work hard!
3.Don’t stress – Stressing never helps! If you stress about not coming up with that creative idea, or finishing that assignment, it won’t happen, or it won’t be good anyway! So take time for a time out, relax go out for a few drinks and re- group!
4.Read something that inspires you! – I’ve recently read #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, and it is by far the most motivating book I’ve ever read, it’s sparked my creativity and fuelled my inner girl boss, to do really well in my degree to hopefully get the job of my dreams some day!
5.Remember why you’re here – For me, I came to university to learn how to be a creative, so that one day I can have the creative job of my dreams. It’s not bad to dream big, and it’s good to keep your goals in sight all the time. Sometimes I come home and think ergh I just want to quit and give up on this degree and then I remember why I’m in it and what I want my future to look like and it puts everything into perspective!
I found this article super helpful, with lots of tips on how to stay motivated! http://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/7-ways-to-stay-motivated-and-accomplish-anything.html