- Talk to your lecturer outside of lecture hours. Relationships with lecturers aren’t the same as in school! Your lecturers love speaking with students to discuss the work or life. Plus, showing an interest outside of lecture hours gives you a good impression!
- Make friends! A friend can give you the motivation to make it to class in the morning. Plus, you’ll have good company for group activities.
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask or answer questions. You’re paying a lot of money to learn so use the best resource you have – your lecturer! An added bonus is that this will set you a good impression.
- Record lectures and actually listen to them again! This takes the stress out of scribbling down notes and you can focus on listening and taking part in the class.
- Make notes and reflect on them briefly at the end of the day.
- Save time and money (and washing up!), cook large quantities and freeze. When freezing, put into high quality sandwich bags and flatten which will save on precious freezer space as well as quick defrosting.
- If you’re new to cooking, follow simple recipes online. Sauce and carbs such as pasta Bolognese or chilli and rice are great to start. Utilise the number of people in your flat. It’s cheaper per person to cook for a large group than individually. When cooking, pool together money and make a meal to feed everyone. Same goes for lunchtime sandwiches, making big batches take nearly the same amount of time and minimises costs and waste. These dishes are also very flexible, you can have Bolognese Jacket Potato or a burrito with any left-over chilli and rice.
- Learn to budget and manage your money effectively.
- Always ask for student discount. Your student card can save you a lot of money when you’re out shopping with many shops both online and high street offering 10% or more. Our favourites are:
- Use apps to help with your productivity – there are a ton of free apps to help with productivity whether at work or at university/college. They can keep your notes on the cloud so no more corrupt files or forgetting to bring your notes and you can access from any device as well as sharing a workstream with a classmate and also set reminders for when deadlines are due! Here are a few to get you started:
- Quizlet is a great website for studying – used by students and teachers alike. Apps like EverNote is good for organisation and notes. The calendar app on your phone is brilliant for setting deadlines and reminders.
- Get in a good habit of doing your studying or coursework daily – even when you have nothing due soon. This will save a lot of stress and headache when deadlines are close and you’re in the library at 10pm whilst everyone is at the Students’ Union!
- Don’t estimate the impact of small work sessions scattered throughout the day / week. You don’t have to do all your work at once, small sessions add up and makes it easier to manage.
- Pulling an all-nighter is counterproductive. You retain less information and the speed at which you work falls, so you’ll be better of sleeping for a few hours.
- If, like a lot of other students, you struggle to start studying or just a major procrastinator, get a study buddy. Studying with someone makes it more fun as well as more social. Having someone to discuss ideas with, will greatly improve your understanding.
- When revising for exams, pretend like you’re teaching the subject. This method makes sure that you have a solid understanding of what you’re learning.
- When writing an essay or dissertation instead of using Wikipedia as a source, cite the sources that Wikipedia uses. To do this, click on the small numbers in boxes, which will go directly to the original source at the bottom of the page
- Learn how to Google (or Bing). When researching for essays and dissertations a search engine is your best friend. With each search generating millions of results it can be a mammoth task to find the results that you need. There are many ways to refine your search to be more specific. Key ones to have are:
- Filetype:pdf search term – returns pdf files that contain the book/paper you’re looking for
- Site:’website’ ‘search term’ – search a specific site for a search term. E.g. site:oatd.org biology
- Related:’site’ – found a useful website? Find a similar/related website with this search term. For e.g. ‘related:Wikipedia.com’
- Use eBooks. The library is great but can be limited and chances are, someone else in your class has already checked out the book that you want. Google Books as snippets of many books and Library Genesus has a lot of free books online
- Rule of thumb: Sleep more than you study, study more than you party, and party as much as you can!
- Get involved! Whether it’s a class social or flat dinner, it’s important to get involved early on in the year. This is when everyone is new to each other and haven’t formed any social circles. Lifelong friends are made at University so getting involved and knowing your flat and classmates is vital. It’s also much easier asking an acquainted classmate a favour compared to a classmate you don’t know!
- Eat a balanced diet. Cooking is a big enough task when you’re out of home for the first time but it’s very easy to neglect fruit and veg since takeaways are the easy options. Be sure to try and consume 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. Our favourites are fruit juice, carrots and hummus, celery and peanut butter, granola with yoghurt, fruit, and lettuce and ham wraps!
- Look after your mental health. The pressures of University can build up. If you feel like it’s causing a negative impact on your health, be sure to tell your lecturer or mental health department at your University. Many universities will have free services and resources to help you.
Utilise Your Space
Your room may be small but there are plenty of smart ways to maximise the limited space you have.
- Have a desk with extra layers. A keyboard tray or elevated monitor space will clear space for books when you’re studying whilst using the same amount of floorspace. Storage of books gives you better organisation
- When you’re studying for hours it’s important to get a chair that is comfortable and gives you the right lumbar support
- Organise your room. A cluttered room is a cluttered mind. Make sure you have a clear space for studying. A shelf to store your possessions and books will clear your workstation and improve efficiency.
- If you have no room for a cupboard, a simple clothes rack will do the trick. Also great to dry clothes on as you can roll it outside!
Hope this helps with your studies and share with friends and family to help them!