1. Organisation is your friend.
There is nothing worse than attending class on a Thursday, only to discover that the weekend you had planned with Netflix and Doritos would now be interrupted with two assignments and a quiz all due by Monday.
Don’t rely on your memory to get you through your assessment calendar. We all forget. As soon as a new episode of Pretty Little Liars is announced, I forget my own name and count down the days until it is aired.
So, I mean it when I say it: organisation is everything. Create your own calendar with coloured highlighters over your most-hated units so that you feel less devastated about what lies ahead. And you don’t even need to tell anyone that you are secretly enjoying colour coding either. Comparing due dates for your assignments will make a huge difference. Another cheeky trick that will save you, is creating reminders on your phone so that you can alert yourself a week before any assignment is due.
Do this and I promise you that you can say goodbye to all-nighters for good!
2. Get yourself a pal.
As much as we hate to admit it, we all make mistakes. Firstly, everyone knows that there is a tremendous difference between the effort you put into studying in the days leading up to your exam, and the effort you put in the night before your exam. I remember I had just completed studying on what I thought was two nights before my final exam. Minutes later my friend messaged me asking if I would like to attend the exam with her tomorrow.
I had a little chuckle to myself, this girl is so silly. Either she is playing a trivial joke on a stress-head like me, or she is genuinely confused. Well you can imagine what I found out a few minutes later. I had mixed up the dates of my final exam. I would be sitting my exam at 8:30 am the next morning.
Naturally I had three mental breakdowns, and stayed up until the early hours of the morning ensuring that I had actually revised enough. However, if I didn’t have a friend there to inform me of the correct date of the exam, I would have received a solid zero and a heart attack.
Be kind to everyone you see at university, do not be afraid to put yourself out there and make some friends – They could save your uni life.
3. Be THAT guy.
We all know that guy. The guy that has to disagree with everything your tutor says. The guy that must take total advantage when students are asked if they have any further questions. The guy that makes the tutorial go until 3:59pm instead of 3:50pm.
Okay, I’m not actually saying to be THAT guy. But be the guy that gets involved. University is most beneficial when proper discussion is taking place. You are much more likely to obtain that GPA you have been hoping for if you ask questions and speak to your tutor whenever you are confused. And if you think you know the answer in a tutorial or lecture, spit it out! You may find that you are the genius you thought you were, or even that your theory has some flaws that could be improved.
4. Lectures + tutorials = results.
I was having serious trouble with one of my units and I was unsure why nothing was making sense to me. How was it that each person in my tutorial had all of this background knowledge on the 1947 partition in India when I had never even heard of it?
Then one day I decided to attend the lecture. This lecture absolutely rocked my world. It all made sense to me now, everything that would be discussed in tutorials had already been explained in the lecture. I should’ve known that it wasn’t my lack of knowledge that was the problem, but it was my laziness.
Lectures and tutorials go together like crackers and cheese. You just can’t have one without the other. You can certainly watch the lectures online in your bed with stacks of junk food and flannelette pyjamas – what an enjoyable way to get educated, right?
This will only improve your overall grade in each unit.
5. Plan plan plan.
Maybe it’s just me because I’m currently studying high school teaching, but I do enjoy marking. Or maybe I enjoy telling people that they are wrong. For this reason, it is imperative that I write up a draft essay before printing it out and scribbling all over it, and writing it again. It feels like I am grading someone else’s essay and I get to tell them all of the silly mistakes that they have made.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like with age comes wisdom. I often need to revise my work the next day so that I can fix up any rubbish I had written at 9pm the previous evening when I slowly started to fade after hours of essay writing.
Make sure you give yourself a break and critique your own writing when you are in a better head space.