"Everything will be different next semester! I'll study, go to my lectures and be ahead!" sound familiar? I know I said that to myself all through high school and my first year of university but nothing changed. Not because I physically and mentally couldn't get myself on track but because I didn't have the drive to. Not falling behind isn't rocket science unless of course if you're actually studying something like rocket science, I imagine that would be pretty hard! We all want to have that crazy snapchat story worthy social life, that's why these tips are perfect! They'll help you stay on track without jeopardising those eventful night outs and even crazier snapchat stories. Here's your university game plan.
PLAN DON'T CRAM
Create a study timetable outlining what you need to cover each week and assign one unit a day so that you have time to cover difficult material and work on your assignment for said unit. Say you're studying 4 units a semester, then you'd only ideally need 4 days to study and maybe even 3 if there isn't a lot that needs to be done for one of your units. For example, I tend to finalise my notes for the week, revise and work on parts of my assignment for each unit, but if I happen to not need to finalise my notes for a unit then I use one half of a day to study one unit and the other half for the other. I usually use Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for my study as that way I have all weekend to chill out and party!
TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Do you study better in groups? If that was a yes, then grab your buddies and start a study group! Allocate a few hours a week and meet up to study, discuss and help each other with your materials, especially concepts you just can't seem to wrap your head around. There are some serious feelings of camaraderie when you hand in your assignments together, have a 100% attendance record because your buddy keeps waking you up in time for class or even get that coveted HD at the end of your course because of those long caffeine filled study sessions you had together.
WHAT'S YOUR COCKTAIL?
I can't tell you how important it is to identify your personal learning style - are you a visual learner? Most of us are! You could also be an auditory learner? A kinaesthetic learner? Or a reading and writing learner? Try taking this quiz to figure out which learning style works for you! Personally, I am a mix of all those styles. I prefer handwriting my notes, listening to my lectures as opposed to just reading the material and then reading and reiterating my notes closer to the exam date. I also found that I study a lot better when I have to explain the concept to someone else, maybe that's just the universe telling me I should be a teacher.
GO GO GO!
Nobody enjoys going to lectures, especially those early morning ones! Attending the lecture is vital if you know you'll do something along the lines of "Oh I'll just watch it online, I study better that way anyway" and then proceed to binge watch Netflix until the week before your exams. If you know, no matter how much you try and convince yourself otherwise that you won't end up watching the lecture online, go to your lecture! Even if you doze off sometime between the part where the lecture started and that part about how it relates to your assignment, at least something gets stuck in your memory right? It's also a great way to meet other people in your course, the more the merrier! You can grump about early morning lectures or the guy who's sitting a few rows ahead of you drooling all over the desk and then perhaps start a study group together or hold each other accountable when it comes to attending lectures!
PRE-GAME NAPS AND DRINKS
There's always that one period in the semester where we rely on caffeine to get us through the week! If you haven't experienced it yet, it's a very exciting game of "Can I finish this assignment on time?" and the ever so slight "I'm going to fail and that will add another semester of university fees that I can't afford". I'm here to tell you to start your assignments early! The outlines and assignment sheet is usually released at least 3 weeks before the due date, so if you set aside an hour or two to complete parts of the assignment, you won't end up having those caffeine and stress filled nights! Instead you'll be having a good ol' congratulatory snooze for completing the assignment or maybe a night out on the town! University can be hectic at times and between all those times of coffee and alcohol, you need to remember to stay hydrated (with water!), because dehydration can really affect your performance as it reduces the ability to keep things in memory, increases stress levels, decreases sleep quality and so on. Sounds horrible, doesn't it?
Now let's recap shall we? Drink lots of water, identify your learning style, plan your week with a study timetable, attend your lectures, buddy up and don't forget to have fun once in awhile! It's university, make friends, go to parties, meet people, experience the nightlife and create some crazy memories and stories to share with your snapchat friends, future children, work colleagues or just anyone really!