#UNIADVICE

Hey guys,

Who would’ve thought that ‘Back 2 School’ season would come so soon! I mean, it took forever for the summer to come by but even before carnival came round, it started getting darker quicker – the cheek! Anyways, the title of this post pretty much gives away the purpose of this post. Every year this hashtag is flooded on my timeline near A-Levels’ results day and not gonna lie, the banter is plentiful lol … one of my favourite’s being: “there’s rice at home” (if you know, you know).

Anyways, I wanted to actually give you constructive advice now that I’ve experienced a year of uni. Those who have me on social media, especially snapchat, always message me asking me how I stay so organised, especially since I’m quite a busybody. As mentioned probably x1639827 times, dance is a huge part of my life, which even led me to flying out to Italy for some masterclasses 2 weeks before my exams lol. On top of that, I go to conventions, events, concerts, camps etc. and so I often find myself juggling a lot. HOWEVER, don’t get it twisted, I never and will NEVER let my grades slip. That is one thing I always vow … if I find something is a hindrance to my grade, I have to find a solution, and if there ain’t one, it gotta go (and pronto!). If you have me on snap though, it is easy to think otherwise of me because I am the same person who went to a Tory Lanez concert in London, a couple hours before my 1st uni exam … in Birmingham (:

(side note: still got a first in that exam regardless)

Moving along, I’ve got a few tips for you students, entering university or already there. Also, these tips can be applied in other areas of life or other years of education so I hope this helps a couple of you (:

Flat Mates:

  • If you don’t want to share your stuff (e.g. cutlery, milk etc.), don’t share from the get go. It may seem harsh, but you’ll be thankful when they don’t help themselves later on because you “won’t mind”
  • From the get go, have a cleaning rota or some sort of agreement made, because you don’t want to become the next ‘devious maid’
  • It’s not by force that you become best friends … just make sure you can tolerate each other
  • When you’ve got too much food (or any other item), share it with your flatmates so they know that you’re not 100% selfish – just protective of thyself (oh, and what I meant by ‘too much food’ is when you have a whole loaf of bread about to expire in 3 days and know you aren’t going to finish it lol)
  • There may be items that as a flat you want to buy together (ie. bath mats, toilet roll etc.), unless you don’t mind donating it yourself

Assignments:

  • I’m good with organisation and deadlines, but even still, I set my own deadlines. The deadline given by lecturers for an assignment, my deadline would actually be a week beforehand. It may seem “harsh” but it had me doing the work without a sweat because if worst comes to worst, at least I would have an extra week. This may not be for everyone, but it is feasible.
  • RefME. If you don’t know about this app and manually do your references, then I applaud you! I for one, use the RefME app/website whereby I can scan the barcode of the books I’m reading or enter the websites/journals by just copying and pasting the links, and BAM, the reference is made. You can sort them into folders (I do this according to the assignment) then copy and paste the reference list to my assignment
  • PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Honestly, at this point in your education, you should be planning your assignments. You don’t want to write aimlessly and thus, by planning, allows you to identify the purpose of what you’re writing
  • Use loads of references. Personally, I never use anything like wikipedia, sparknotes etc. as a source because those sites don’t come across as reliable. However, I do use Youtube as a source. Also, I use normal books to source, so long as it makes sense to the topic at hand; example: I’ve used books by Osho and Paulo Coelho in my assignments (I’m a business student but I use philosophical, self-help books as a source – lecturers actually like it)

Exam Revision:

  • It’s all about revising smarter, not longer. To be brutally honest, I know people who spend time morning to night in the library revising, and I can revise for 2-4 hours and still get a higher score. I’m not trying to boast that I’m naturally smarter than anyone, just that I make smarter decisions (I think this topic even needs its own post – comment or message me if I should do).
  • Do your revision notes as you go along the semester so you don’t rush them at the end in a panic (and only do revision notes for modules that have exams (common knowledge ain’t so common lol))
  • One method I developed whilst in uni to revise smarter, rather than longer is to make quizzes. Rather than summarising notes (or copying) notes from textbooks or lecture slides, I make questions and answers. That way I’m always testing myself. My logic being: if I kept re-reading a piece of text (knowing that I don’t have a photographic memory), I would only know if I truly understood the content in the exam – that’s way too late. By testing myself as revision, I can highlight what I truly know and understand and pinpoint what needs work on.
  • If you have a little bit of time to revise, do not (I repeat), do NOT revise what you do know. If a teacher surprised me with a maths test due in 2 days, I wouldn’t revise algebra knowing fully well that I can do it easily. I would actually spend time working on something like logarithms – a topic I’m not confident with.
  • Continuing from the topic above, I do believe where a lot of people go wrong is that they use so much time focusing on the stuff they do know, in hopes that it will come up and they can ace it … don’t be that person.

Societies:

  • They say there is something for everyone: lol (… or maybe I’m just a) lazy or b) picky)

Clubbing:

  • Don’t be that person that goes to the length of bringing their laptop to the club because they have an assignment due (and yes, people actually do this)
  • It’s not by force to do ‘tour de UK’ for raves to hear 1. Work 2. One Dance 3. Luv 4. Controlla in different orders.

Other Points:

  • It’s true, you don’t have to technically attend every lecture, but that depends on the way you learn. I’m good at independent learning so I don’t necessarily have to (I do attend though) but bare in mind some lecturers say stuff in lectures that aren’t in the slides (ie. like tips for upcoming tests) and if you aren’t going to put in the work that you said you was going to, you may aswell attend the lecture
  • Keep in the loop with the course itself via coursemates and the university’s email system
  • Attend seminars and ask questions
  • You are your own enemy of progress if “1st year doesn’t count” is your mentality

Okay guys, this post definitely turned out way longer than I intended it to but yeah, I hope it helps, especially for you freshers who may have a little anxiety to the new change. I hope everyone has a progressive year whereby your hardwork pays off and I hope some of my tips help you (:

– Joanita