My first year at University is now coming to a close; I have about two more weeks left then exam period comes along and after that I am officially finished. It has flown by so quickly and though I have been stressed a few times over the year, I’ve survived (well, it’s not actually over yet, so we’ll see about that!).
To upcoming university students, I have a few tip top tips for you. Though I can’t really say anything about accommodation and surviving the pain of cooking your own food (because I commute), I can give you tips on going about your assignments and deadlines.
Here are my tip top tips on surviving your deadlines over the first year at university.
- Doughnut leave your assignments to be done a night, or two nights in fact before.
A lot of university students do this, it’s really not a good idea because you’ll end up stressing and the quality of your work will seriously be affected. Though it’s hard, it’s definitely better to begin your assignment/s when the brief has been released. This way you have time and organise yourself with how you want to go about completing it.
University is so much more stressful than you think it will be, you can have 0 deadlines in one week and 3 the next so being organised with your assignment/s is so important.
I found myself planning out my assignment/s when the brief was up and this really helped me because I was able to go talk to my tutors and improving it was so much more easier.
- Ask for help with your assignments if you need it!
This sounds quite corny but a lot of university students seem to think that lecturers are just lecturers, not people you CAN actually approach for help and advice. Some assignments can be really tricky and sometimes you just can’t get yourself to even begin them because you simply don’t know how to. Asking for help is so important especially as a first year university student because you’re just beginning to learn how it all works and finding your feet.
You’re also working toward a deadline so asking for help when you know you’re struggling can actually help you finish the essay or whatever it may be quicker – which means more time to relax and paRTY.
Even with practical assignments – so assignments where you need to go out film, draw, interview etc, help is always there if you need it. You’re paying £9,000 a year, should you not be taking advantage? (Oh wait, it’s changing to £9,250 per year, so you NEED to take advantage of them).
- Don’t buy books if you really don’t need to.
Now, everybody knows how expensive books are especially when they are on a specific topic but sometimes the books you need and the books that are on your reading list are available through Google Books or you can buy them cheaper from Amazon or Ebay. I know it’s sometimes impossible to do this because the books on the reading list aren’t always available online, in the library or the ones available are too old. However, always check before you order any books, what’s the point spending £30, £40 + on one reading for one assignment when it was already available to read online/print?
- Make sure you get enough sleep (but not too much).
We all love sleep. We need sleep and without it we do nOT function. To survive the first year at university, you need to get enough sleep so that you are fully functioning at your lecturers and seminars (but not to the point where you actually miss your lectures and seminars because you love sleep so much).
It’s obviously hard to sleep when you’ve got so much work, trying to socialise and make time for other things but it helps to make sure you’re in bed by a certain time and to wake up early enough to get yourself ready for the day.
I know students who sleep at 3, 4 even 5am in the morning and they struggle with managing their time and sleep. If you can, try getting at least six/seven hours of sleep, else it just makes life difficult and stressful.
- Make time for yourself and enjoy yourself!
People often forget that university isn’t just about getting a degree and then moving onto the next stage of your life. Making friends and enjoying yourself there is just as important but it’s just finding the right balance. If you’re constantly working on assignments and finding it hard to make time for yourself, stop. Take a breather, rest and then go back to it. This is exactly why you should plan out your assignments once the brief has been released because by knowing when and what you’ll be doing, you’ll know when you can relax and make time for yourself.
In a nutshell, I’m saying to survive deadlines at university, be organised. If you know what you’re doing, it’ll make life so much more simple. Don’t overwork yourself to the point where you’re not getting sleep but don’t relax too much to the point where you aren’t getting assignments done.
I know it’s so much harder to do than just saying all this, deadlines can be very stressful and you can have about 104 things to do for them, therefore sleeping can be impossible but managing your time effectively helps you with everything.