As we’re in week 9 of the first term at Warwick I thought I’d try to give you all a top 10 list of the useful things I’ve picked up on to help with organisation and revision!
1) Buy yourself a term time diary or journal. This is a lifesaver for me, with all the lectures, seminars, fairs, events and nights out at uni, it can beccome difficult to keep track of everything so always keep this within arms reach so you can jot down important dates, times and locations of the things you want to go to.
2) Buy folders for each of your modules. It starts to become confusing and difficult to find notes from specific lectures and seminars when you need to read up for essays and refreshing your memory if you just have random bits of paper all over the place, invest in folders and file all your notes as soon as you get back so that they’re easier to find at a later date.
3) Invest in a portable hard drive, or at least a memory stick. You will need a memory stick handy for when you have to give Powerpoint presentations and there is NOTHING worse than your computer breaking or crashing when you’re in the middle of an essay. Always back up your work so that you don’t lose anything important and save things at regular intervals.
4) When making notes, try using different coloured pens. Using different colours for quotes, primary and secondary sources and other categories can be useful when it comes to revision and you soon become used to your own style of colour coding. Alternatively try using different types of bulletpoints for a similar effect.
5) Use a pinboard or whiteboard to write to-do lists and your goals for the day. There is nothing more satisfying that getting to the end of a productive day and wiping your board clean (I’ve wiped off 3 things already today) and it acts as a good reminder for important deadlines and general stuff.
6) Study somewhere where you KNOW you won’t get distracted. I can personally study in my room and not be tempted to surf the internet or procrastinate but many people I know can’t. The Library has great spaces to study with different levels of quietness on each floor and we have a small space in the History of Art department if you are stuggling to find somewhere quiet.
7) Don’t forget to reward and pamper yourself from time to time. By breaking up your study time with rest and reward time, you won’t overwork yourself and you’ll feel more enthusiastic about doing work or reading. This helps to keep you motivated and balanced so don’t forget to have fun!
8) Don’t leave things until the last minute.Deadlines seem to creep up on you sometimes and it is very easy to lose track of how much time you really have to get things done. Try to make a start on things while they are fresh in your head after the lecture or seminar and when you’re done you can relax and go out without feeling guilty.
9) If possible, ALWAYS do the reading before your seminar. When your seminar groups are so small, it is often obvious who has and hasn’t done the reading for that week and this means that they tend to drag as people don’t have anything to say or it is the same people saying everything. It’s much more fun, useful and productive to hear from everyone in the seminar group and other people often spot things that you don’t.
10) Last but certainly not least, DON’T be afraid to ask for help! Everyone has a few wobbles at some point during uni, whether it’s about the course, essays, reading, flatmates, housing or personal issues. You should never be afraid to ask for help. We have 2nd year mentors, personal tutors, Nightline, friends, flatmates and family to talk to whatever the issue and the longer you leave things the worse they’ll get so always seek help when you need it!
I hope these tips helped you all out, thanks for reading!