My second year of university is only a few weeks away and I can’t wait to get stuck in again! I am beginning to prepare for my return to Bath and another year of organisation. My favourite part will be the stationery shop, obviously.
Second year is an important one as it is the first year which actually counts towards my degree. Also, my third year will be spent abroad, so doesn’t count a huge deal towards my final grade. Second and fourth year will be the most difficult, and I want to make sure I keep on track of my work and avoid stress!
Here are the goals I am going to work towards during the coming academic year, in the hope of achieving a 1st!
- Use the time I spend on campus to get compulsory work, like weekly assignments, done. Things like extra reading can be done at home. I spend a lot of time at university between lectures, so I want to make sure I make the most of being in a place with few distractions to work on the important things. Hello, library!
- Concentrate in lectures. This is a big one for me, because once you lose track of what the lecturer is saying, it’s very hard to understand what he/she is talking about and you end up going home with just three words scribbled on a piece of paper. I want to write detailed notes (if that is at all possible) and to make sure I get all the important things down. You can decipher your handwriting later.
- Each day after university, I’ll empty my bag and sort the notes taken that day into folders. Work to be completed will be put into paper trays for each class with the earliest deadline at the top. I will probably end up printing off the notes that I have not taken by hand and putting them into folders too, because I like to have things all in once place, and I do not trust my computer 100% to keep them safe.
- Spend time each evening condensing the day’s notes onto revision cards and researching what I didn’t understand in the lectures. That way, I will have a nice pile of ready made revision material for exams, like in mentioned in this post.
- Start assignments as soon as they are given. I was really bad at this last year and often ended up with more than one assignment un-started the day before it was due in! Then I would rush through it, getting a lower grade than I could have achieved, and not benefitting from the practice which is the whole point of assignments.
- Not only will I be making sure I do the readings for seminars next year, but I will be printing them off and highlighting interesting bits, which will help me answer questions during the discussion and prepare for future essays. Hoepfully I will remember to add notes to the printed reading during the seminar, which I will file away for when I need them again!
- Begin to do reading and plans for essay a month before the due date. Last year I left it too late and spent valuable time researching instead of writing the actual essay. If I prepare early enough, that will leave me more than enough time to work calmly on an essay and make it the best I possibly can.
- Use my diary to organise study, jot down deadlines and meetings and set myself work to complete each day. I honestly could not live without a diary. I have a Filofax which I love but I am thinking of getting a Moleskine for schoolwork.
- Write down all my grades. I didn’t do that consistently last year and I think it’s a great way to track how you are doing throughout the year. Also, lecturers often email at the end of year to confirm certain grades, so its better to know exactly how well you’ve done on each piece of work.
- Make sure I do extra-curricular work. I volunteer and am part of some societies such as Media. I hope to take up a sport next year too. These look great on your CV and provide a chance to wind down and enjoy other parts of the university experience.
- Stay motivated by keeping a clean and tidy desk space and a pretty bedroom! Having nice things around me makes work so much easier!
What are your academic goals for this year? 🙂