Hello everyone – today I wanted to write a post about something I’ve never talked about – my study tips, and how I study at university. I can’t believe I’ve got to almost the end of my second year without writing a post like this, but this term I’ve been feeling very motivated so it inspired me to write this.
1) Plan – I always plan my assignments out before I start writing them. This sounds like an obvious point, but in my first year I didn’t really do this, and since doing it in my second year I’m finding it really helpful and makes an essay much more manageable. I like to include in my plan my structure, what my key points will be for each section, and then note down what readings I want to use to support my arguments. Then when it comes to doing the reading prep and writing it up I know exactly what I need to be sifting through to find – because there’s nothing worse than attempting to go through all my notes and readings whilst staring at a blank laptop screen trying to figure out what to write about.
2) Bit by bit – This is absolutely key for me. I’m not the kind of person who can sit and write the same essay for hours and hours on end – quite frankly I lose concentration, get bored, and end up being unproductive. I’ve found that with my assignments, I work so much more efficiently, with better concentration and attitude if I sit and work on it bit by bit – say a couple of hours in the morning or afternoon, and then coming back to it later on when I’ve had chance to clear my head, and I come back to it with fresh eyes. I particularly find that with essays, writing at the same piece of writing for so long can often blind you to little mistakes, which you then pick up on when you come back to it with a clear-mind – but that’s just my working style. Because I have several essays all to hand in for the same date, I’ll take one morning to work on one, then switch to another that afternoon, let’s say – to keep my mind on something new, with new ideas and a clear mind.
3) Get plenty of reading done beforehand – Because I do such a theoretical course with a lot of reading, this is absolutely crucial. Unless I keep on top of my reading throughout the term, it becomes virtually impossible to have some good content when it comes to writing my assignments. To keep on top of my reading I like to just bring a reading with me on the train lets say, for example, or sit and read another piece when I have a spare half an hour between two things in my day etc. I always find it handy to have one in my bag with me along with a pen and highlighter, so that when an opportunity arises where I have a spare bit of time I can make the most of it.
4) Make a schedule – I find it really helpful, and makes me see my workload as more manageable when I schedule when I’m going to work for the week, when I have lectures and other commitments, and then when I’m going to have free-time. It can be difficult at assignment time to feel as though you should be spending every moment of your free time working on them, but allowing yourself the time where you can switch off and do the things that relax you and you can enjoy is key. For instance, I always try to keep a Saturday as a day where I don’t do university work – so I’ll give up a Friday night and a Sunday day-time if needs be, so that I can keep Saturday as my totally free day which I can enjoy and look forward to. Doing it this way helps me manage my workload and personal life – as for example I then know that I can spend Saturday for spending time with family and friends, creating content for my blog, binge-watching something on TV – whatever – without feeling guilty or as though I’m cutting into precious time that I could be working on my essays.
So there we have it, my four main ways that help me study at university and manage my time. I hope that you found this helpful! How do you study?