by Anjelee Sharma
Creating a timetable
Always create a weekly timetable of scheduled lectures, seminars, practical’s and add in any extra commitments or social activities, e.g. paid-work, voluntary work experience, any child-care, etc, etc
Once you know when your assignments are due it is a good idea to put in time for revision and extra reading.
Try leave an evening every week for yourself to chill out and be stress-free, and if possible either a Saturday or Sunday during the weekend!
I suggest doing a weekly timetable, so you can easily adjust it if anything comes up during the week!
(I used to go BONKERS and plan months in advance, slotting in pre-arranged dinners, birthdays, and outings with friends and families. I think despite having a hectic schedule at University it is still important to give time to your family and friends. At the end of the day they will always be there for you in your time of need, however they do deserved to be acknowledged as the special people in your life. We may have commitments to our degree but we shouldn’t forget the people that matter.)
I found it very useful and helpful to prepare for lectures, seminars, practical’s beforehand, so I was able to understand the topic area whilst in the lecture, and was able to ask questions.
Also, I realized it helped me not only to understand better, but also to remember the topic, as I would have pre-read for the lecture and the lecturer would be going over it again.
I highly advise students to do as much of the recommended or directed reading for each lecture, for every module. It may sound and look daunting but it honestly does help you so much in the long run and broadens your knowledge. This is useful for helping you gain above 60% in exams!
There are times I wouldn’t be able to take out the textbooks because they were out on loan, or some textbooks may have been too heavy to carry home. I would photocopy pages from a reference textbook (for directed reading) and read them. Sometimes I would relax on my bed and have a highlighter in my hand as I read which I may not always have been able to do with a textbook. During exam period everyone may have had the textbooks so having those photocopied pages saved me when revising.
Plus, the photocopied pages were extremely useful to annotate during lectures, as a lot of the lecture material comes from the essential texts. It was much easier to write extra notes, which are key, around the text, rather than trying to copy down everything a lecturer is saying! Alternatively if you are heading down a route where your module will be necessary such as going into research it may be useful to buy the important texts and go as crazy as you want with notes and highlighting.
If you are unable to borrow a book try looking for earlier editions of the books; search online on the university library E-books or on Google-books. Articles are also very helpful, as they are up to date and have several links to other relevant articles; PubMed is great!
I tried not to miss lectures, even when assignments were due!! I even did the extra reading instead of just focusing on the assignments, as I knew it was just as important, if not more important, as the exams are usually worth 60% and individual coursework’s vary from 5-30%!
To help me prioritise I would firstly write down due dates for all assignments, and set my own targets, e.g. to prepare for lectures atleast a day before. Then I would rank all these in order, and then see how much they’re worth and prioritize them, e.g. if one coursework is worth 10% and the other 30%, I would allocate more time for the assignment that is worth 30%.
These may all seem like basic ideas, but most people overlook them! So stick with them, keep yourself organized and prioritize!!
Make sure you hand in all work on time! It is not worth handing a piece of work late! So push yourself to start assignments and work on them until you get them done to the best of your ability. Try not to leave them to the last minute, as did I several times! It is not healthy; and is unnecessary stress! Procrastination is no good! If you actually think about it, procrastination uses up more energy than getting your task out of the way, because you waste all this energy and thinking time in putting it off. You keep telling yourself I’ll get it done tomorrow, tomorrow…tomorrow…oops it’s nearly 9.59am and I need to get my documents stapled!!!
I found it healthy and helpful to change the environment in which I studied in, so I had a change of scenery, kept my mind focused and myself sane! Inside the University I used several different locations, e.g. the silent study, group rooms, open area in library, computer rooms and any empty rooms! I also tried studying at my desk at home, in local libraries, in the park, at Starbucks, friend’s houses!
It is good to get a balance of work life and social life, so you don’t go crazy! So work smart, and enjoy uni life!
Even when it all seems like too much, power through and you’ll make it!
I wish you all the very best and good luck for the future!
Anjelee Sharma graduated with a 2:1 with honours in Biomedical Science Bsc. She is an extremely hard worker and works hard to make a change not only in herself but others. She’s a young lady with a vision to help and change the world. She hopes to pursue a teaching career and delve deeper into scientific research. She has a positive outlook on life and a brilliant vision so watch out for her as she proceeds to achieve major things. Nothing stops her…not even when she slipped on a piece of ice and dislocated her knee insisting that she make it to Tony Madgwick’s Cellular Pathology practical as she had prepared the day before. As she lay on the bed on the first aid room in Cavendish campus with her leg elevated she was disappointed to hear that Tony Madgwick had told her to go home for her own good