Throughout my time at university, I’ve found that half the battle is keeping on top of things by scheduling and organising my time; so what little I have left can be used to write blog posts like this, get a job or spend time with my friends.
During your school years you’ll have probably come across an academic planner or two in your time - they’re fabulous for planning the months of academic teaching and even leave some space for summer plans - but in this day and age I think we can do a little better! Google Calendar/iOS Calendar come built in on most mobile phones and they’ve got some rather handy features such as colour coding similar events and setting reminders and text message alerts for weeks, hours or even minutes before an event. Which I’m afraid means you have absolutely no reason to miss that appointment with your personal supervisor…(sorry about that!)
My next tip some of you may think only applies to Fresher’s, however you have no idea how many people you see (even in their last year!) wandering aimlessly as they search for that library they’ve heard so much about. Make sure you have a good grasp of the campus, even the places that you’re not likely to venture. You never know when you’ll get a last minute room change and it also comes in handy if you ever want to earn a little extra cash doing campus tours on open days.
Speaking of, don’t forget to find your way around your brand new university e-mail account. This is your department’s port of call for any room changes, helpful tips and deadline reminders. If you know what’s going on you won’t end up chasing the details (or the rest of your class!) on the day.
Once your course starts be sure to stop off at the campus book store or library to pick up the textbooks you need. For the ultimate time saver, check your university library website to see if they stock e-books, not only are they instant but most of them are free for a limited time download – perfect for copying up notes after a lecture! When searching for hard copies, don’t assume they’ll be there a week before your report is due in! The sooner you can get your hands on them the better, and the less likely they are to be all checked out or out of stock.
Remember that the internet is also a great place to search for second hand books which can help save those all-important pennies from your student loan. Especially when paired with one of the many student bargains which will get your textbooks (or more likely non-academic purchases like that new album you’ve been waiting for…) there the next day for half the price! You’ll have no excuse to start that new research project now! And most importantly…
Keep on top of your work - an oldie but a goody! Instead of minimising your social life, keeping on top of your work can actually maximise the amount of free time you’ll have closer to deadline day which could mean valuable extra hours for coursework or even a night out with your mates!