A laptop next to a pot of pens, with a notebook and various other stationery laid on top

Hi, my name is Tom and I have just started my second year in Politics and Sociology. I am one of your Student Advisors, working with the Library and Learning services team. Coming back to university again has been great and I’m really excited for what is to come. With having finished my first year, I know the shift to university can be different to everyone. I am going to tell you my experiences and some tips to help you settle into university and succeed with your studies.  

Create positive study habits

Throughout my first year at university my goal was to create good habits and to experiment with my essays, seeing what got marks and what could be done better. Some ways I did this was looking at the Library and Learning services homepage and seeing what they offer. Even having a quick look at the resources can spark questions or intrigue you in what can be done better or a good starting point in your studies! Making use of the UniSkills workshops and resources page for you to get a better understanding of writing academically, referencing, sourcing information and more! Using these resources helped me to ensure I had the best head-start in my studies. The online and in-person sessions are extremely helpful in settling into study mode. You may even find out new and easier ways to help you with your tackle your work! After using these workshops, I was able to navigate the pages better, accessing the information more quickly and the quality of the searches were better too. This helped to settle me down at times where there were lots of tasks to be complete. 

A laptop next to a pot of pens, with a notebook and various other stationery laid on top

Find a study space that works for you

 As well, making use of the various spaces we have on campus can be a tremendous help. Whether you live on campus or not, there are lots of spaces to help you settle in with your studies. Catalyst is the first place I think of. Getting a hot coffee and working on my essays or doing my lecture preparation on the silent floor gets me ready for the session. The feeling of being prepared, having my notes in front of me with my music playing is comforting. Being able to have everything organised with what needs to be done as well as what has been done helps me plan out the rest of the week, where I am able to relax and do the things I enjoy. For some people working at night-time is better for them. Although this is not my preferred time of study, I can understand the quietness and the darker environment can be comforting, especially with your favourite snacks and drinks!  

Maintain a sense of routine

The main message is that finding what works for you and getting into a routine that works for you is key to help settle down further with your studies. Utilising the many resources the Library and Learning services team offers to students, keeping up to date with the next workshop and seeing if it will benefit you can really help. Discovering what type of environment and time of day that works best for you can also help massively. For some people it takes a bit of trial and error to see what works for them, and that is okay! Finding out what works for you and utilising the resources available will help what works best for you to study to the best potential.

Student Advisor Tom smiling at the camera

Ultimately, remember that there is lots of help and support available, whether from your department, UniSkills, or the wider teams within Library and Learning services, so be sure to use it! 

By Tom Jones