Life Hacks From A Second Year Student
It is nearing the end of Term 2 as I am writing this blog post. With only two more weeks of teaching left this year (as my modules in English Literature and Creative Writing are only twenty weeks long), it is hard to believe that the time has flown so quickly, and that I’ll be officially finishing the taught content of my modules in less than a fortnight.
With such little time before the term ends, I thought I’d compile some tips that I’ve learned along the way in the past ten weeks. I’m constantly finding new ways to save time, money and energy as a student at Warwick, and here are some of the ways that I’ve found that throughout this term!
- Handwritten mind-maps are a great brainstorming tool
This term, I started to handwrite some mindmaps when planning ideas for my feature film length Screenwriting project. I found that this was extremely helpful in linking specific tangents together and pulling together scenes for my screenplay. Although this example is specific to my module, the same theory applies to any study/revision – especially essay plans. Having all of your ideas blurted onto a real page in front of you, with an ability to physically draw links and connections to them, makes it easier to consolidate cohesiveness and the flow of your argument/plan. When writing these mind-maps, I use a large A3 revision pad as I find it easier to have ideas spaced out on a larger page.
- Plan lunches for the week ahead
This is something that I started to do towards the end of last term, especially as seminars began to be taught in person again – meaning that most days, I was eating lunch on campus. But I’ll include it in this blog post as I think it’s an important tip. Bulk-cooking is a saviour when it comes to making lunch for campus – for example pasta dishes or salads that can be made several days in advance. I have also started to pre-cut vegetables and cook vegetable fingers or vegetable burgers (some of my favourite things to have in sandwiches!) to make it easier and quicker to assemble sandwiches in the morning before university.
Ultimately, planning and preparing your lunches will save you so much time during the week, as well as money, avoiding forking out for lunches on campus.
- Grab yourself a coffee flask or thermos to take to campus
I love to have a cup of coffee in the morning, but sometimes it is impossible to find time to drink especially if you don’t have much time before you need to leave. That’s why investing in a coffee flask or thermos is an absolute lifesaver! For the days where you know you won’t have time to drink a cup of coffee, making one in a flask is a great way of still enjoying your morning brew on-the-go. Plus, you can use your cup in outlets such as Curiositea on campus if you were to buy some coffee on campus.
- Utilise the library’s Click and Collect service
If you’re in need of a book from the library, you can essentially ‘order’ a book (up to ten, in fact!) using a form on the library website, which a member of staff will collect for you. Then, within 48 hours, you’ll receive an email from the library notifying you that your book/s are ready for collection. The process is very simple, and is very intuitive – here is the link for the Click and Collect page – https://warwick.ac.uk/services/library/using/practical-information/click-collect-service/. Utilising the library for books in this way is something that I only discovered this term, and I would highly recommend checking out this service especially when you may be unable to get to the library yourself in busy assessment periods.
- The cheap coffee at Milburn House
Another coffee related tip, but an important one!
Forgotten your coffee flask and looking for a caffeine hit? Milburn House has you covered! Whilst I only discovered this in Term 2, when I only have one seminar in the building per week, it is definitely a useful find. The building has a Lavazza coffee machine, where any drink is £1.20, significantly cheaper than other coffee you can get on campus. Milburn House is about a 20 minute walk from central campus, but if you’re ever passing by or want a cheap coffee, it is definitely the place to go!