A freshers' guide: getting the grades

This freshers season we wanna help you get the most out of the next few years and make sure your uni experience is the greatest of all time! We’ve put together some handy guides on all things, from making new friends to managing your money. Here are some tips on how to get the grades!

Get into good habits

When you first get to uni, it’s so easy to get distracted by meeting new people, going out, trying new things or just finding things you enjoy, which is totally a good thing! But, if you let these things take over, sometimes it’s hard trying to make time for the academic part of uni when the time comes around. A lot of people also use the excuse that first year doesn’t count, or it only counts for 10%, but a lot of these same people find it hard to actually make time to study as the year’s go on because they’ve already committed to society’s or going out x amount of times a week. No one is saying you have to spend every moment of your first year in the library, but setting aside time to do your reading or assignments each week can make sure that you get into good habits from the start.

Get organised

The biggest difference between school/college and uni is that for the first time you’re completely in charge of your own learning. This goes beyond whether or not you actually decide to turn up to lectures and seminars, although that does play a part. For starters, a lot of the learning you do at uni happens after the lectures happen. A lot of work and reading is needed in your own time to truly understand the subject material, and the effort you put in to this is completely up to you. Usually, lecturers do not chase you for work and arrange check-ins, but it is up to you to do it yourself if you need it. Other decisions like choosing modules come down to you too.

With all these decisions completely in your hands, it pays off to get organised. A classic example of how bad organisation can come back to bit you is when a lecturer recommends to a whole class they get their hands on a book, but there’s only 6 copies in the library. The organised few that get their hands on it quickly will have the upper hand while the others have to try and figure out where they can get this book from.

Make sure you have all the tools you need

There is nothing worse than arriving at uni and finding that there’s something you really need. Of course, you’ll need the basics like a good quality laptop, and speaking from experience this is not something you should scrimp on because it’s the one thing that is absolutely essential, from taking to lectures to writing essays. Also, depending on what course you are doing you’ll need different things from your laptop so make sure you research which is the best for you.

Find ways of working that are best for you

Not everyone studies the same, so if your mates want to all head to library to have a group study session, but you know that doesn’t work for you, don’t worry! Find the way you work best and go for it! Some people need complete and utter silence, whereas some people like to work to music. There are even YouTube videos so you can virtually study with someone to keep you motivated and on track.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

This is probably one of the most important things. Uni is an amazing experience but can also be overwhelming. Keep things in perspective and make sure you don’t burn yourself out. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and try to keep off the energy drinks during exam period. Doing these things will help you ensure you don’t crush yourself with the pressure. Learning new things is supposed to be an enjoyable experience and it is a privilege so make sure you take time to enjoy it.

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