Nervous about starting university in a global pandemic? We’ve all had to adapt to the current situation but here are some tips on how to make the most out of your time with the majority of learning having shifted to online.
“Whether you like to make handwritten notes or type them up, be consistent and stay organised. You’ll hear it time and time again but organisation is 50% of the battle at uni, so I can’t stress this enough! If using your laptop, creating folders for each module keeps everything organised and easy to find. Then you can just type the notes for your different modules in one document with topic headings, making it easy to just copy and paste any relevant notes into an essay plan when it’s time to write one. Some great resources are OneNote as it’s free for students and Google Docs as all your notes are stored safely in the cloud so even if your computer breaks or crashes you won’t lose them! If you handwrite your notes keep a separate notepad for each module and get yourself a ring binder to organise all your handouts such as the Module Outline. You can also create notes on Kortext and, as they will automatically sync across devices, you can come back to them at any time and copy and paste any useful notes and quotes into other documents. This saves so much time, and it is so easy to find and export references via your eTextbook as well. Working efficiently and keeping organised is so important and takes the strain off of your workload!
A great way to manage and plan your time, and make sure you don’t miss any deadlines or exams – yes, this happens all the time – is to write everything on a calendar. Putting all your deadlines, exam dates, holidays and appointments in your computer’s calendar at the beginning of the semester and keeping it constantly updated to receive alerts means you never have to worry about missing anything! You can put everything on a giant academic calendar on your wall like this one including all the things you have to look forward to like social events, end of semester and birthdays. If you like all your notes handwritten, a calendar diary, like this, might be more useful to you. Having all your deadlines written out in one place makes it easy to manage your time effectively which, in turn, reduces stress and anxiety.
Having a routine is almost guaranteed to lead to success as it improves focus, organisation and productivity as well as regulating your sleep-cycle. Creating a routine is especially important when working remotely, as being in your house all day, as we’ve all experienced this lockdown, tends to make the days feel like they all blend together. Some great ways to implement this are setting your alarm for the same time every morning, getting out the house for a walk or some other form of exercise, eating meals at regular times and even getting dressed as if you were going onto campus. We’re all having to adapt to the post-coronavirus world and it will get easier as uni goes on and you find what routine works best for you!
4. Have fun!
Striking a healthy balance between work and fun is really important, especially in first year, as transitioning into uni life can be challenging. This year is all about finding out what works best for you, making mistakes and learning from them, and making friends. Sign up for societies, go to socials and don’t stress too much! Though it may be harder to meet new people due to social distancing measures, we can still connect with each other virtually, and just remember that everyone is in the same boat!
by Emily Morris