How to Cope With the Work Load at University

And Have Fun Doing It

When we start university, we think its going to be all parties and fun with a little bit of work in between...unfortunately, it doesn't quite work out that way. A lot of people are nervous about starting university. Just look on student forums and there are hundreds of posts about nerves when starting, students not enjoying the course, and those wanting to quit. From the perspective of someone who did a science/biology degree, it is a lot of work, and it can feel strenuous at times. But there are ways to make that work load manageable, and even fun!

*I found that, when sitting in a lecture, the lecturer goes through the powerpoint slides so fast, or just completely skips sections so you don't get a chance to make worthwhile notes. I found that a really helpful thing to do is buy a good voice recorder and put it down the front of the lecture theatre at the start. Then, just write important notes, like a paper the lecturer suggests or a key bit of info, or drawing diagrams. It will make the lecture actually more enjoyable and you'll probably remember more without realising it.

*Another major thing that helped me in uni was not leaving revision prep till the last minute. Don't wait even a month before exams, try doing bits and pieces of revision, or research, every day. Perhaps after a lecture, if you have a break, go to the library and look up the papers or books that were suggested. Add extra notes alongside your existing ones to bulk out the main points with added info. It will help you understand more and will impress markers in the exam.

*Now, group work. In my experience, and my friends' experiences, group work is something we dreaded. Sometimes you'll be given a group to work with, and it may be all people you're unfamiliar with. They will all have different work/life schedules, have different research and writing styles, and some may not always pull their weight. I found, to make it as easy as possible, keep in constant contact with each other, either by a Facebook page, chat group, on your phone, or texting. If you have an online chat space, make it a place to upload your work as you progress, share pieces you've already done, or research you've found, etc. Eventually, you can collaborate on it all, meet up occasionally, and most of all, have fun. Group work can be a great way to make friends!

*Now, this one is both for while you're in uni and before you start. Choose a subject you're interested in. Choose something you're passionate about, even if you don't feel there are enough jobs out there for it. If you're in university doing a subject you hate, you won't want to put in the time or effort into working at it. You won't do extra research, because in the back of your mind, you won't really care about it. So many people are in jobs they don't enjoy, but have to do. If you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to go to university, do something you love. Of course, do your research before, have an idea of what jobs it can lead to; be realistic. Don't do Music Management with dreams of becoming a rock star! I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's unlikely.

*Finally, university is an excellent time in your life to have fun, no matter if you're a mature student or someone who's come straight from school. You'll meet people from all backgrounds, make lasting friendships, and learn something you're finally interested in. Put in the hard work, but don't burn yourself out. Take a day off in the week, or do something on weekends. Just forget about uni for a while. University can seem daunting when you first start, but pace yourself, work intelligently, and it could be the best years of your life. :)

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How to Cope With the Work Load at University
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