University requires a lot of independent study and individual learning, research and tasks – it is a lot different to A Levels and BTECs. However, even if you are completing everything on the list and submitting all of your work on time, it is important to get the most out of studying in your first year, and this is how to do it.
Firstly, you need to set up a routine. Look at your university schedule and your class timetable and work around that. The best example is to have a normal working day of 9-5 and stick your classes during this time. In this routine, you will have a decent sleeping schedule and the evening to relax because you can spend your extra time during these hours to revise, work on assignments and prepare yourself for the next lecture, and still have the weekend off! If you find yourself just working to the next assignment date and relying on last minute late-nighters, then you won’t be giving yourself enough time to work well and submit a decent piece of work.
If your sleeping, eating and stress levels are fluctuating its probably because of the workload you are putting on yourself – know that there is only so much that you can accomplish in the time that you have. Prioritisation is an important skill to learn, and some never learn it, but you should try. If you find yourself working the majority of the time and only scratching the surface, seek help at your university, IT Suite, Library, Lecturer and personal tutor; this is why they are there! You can even think about attending workshops and support sessions with university staff, to acquire skills to make your studying and workload easier on yourself
By understanding your strengths and weaknesses your study sessions and revision will benefit greatly. Focus on the areas that you have the most trouble with, or what you can’t seem to comprehend from your module curriculum – and schedule a one-to-one tutorial with your teacher. You need to feel comfortable with the material you are dealing with, and you’re attending university to be a part of a wonderful learning experience, and finding that you’re not learning the important things you need to, or want to, then it is only going to affect you.
Your classmates are a great backup plan, and their knowledge and abilities will be completely different from your own, and you can all gain from that. Let them encourage you to study and to push yourself harder, and allow them to talk you into spending the afternoon in the Library instead of watching the box set of Breaking Bad and that can help you understand how to get the most out of studying in your first year. Group study sessions and having a study buddy will act as a second conscience and only good things will come from it!
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