Uni Tips | Things I wish someone had told me about studying before I went to University

coffeeI feel like I want to write more posts on university life and studying, since it’s my last year I feel like I’ve worked out some good methods of note taking, revision and writing essays, and I know a lot of my followers are students too, so I thought I’d share them with you!

Obvious ones:

Take a good amount of stationery!

Post its, a good planner, coloured pens, hole punch, a really good Spotify playlist, without lyrics is best! Create a clear, organised workspace in your room because this helps clear your head. (See my blog post on how to relax for some tips on clearing your mind.)

Note taking in lectures:

  • I started uni with loads of pads of paper and took notes by hand in lectures. This was a huge mistake, when it came to revising in the summer I had lots of pieces of paper and if I hadn’t kept up with filing, they became messy and unorganised.
  • In my second year, I started keeping my notes on my laptop; I made a document for each module and wrote everything in there. I could flick between the power point which I could access from my laptop and type whilst the lecturer was talking. (You can also google things you don’t know really quickly, and trust me, this makes you look super clever)
  • When my modules had finished I went back through these documents and editted anything that didn’t make sense, made it look a bit prettier and formatted it, and then printed it off and put it into my ring binder so I could get to my notes in paper form for revision. Also very useful for essays.

Essays:

  • If you don’t know what you’re doing with an essay and you feel like you’re stuck, make a really good plan. If I’m stuck, I work out how many words I need to hit, say 3000 words. I then divide the essay into sections, Intro being 300, Conclusion being 400 and then I divide the rest into the amounts of points I want to make, so if I have four points to make, I aim for them to be 575 words each. Then I split them up in a word document and just start writing for each point, just getting whatever is in my head, onto paper. I found that if I did this without sub headings and word limit guides then the essay would be much messier, whereas, with this little system, I keep my waffle limited to subtitles.
  • Learn the referencing style as soon as you can, find out which style your department uses and print off a guide and tape it all over your room.
  • Another thing: never go over the limit and never hand it in late. Not worth the penalty deduction!

Revision:

  • Everyone has their own way of revising, and I’m guessing that if you’ve got into uni and gone through college, you’ll know your method of learning. University, however, likes to lull you into a false sense of security. You spend the first year mostly drunk, you sometimes miss lectures and you stink of last nights Jaeger bombs in your 9 am (This doesn’t stop in second and third year, but it definitely happens less), so when it comes to revision season, you’ve forgotten what it’s like to work hard.
  • Biggest tip is: just go to all your lectures. And if you don’t, ask a friend in that lecture to send you a copy of someone else’s work. (Another good thing about taking notes on your laptop is that you can send them to your friend who is dying with Fresher’s Flu and they will have to repay the favour later in the year when you’re ill or missing a lecture for a competition or match).
  • During revision, you need a full set of notes. I personally go through the lectures and pick maybe 8/10 topics that we’ve studied (this varies for different subjects, but in History, you can get away with this) and then I make my own revision guide with my notes and other reading. Then I learn from this and highlight the most important bits. I also print off the past paper questions and make just essay plans for the answers.

I hope my ramblings have helped you or given you some idea of what uni will be like in terms of the work! You can check out my guide of decorating your Uni room *here* and things you need to know before you become a Fresher *here*.

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