Freshers

Four pointers to a successful university career

1) Clean your desk

A wise man once told me that the state of your room is a clear indication of the
state of your mind. Your environment affects your performance more than most things, and a desk is a funny thing. It can be an enticing and exciting lover, an exhilarating foe, or an altogether
repellent slob. We don’t really have much control over exchanges of the former, but if your desk is covered with sticky beer stains and stinks of rotten banana peels, then I don’t blame you for not mustering up the will to get out of bed and write a lab report – so get tidying!

2) Find the correct writing instrument

Just like cleaning your desk, having the right pen is useful because it saves time and makes you happy. Writing with a pen (stylus, or keyboard and app) that agrees with you can get you to make notes faster, more legibly, and most importantly, more enthusiastically. Enthusiasm – barring
orderly noting technique – is usually the difference between useless notes that trail off mid lecture and wonderfully in-depth ones that not only record the bare bones of the lesson, but also include your own on-the-spot insights. Don’t make learning a chore! Honestly – research, test, decide, and invest!

3) Keep fit

This is the last of the tips in which your transformation is dependent upon how mind reflects body. Holistic fitness is a concept that deals with physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. It’s incredibly important that you eat and exercise well and sleep on time at least a few times a week. Creating a routine and sticking to it until it is habit is the easiest way to assure you are doing this. It also helps to have networks – friends, in layman’s terms. Once your inner environment is running smoothly, you will find that you won’t have to work as hard to concentrate in classes and commit things to memory, giving you more time to do other things. A good routine is generally what sets intense achievers and crammers apart.

4) Keep a progress journal

There are plenty of good reasons to keep a journal, not least amongst them being that it teaches you how to write, which is a pretty essential skill at university level. But besides that, one
type of journal – the progress journal – is particularly useful to students. A progress journal is a book in which you keep a record of work and comment upon it. You can comment on the way you went about doing the work, say how effective your methods were, or even set goals and go through returned feedback. Alternatively, you could simply track your grades. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, then the record that you’ve kept will give you an idea of where it is that you need to straighten up. At the end of the day, the significance of a progress journal is that it keeps you accountable and fosters self-directed academic development.

16/09/2014

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