Beginning your studies on a degree program can be daunting, and there will be parts where it seems difficult. But it’s important to remember that that’s just part of the process and most people are able to deal with the pressures that studying for a degree presents. However, just in case you do find yourself struggling at any point here are a few tips to help you manage.
- Understand that University is a process: When you first start, you will be required to perform skills which you haven’t previously been exposed to, such as referencing etc. It’s important to remember that you will improve at doing things such as this through practice. Personally, I really struggled with referencing to begin with, but by my 3rd year, it had become quite straightforward. Remember, your lecturers will understand this and help you as much as possible along the way. So stick with it, you’ll get there!
- Attend Study Skill workshops: These provide a terrific opportunity to brush up on your academic skills. There will be a number of workshops throughout the year, with each focusing upon a different aspect of studying, so keep your eyes open for which ones may benefit you most!
- Use a wall planner: If you struggle with organisation, then these can help massively. Put one on your wall at the start of the year and mark in when all of your deadlines are. This will enable you to plan when you do revision and coursework more efficiently. You’ll also be able to manage your academic and social life as you’ll be able to see when you have periods of free time in which to enjoy yourself.
- Book Assignment Tutorials: This was something I didn’t do much of during my first year; when I started booking them regularly in my 2nd year, there was a notable improvement in my grades instantly. Even if you’re happy with an assignment, it’s still well worth booking a tutorial with a lecturer just to pick their brains and find out any extra tips.
- See your Personal Academic Tutor Regularly: Your academic tutor is someone who can advise you with all aspects of university life. No matter what issue you may have, they will have helped students deal with it previously. Your academic tutor is also someone that teaches on your course, so he/she can really advise well on module choices and potential career options. The tutors may also have contacts within the field you want to work in that you can chase up when trying to find work placements.
- Use Support Services & the Counselling team: The University has a free, impartial counselling service you speak to in complete confidence. So if at any point you find yourself a little stressed or that exam stress is getting to you, you can pop in for a chat and get some advice. There is also a nightline service available, so regardless of the time of the day, there is always help at hand!
I hope this helps, just remember that if you’re are struggling, you’re not alone and there are plenty of services available to help! Let me know if you have any other ideas in comments please.