Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Christmas is past...

Hey! I really hope everyone else had as good a Christmas as I did!

Whether you celebrate it religiously or not, the holidays are such a good opportunity to get away from the university bubble, reconnect with friends from home and relax with family (and of course to get some home cooked meals!). Life at uni can be draining, and even just a week off to relax can do wonders in helping you look forward to the new term.

Looking back at first semester:

Some things about uni are exactly what I thought they'd be, and others not so much.

Sitting my exams, I realised that maybe I hadn't studied quite as well as I thought I had. I thought I'd get used to the unstructured environment pretty quickly, but I never actually settled into a routine of doing work at home, so probably ended up doing way less than the recommended number of hours of work.
Joining societies was pretty easy in Freshers Week, but actually sticking to them proved a bit more difficult! I stuck to Amnesty International for a good few weeks, and Snowsports, but AI wasn't really for me.
Being able to go out any night of the week is great, and the number of different places to go is insane compared to the two clubs back home, but I don't remember the last time I made a 9am!
I used to cook a lot at home, but at uni I barely cook at all cause toast is just so convenient... healthy I know.

Looking forward to next semester: 

Ever seen the film Yes Man? Maybe too extreme, but I'm going to take a leaf out of Jim Carrey's book, and start saying yes more often!

Joining a couple more societies, maybe getting involved with a sport, even going to the gym (ugh), I'm just gonna start saying yes more!

Top tips to you all:
Smile more- it's infectious
Complain less
Get more sleep! (Almost everyone could use more sleep, trust me on this one.)

Keep reading lovelies, I'll be back in the New Year!! 

Monday, 7 December 2015

Exam time!

Hey guys,

I know most unis have exams after Christmas, but here our exams are before we break up. In a way, it's good because it means I don't have to revise over the holiday, and can actually spend it relaxing with family and friends back home, but it's also turned my Advent calendar into a countdown of doom! Every door opened is a door closer to Christmas, but it's also a door closer to my four exams!

Lectures are finished now, so it's up to me to make the most of the next couple of weeks for revision.
Revision at uni is really different to at school. Everyone says that the structure of learning is very different, and they're right. At uni you don't have anyone to answer to (unless attendance is taken at lectures/tutorials!), you can choose your best learning methods, and they don't post answers to exam papers! There is a lot of support available, but you have to work out where to go find it, it won't just come to you.

So, in light of this lovely time, I have FIVE top tips for revision at uni!

1- Learn it the first time!

It's called revision for a reason, you're supposed to be revisiting and consolidating the material, not learning it for the first time. Nothing should be new when you're preparing for exams, so it's really really important to stay on top of all your work during the term, not just the couple of weeks before the exam!

2- Get out of your room

Everyone knows that it's tempting to stay in bed, and say you'll be productive from your warm, cosy room, but we all know that you'd get far more done in the library or other study spaces. It's less acceptable to watch Netflix in your jammies when you're in a public place, so you do actually get work done. Bonus points if you leave your phone at home!

3- Set yourself a timetable

It's really easy to lose a sense of structure at uni, especially when there aren't any lectures. The day can fly by without you realising, and you end up doing very little work. Come up with a timetable, with frequent short breaks, and you will be so much more productive. It doesn't have to be 9-5, it could be morning and evening, with afternoons off, or any structure that works for you. See point 4 though!

4- Start early!

I mean this in two senses, both lots of time before the exam, and early in the mornings. Don't fall into the trap of starting revision at 1pm, and then getting stressed out and feeling like you've not done enough. This is only going to result in you working later into the night, and that will seriously mess up your sleeping patterns. Get up and out nice and early so you can relax in the evenings... which takes us on to my last tip.

5- Relax!

It's so important to look after yourself in times of stress, and exam periods can be the most stressful of all. It's imperative that you eat healthily, exercise and sleep well. Ensure that you're setting aside time to relax, and take time out from studying. Whether you go shopping, or to the cinema, or just veg out in front of the telly, you need to give your brain a rest sometimes.

So all that's left is for me to say good luck in exams, whether they're coming up now, or after Christmas!!

P.S. If you do find it getting too much, talk to someone! Everyone's there to help!

Keep reading lovelies x