With the second half of the first term in full swing, you’re going to find the workload ramping up. It’s at this point you really need to have a strategy in place that will help you cope with all the extra academic activities and that will serve you in good stead later on, when you enter the world of work. Here we’ve pulled a few tips together, to help you meet your deadlines.
Know your schedule
The last thing you need as things start to get busier is any confusion about where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there and what – if anything – you need to have prepared by the time you get there. More and more students keep their schedules on a smartphone or tablet, but don’t rule out the old-school wall chart. It’s big enough to see at a glance, always on and if you get a wipeable one, easy to amend should anything change.
Know what to expect
Along with understanding the demands of your schedule, it’s vital to know what’s expected of you academically at this point. This means asking questions and getting things completely clear in your head. There’s no embarrassment in this. You may have sailed through school but university is different – it’s harder and more demanding and you can only succeed if you deliver the work that’s required to a high standard.
Manage your time
First year students sometimes find the size and scale of the work they’re expected to do quite daunting and they don’t know where to start. So instead of getting stuck in, they waste time worrying about where (or how) to even get started. Make a plan, break the work down into manageable chunks and get something down on paper – rough ideas, an outline, some bullet points – and then run these past your tutor. If you’ve got three things to do at once, start with the most difficult one and then move onto the others; that way, if you start to run out of time you’ll still be able to fly through the easier assignments at the end.
Know where to go to get help
Where at school, every hour was accounted for, it can feel like there’s a lot less structure at university and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Make sure you reach out to your tutors and don’t be shy of asking for clarification about an assignment or a piece of coursework. If you’re really struggling, avail yourself of the many support services that are available to students; you may find there’s help with acquiring study skills or improving your note-taking and there may even be peer tutoring and revision clubs available. Make use of them and whatever happens, don’t suffer in silence.
Know when to stop…
…partying. There are a lot of events during the start of first term. Students are away from home for the first time, they’ve got money in their pocket and – on the face of it – more free time on their hands than they’re used to. Everyone wants to have a good time at university, but never forget that you’re there to learn as well as have fun. So discover where your ‘off’ switch is and learn how to use it!
Don’t put things off
It’s tempting to think ‘It’s only the first term, I’ve got plenty of time to catch up later on’. The truth is, you haven’t. If you have a poor first term, you’ll spend the rest of the academic year trying to catch up on all the work you missed as well as coping with all the new stuff being thrown at you. Remember, tomorrow will be here before you know it, so whether it’s getting on top of your studies right now or investigating work opportunities before they’re snapped up by someone else, don’t put things off. Do them today.
We look for graduates to join us all year round, therefore it’s important to set aside some time to start your application. Why not take a look at our graduate management trainee scheme today?