Dealing with a different workload at University
Starting university means many things – including an increase in workload and more demands on your time. The work set by teachers helps to widen your understanding of lectures and seminars and tests your knowledge on what you have learned.
The common forms of workload at university are; reading lists, assignments, exams, homework, projects and presentations, amongst many others.
So the question is, how do I deal with all of it? How should I prepare myself? And what are some useful tips I should acknowledge?
Below are several tips that I would suggest being mindful of and try to incorporate into your university life.
Make the most out of the time you have. Every second counts, so make sure to plan ahead. This will ensure that you are able to meet deadlines and as a bonus have extra time for yourself, your family, any part time work and doing your own thing (hobbies/interests) which means it will save you the stress.
App: The Pomodoro Technique is a great time management method which uses a timer to break down work into intervals, so 25 minutes doing work, separated by short breaks. This has been proven to be effective and ensures that you remain productive.
Adopt these worthwhile habits
Early to bed and early to rise (good sleeping patterns)
Everyone works differently. So Take out some time to find out what is the best way for you to revise (e.g. videos, mind maps, highlighting or revision cards etc.) This will be handy and worthwhile so you can get straight into preparing yourself and finding the necessary resources.
There are apps that assist you on a day-to-day basis to get things done (as simple as daily reminders or a to do list)
Read whatever ties your interests and studies together. It can be a journal article, essay, comic book, manga book, fiction or non-fiction, biography etc. The choice is up to you. You decide. This will prepare you with ease and understanding when it comes to the reading lists.
Keeping a journal or practise free writing. The great thing about this is that your writing about yourself, your thoughts/feelings, the word limit is up to you and you do not need to pay attention to grammar. The main purpose is to write something every day and build up from there.
Be organised. Use your calendar on your phone if you feel that you can’t keep up to date with your bookings e.g. events, deadlines or family plans. In this way you will no longer forget.
Be up to date
If you fall behind you will be left with the burden of playing catch-up – which no one wants. So it's best to go through your notes from lectures every day by simply reading over them and practise a few problem sets/practical exercises from seminars. This will also help you recognise the areas which you are weaker in, so you can make steps to improve.
Be aware of how you are going to be examined and focus on that
It’s normal to overthink things – or to not think things through. But what we really need to do is focus on what’s important. This is why course outlines for each of your modules are useful, as they explain the different ways you will be tested, and which topic areas as well as the percentage it is worth.
Concentrate on how you will work on the areas you will be examined on by having a read through the textbook sections on certain topic areas. If it is a test/exam it's worth knowing the format e.g. long piece of essay, multiple choice questions or short answers. This will save you plenty of tension in the long run.
Keep practising; turn clumps into chunks
It helps to break down clumps of information into smaller chunks, so if you’re studying for a big topic, break it down into smaller concepts. Study vital chapters step-by-step and make sure to test yourself through a quiz or summarise what you understood from your readings.
Have any questions?
Want to know more?
Ask me in the chat room.