So, Semester Two has come around and most students are already feeling the stress of tackling new challenges and piles upon piles of coursework. As a (mostly) organised student, I thought I’d share some of my best tips on how to keep your head above water whilst you might feel like you’re drowning in deadlines!
1. Get a planner
I could not actually function without my planner. There, I’ve said it! If you ever want to break me just break my planner (please don’t). In all seriousness this transformed my university life. Mines from Seeso Graphics (others are available). It allows me to put in the dates so not restrictive to any year, has a monthly calendar and daily calendars which act as timetables for the day. It allows you to plan your university lectures and seminars as well as taking the bins out if you’re as forgetful as me!
2. Clean and tidy room
Now, I know if my mum saw this she would probably collapse. I honestly didn’t even consider this as helpful to my life until I started going to University. However now living and working in student accommodation you realise how important tidiness is to your productivity and also how quickly a bathroom goes from spotless to well, not spotless when your mum isn’t there cleaning it every week… I try, before I go to sleep to make sure my room is tidy enough so when I wake up I know where everything is and don’t fall over those shoes you never put away. If you tidy it a little every night, it never gets that bad. So yes mum, you were right all along.
I agree that this one isn’t the easiest to master. A university student values many things but I don’t always think sleep is at the top of the list. Unlike being at college you probably won’t have to be in for 9am every day, throw in a night out once a week and your poor sleeping pattern is crying out for help! I know sometimes its impossible, but try, on most days, to set a time you want to be asleep by and set an alarm for the morning. With some routine you will be feeling more energized in no time and still be able to have that night out, without your body clock thinking 4am is the perfect time to go to bed!
4. Dont rush
When getting up for that 9am start, maybe you should be reconsidering getting up at 8:52am? I know nobody likes the early starts, but giving yourself 8 minutes to get ready for the day is bound to cause you to forget your contact lenses on the way to play badminton (yes I have done this several times). Give yourself half and hour at least. That means you can fully enjoy that delicious bowl of Sainsbury’s own brand cornflakes and not forget a pen or whatever else you need for the day.
5. Study Area
I can’t really say I am the best at doing this, (currently surrounded by an empty cereal bowl, four glasses and a cereal bar wrapper), but I am learning. By creating a ‘workspace’ it can really clear your mind so you can focus on your work. Sometimes I work in the kitchen, however be warned the easily distracted, it can make you less productive when a film night is suggested! But sometimes it is nice to get away from your room when you’re locked up in serious revision mode. Either way, by cleaning a good working area it encourages you to work the most efficiently and reach all those pesky deadlines.
6. Set goals
You may hate the New Years Resolution clichés and if you made them, have probably broken them… However, there is serious logic in creating goals. I always try and put a number to the goal. For example, saying you want to read 2 books in a month is more achievable than simply saying ‘read more’. Maybe make a goal a month, it could be work related or anything really! Having that something to work for creates a good working attitude and almost creates a bit of competition with yourself.
By working any of these tips into your student life I can whole heartedly (but don’t blame me if it doesn’t) promise your student life will be more manageable and less chaotic!