Starting the University Term Ahead of the Game

Happy Freshers Week!!!
I am sure plenty of students are living with a pretty impressive hangover currently, but that does not give you an excuse to one-up your degree! Whether you are first or final year, here are some tips to boost your productivity and start your year on the right foot.

Check Out Your Timetable!

Whilst you may not start lectures until October, you should get yourself familiar with your timetable ASAP. Get a big wall planner or a diary and write down every lecture, lab time and activity that you want/have to go to. If societies have meets, write it down. If your degree has optional sessions, write it down. If you record everything, when you come to book in other things then you cannot forget anything. Last year I missed most of our optional forums as I did not write them down, causing me to miss some fun education and free pizza. As you pay over £9000 for your degree, you may as well try to go to everything offered to get your moneys worth from the university. I have found that when I write them down, I generally go. This improves my educational and professional development (CPD).

Look At Your Modules!

Most universities have an online learning environment which provides an array of information regarding term dates, lecture times and rooms. Use your handy-dandy diary to record your lectures, or at least know roughly when they are. You should also be able to find the deadlines for your assessments, reading weeks (where you may not have to attend uni at all during those weeks) and
other formative assessment or test information. Make yourself familiar with this online environment by pressing every button and make notes of any questions you may have as you can ask those in your lectures or email your lecturer. There should also be a reading list which you can check out. Use the library to have a look at these books before buying them, and wait until the lecturer says 'you must get this textbook' before buying anything. If you are a student paramedic, you may wish to get these books (link to a previous blog post about essential paramedic science textbooks)!

Get Ahead Of The Game!

Using your online environment, do your pre-reading with plenty of time and make notes on it! Look at the recommended textbooks and skim-read anything which you find interesting (so it is
less of a chore). Look at any websites they suggest for you to use or find your own and make a note of them or bookmark them for quick and easy access in the future. Visit your university library website and make sure you
know how to use it. I would also suggest checking out Google Scholar as this is a great way of searching for references. Make a separate folder on your laptop for each year, then divide it into modules and assignment or lecture notes. If you want to make paper notes, get folders and page dividers ready to start. The final thing to do is look at the presentation slides if they are uploaded in advance and make notes. Is there a theme here...? (Make notes)


Get Yourself Excited For Your Subject!

Remind yourself for your love of your subject. The more you love it, the easier it is to study and remember it. Read up on things you find interesting, immerse yourself in university and enjoy! Try to work with a smile on your face and everything will be a breeze.

I hope everyone is excited for the start of university! I am starting my second year and my main goal is to improve my work ethic from the previous year. I hope this advice is useful and good luck everyone!

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