Back to Uni

It’s that time of year again. Three months of slacking around and sleeping in is over and we have just a few weeks to get our routines back together for a busy university year ahead. For those of you who are new to university, WELCOME!!! From personal experience, I came into university 100% motivated because I got through school and I was under the impression that university will be a piece of cake. Let’s just say I was all kinds of stupid and I fell into a deep pit of stress, falling behind and completely failing in everything. I guess I learnt it the hard way, but that was a necessary wake up call and now I can help prevent others from making the same mistakes I did. So how do we go about making sure we are prepared for the jam-packed semester ahead? We follow these tips and make sure we are on top of everything even before university begins. An organised start ensures a productive and successful semester.

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Planning is key!! You might have made it through school without a diary or even using a phone calendar to note down due dates, but that system is not going to work in university. No one is going to be there nagging you anymore about overdue assignments or anything. If you miss the deadline, that’s it and for every late day a percentage of marks will be cut off. So, I suggest you pay a visit to your local stationery store and grab yourself a lovely planner. Do not fret. If you can’t afford, there are many other ways. The benefits of a planner are that you can put your to do lists and monthly spread out and schedules and weekly spreads all within the one book. But if this is not possible for you, you can make to do lists on your phone or piece of paper and print out a monthly calendar from the internet and schedule in all your due dates and plans so that you are aware ahead of time what weeks are busier and when you will have time to complete all the assessment while also going out and enjoying the freedom that being a uni student provides. i personally spend ten minutes before each week starts going through the university website and checking for any new assessments or important events and due dates and I schedule them in. Then it is ten times easier to make any alterations or add extra tasks in as the week goes. It also gives you an indication of whether this week you should be staying home and studying or if you have the flexibility to spend some time going out.

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Set goals

It is important that you begin the year with a combination of both short term and long-term goals. There is no point just diving into the work load without a purpose. Soon you will drain yourself out and get sick of studying or start prioritising other things like parties or binge watching tv shows. I set myself small goals for each week that give me a reason to study. In addition, I have one long term goal. Ask yourself “what am I trying to accomplish by completing this course? What’s the next step?” The answer to this question will guide you in setting goals and motivating yourself to work through the stressful workload.

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Note taking

I personally like to complete all the extra readings and go through the lecture materials and have my notes done the day before the actual class. This is a good tip to keep yourself ahead and top of the workload and gives you the opportunity to actually listen in your lectures and jot down and extra information the lecturer mentions that might come up in future assessment tasks or the final exam. Make sure you know your note taking method before university starts so that you’re not still experimenting in the middle of the semester. The note taking method I use is mind maps and Cornell method. I’m a very visual learner but you could be an auditory, linguistic or kinesthetic learner so your note taking style should be unique to you.

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REVISE regularly. Don’t leave that till last minute like I did. You will hate yourself for it come exam time. Spend an hour end of the week just reading over your notes for each unit and even make a small summary sheet or a mind map with the key concepts. This allows you to get familiar with practice questions and the exam style during swotvac rather than having to cram about fifty lectures in double speed while crushing about a billion red bull cans to keep you going.

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Keeping a budget

This isn’t necessarily an academics related tip, but as you transition into university, as many of you will know, a sense of independence and responsibility is put upon you. Keep a budget, because most of your parents will no longer be packing your cute little lunches with sticky notes saying, ‘I love you, have a great day at school’ anymore. We will be feeding ourselves and trust me buying food at university drains your account faster than anything else. You will be broke. So, meal plan and bring food from home and spend just when you go out. You don’t need the stress of having to work extra shifts because you’re broke, on top of being overworked by university deadlines.

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Last and most importantly, have fun and make the most of the year! Join the Lankan club or go to orientation week events and pub crawls, spend time with your friends every chance you get and make some beautiful memories. Yes, being a student is stressful but why not lead a balanced lifestyle and enjoy your uni days so that one day all of us can look back and reminisce about how much fun we had. It only gets more stressful and serious once we enter the workforce as full-time employees, so leave behind the responsibilities and your textbooks and enjoy yourself. I hope all of you have an amazing year and ace university!! Good luck!






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