You may wonder how students manage to have both a social life, sleep and uphold their degree (I have no idea how we do it). But I’m going to go for the typical cliché explanation “you need good time management skills”, which unfortunately you can’t buy on eBay (sorry). However, the support available here at Loughborough is immense. I for one have regular meetings with the English support service, which helps a great deal with my time management.
I often make a weekly time plan, where I record what tasks and events I need to do (I know, so nerdy!). I do this because I have the memory of a goldfish. Knowing me I’d probably end up turning up to a lecture after it had finished, or arrive at my tennis lesson when I’m really supposed to be at volunteering. It’s also efficient; I tend to get more work done with the pressure of short and frequent time slots. By this I don’t mean make a time plan to the extent of writing ‘remember to go in the shower 8am, 8:05 use the shampoo’. Unless you’re really keen and have the time to make a minute by minute schedule (bit sad). Although I can’t say anything because to be fair I’m list crazy, my room is literally a sea of post-it notes!
So where is the best place to revise? Google suggests somewhere relaxing! Cool yeh, I’ll just swim to a Mediterranean beach, set up my laptop, plug it into a dolphin. No 4G? Great, RIP decent Snapchat story. So plan B? I personally work better in public places, otherwise I find myself wondering about my room, taking procrastination to a whole new level…seriously I’m like reading the back of my shampoo bottles, or tragically walking around my room discovering how many things are actually made in China (a lot). Some people work better in silence but I work better with friends. So I go to the Library with my friends or a coffee shop, purely because it’s nice to have the company and someone to aid your motivation.
Unfortunately you can’t depend on others to motivate you though. A lot of the time you will have to work on your own! So if you’re like me and get distracted by shampoo bottles, you need to find another tactic. So what do I do? I listen to music. Why? Well if we’re being scientific, music is known to relax your mind and improve your concentration. Whether you’re a Susan Boyle or DJ EZ fan – it works! However, if you’re listening to a bit of Lush Life by Zara Larsson on repeat you may get a bit distracted by the lyrics. So I usually just stick on a bit of hard core Disney background music, or Mamma Mia if I’m feeling wild.
Colours and mind maps! Bet you’ve heard that revision tip a million times before. Honestly, mind maps and colours are my saviour! I find it so simple and engaging. I’m basically a child at heart who makes their work into a rainbow, snapping my best friend a photo “look how pretty my work is” (cringe). Putting my easily amused personality trait aside, both colours and mind maps ‘a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts’, help engage the brain (yes I did do GCSE Science). I’ve always found mind maps help me generate ideas and make associations with the topic and subject area. I like to add pictures as I often find that images help me remember key ideas, and are a quick way to present a lot of information. Also as I said, I’m a bit of a child so I’m in my element!
So as a little summary of my revision tips…make a weekly timetable including revision slots, get a study partner, work in a place you feel comfortable, listen to music, and use colours and mind-maps! Oh yeah and you may actually want to revise, but you know I’m sure just by buying coloured pens you’ll bag a first in your degree.