Tips for making second year a bit easier

Hello everyone!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week and that you are looking forward to the week to come.

We’re currently at the point in the semester where we start to feel the pressure of lectures and assignments and to be completely honest, I’ve personally been struggling to keep up thus far.

I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure in terms of finding placement opportunities to apply for, balancing 4 modules, extracurricular activities and my personal life and I’ve only recently decided to change the way in which I approach my daily tasks, thus I thought I would share them with you today :).

First and foremost, a calendar is quite important, especially now that most things are carried out online. It doesn’t have to be a physical calendar, you could take advantage of the calendar app on your phone, computer, email, or even a whiteboard in your room. It is really important to essentially map out what your week is going to look like, from lectures, study sessions, time for other responsibilities and assignment/exam deadlines. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to check my timetable/schedule and seen that I have a lecture to attend half an hour before it is supposed to start. Since I’ve gotten a calendar the times I’ve forgotten about lectures has significantly reduced.

Secondly, see if you can work out a prioritisation system. This has helped me to not feel as overwhelmed by all of the work that we currently have, as realistically not everything is going to be due at the exact same time. In terms of the system I’ve been trying to use, I take the deadline, the grading weight of the assignment/exam (if its applicable), the length/time of completion for the task and the importance of the assignment. By importance, I mean that if I feel like I am behind or lacking understanding in one of my modules, I might prioritise its assignments and content in order to catch up and aid my knowledge. Once I’ve determined each of these factors, I place the tasks onto my calendar at certain times of the day. Tasks that I’ve deemed less important, I usually do earlier on in the day and tasks that are more important, I do them in the late afternoon/evening, seeing as I personally work best at night. This has helped to make my days feel less cluttered and overall more efficient.

Another tip I’d like to give is about finding your learning style. Second year is extremely content heavy, almost always regardless of the degree you study. If you find your learning style, whether it be through note taking on a computer, taking notes on paper, flashcards, self-made tests, it can make the amount of content you have to tackle that much easier to do seeing as you already have a sort of game-plan about how to study it.

Probably one of the more important tips is to take breaks often. Burning out halfway through a semester can be detrimental to your mental health, well-being and it can significantly put you behind with university work. Make sure you’re taking frequent breaks throughout your days, that you’re eating enough and eating what you enjoy (makes your free time that much more fulfilling) and that you’re taking time to connect with the people you care most about and even talking to new people. Although we’re going into the colder months right now, a walk can be really good for improving your mood and it’s a way to get in your daily exercise. Make time for your hobbies as well! It can really help to recharge your mood and for me personally, I find that I work more efficiently once I’ve taken some time to do my hobbies.

Lastly, do not be afraid to ask for help! I cannot stress this enough, you are not alone, all of the people in your cohort are in the same boat and I can guarantee you they’re probably struggling as well. You can ask for help from your lecturers, who I am sure will be more than willing to help if they have free time. Try talking to your course mates about how they’re doing with the coursework and ask for help if you feel you need it. It can be quite comforting for a lot of people to know that they’re not alone and in all honesty, a lot of people would be happy to help if you are struggling and need some guidance. There is no shame in struggling, and although it’s not always easy to do, asking for help is sometimes the most rewarding thing you can do.

I hope you have enjoyed my tips for this week and hopefully it does help some of you!

Until next time,

Stay safe and have a wonderful week 🙂