Studying at university

Going to university can be hard. You might have moved away from home, to a different country or not know anyone at your new school. Whatever your situation, you might also be concerned about how you’re going to keep up with studying and assignments. When I first started uni, I was worried about this. But now that I’m an old-hand, I’ve learnt some tips about how to keep my workload and stress levels under control….

1. Keep it in perspective

Yes it’s important to try hard at university. But, if you hand in a paper late the world isn’t going to cave in! If you forget about an assignment, just do the best you can and hand it in. I have been known to freak out about work in the past, but now I try to keep a cool head and remember that it will work out in the end, even if I get much less sleep than usual until I get that assignment in!

2. Go to lectures/tutorials

Sometimes it’s tough to get out of bed, get ready and go to class, especially if that class is at 8:30am! But you’re always better off if you go. That way, you’ll understand more about what’s happening in the class and it will be easier to write that essay!

3. Spend some time in the library

You know, that place with the computers, printers and tonnes of books? Yeah, that one. I find that studying in the library is more productive than studying in other places. I’m less likely to get distracted and take in the information I’m looking at better than if I was at home.

4. Know who you can study with

I have friends who are good to talk too and have a laugh with, which means that a group study session would be fun, but not necessarily productive. You need to know who you’re able to work well with, be able to work in silence together but also have regular breaks to talk so you don’t die from assignment boredom!

(Shout out to you Leah, you know I’m taking about you!)

5. Ask for help if you need it

To be honest, I still struggle with this one. I don’t like to admit that I’m drowning in work, or don’t understand what’s going on in a class. But, it always helps to ask someone whether it’s a friend or a lecturer. Lecturers are there to help. Well, they’re supposed to be anyway.

6. Learn how to skim read

Probably the best tip on the list. I don’t have time to read entire articles all the time every week for each class. It’s bad, but it’s the truth, and sometimes I just can’t be bothered. When you’re reading an article, read the first and last paragraph. That way, you’ll get the main point of the article and can decide whether it’s worth investing time in or not. If you read a whole article, look for key words based around the topic of your assignment, or anything that might be useful. Highlight it!

Throughout university, highlighters should become your best friend!

Bonus tip:

When you get your book list at the beginning of a semester, check and see if any of the books you need are in the library. Have a look at them and decide whether you think they’re good and would be useful to you. Sometimes, lecturers prescribe shit textbooks. A little investigation could save you hundreds of dollars throughout your degree!

Got any tips I haven’t mentioned? Leave them in the comments. I could always use more tips

Until next time,

Ellen 🙂


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