If I could go back in time to Enna’s first day, to give her one piece of advice, it would be this:
GET YOURSELF ORGANISED. AND FAST.
Because you see, I didn’t think the jump from A-Levels to University was going to be THAT big. But, once again (if you’ve seen from my previous University 101 posts), I was wrong. It’s a tremendous leap in fact. One that you must adjust yourself to, in order to do well.
It took me almost half of the year to nail being organised, so I hope some of these tips can help you out:
- Get kitted up – there’s no use going into battle without your armour, so make sure to stock up on stationary and invest in some desk organisers. Places like Primark and Wilko do cheap and very good storage boxes which are useful for organising files, and revision books.
- “A tidy place is a tidy mind.” – Set up your work station! I like to keep my desk tidy and free from clutter. But I also like to add some decorations like picture frames or postcards of my favourite quotes, to keep me inspired during revision!
- Study your timetable then set up your schedule (and actually stick to it) – factor in a few hours a day for reading/revision time. Don’t forget to also include some time for leisure activities! Giving yourself time to relax and unwind is KEY.
- In terms of key reading, make sure to grab your reading list ahead of time and check out any books that you need to from the library. Books tend to go flying out of the library VERY QUICKLY so make sure you head down there as soon as you can.
- Some books are also available as electronic copies, so I would suggest screenshotting or making a PDF of some of the key chapters and saving them onto your laptop/tablet for easy reach.
- Utilise Blackboard – pre-download or print the powerpoint slides for your lectures beforehand. Read these and highlight them before the lecture so that your attention is mainly focused on listening to what the lecturer is saying!
- Then write your notes AFTER your lecture – expanding on any bits that you to need to remember or adding in any extra information. Remember that repetition is key when it comes to retaining information.
- Also – turn your phone OFF during lectures so you do not get distracted! You should also do this during your revision time.
- Clean your room/ station / bag once a week – get rid of any rubbish!
- Keep your notes organised! Re-write your notes if you need to or throw away any that you do not need, to keep your files neat and concise. I also like to colour code mine into the different subjects that I am learning. It is also good to organise them by Lecturer so that all your handouts/readings for that particular module are all in the same place.
Remember that “failing to prepare, is preparing to fail” – so start yourself off on the right foot and get yourself ORGANISED!
See you all on the flipside!