The jump from sixth form/college to university can be a shocking one. Not only do you have to adjust to a completely new environment, new friends, and independent life but you also have to adapt to an intense workload. Some courses may expect you to write several essays a week and staying on top of all these tasks whilst also enjoying yourself may prove challenging. Here’s some top tips on how to adjust to the university workload.
1. Schedule your weeks
Scheduling means you can visually see all the tasks that need to be completed. Sometimes when things pile up in our minds, we can become overwhelmed and procrastinate because we don’t know where to start. Keeping tabs of lectures, seminars, time for study and socialising means you will be more equipped to complete important tasks without becoming bogged down by them.
2. Stay on top of content
Despite first year being more relaxed than second and third, you still don’t want to leave things till last minute. First year is the perfect opportunity to get comfortable with a university workload and get to know your tutors without the grades counting towards the final degree, so take advantage of this. Party hard but make sure you are making time for your studies so that you don’t get a shock in second year when grades do count.
3. Communicate with course mates
Struggling over some questions or not sure what the brief is actually asking you to do? Why not consult with your fellow course-mates? Not only will this mean you can develop better friendships with students but also that you can gauge a second opinion/help on your work. You can do this by joining a course group chat on social media or by arranging a study date to the library or to grab coffee.
4. Change up your environment
Working at your desk day in and day out can be very boring and limit your capacity to learn. Make sure you are stimulating yourself by booking a slot at the library or heading to a coffee shop where the buzz may inspire some essay writing. This will not only give you fresh sceneries and help you find new spots but, by venturing to new places, you are encouraging that initial push to study.
5. Use all the resources available
Universities have lots of resources to help you through your studies. Take advantage of the online databases, access to critical readings and academic professionals whose job is to help you. So many students don’t and end up regretting not using all the resources available. Remember how much you are paying and get your money’s worth!
6. Speak to your personal tutor
If you are dealing with personal circumstances and cannot handle the workload speak to your personal tutor. It is their job to ensure you are managing university well and they have the authority to help you if needs be. Alternatively, if you just want some advice on how to balance the work they can also offer some professional solutions.
7. Prioritise tasks
It is easy to complete itty bitty tasks and feel like you’ve done something great, it is less easy to complete the taxing tasks that need to be done. Make sure you are prioritizing work according to deadlines and difficulty. Balance your days so that you are doing a mixture of ‘hard’ and ‘easy’ tasks as to not overwhelm you- this way you can stay on top of it.
8. Don’t overdo it
With all of these tips considered, make sure your time at university isn’t solely spent bent over a desk straining at the computer light. University is more than just studying, its an experience that should be enjoyed. Make time for socialising and if you miss a few deadlines it’s not the end of the world!
Every degree is different but regardless of subject, the workload is guaranteed to be harder than anything you have experienced before in education. Be easy on yourself and just know that it does get easier with time.