As my second semester of my final year at university is approaching, far quicker than I would like, I’ve been thinking about how I need to tackle it. I’ve got some big deadlines (aka the big ol’ dissertation) and a lot of stuff going on next term (like being the fiction editor for INK magazine), but I want to enjoy my final months at uni. So from the things I’ve learnt over the last 2 and a half years at university I’ve gained some uni hacks and I thought some of these might be useful to you too whether you’re a uni student with deadlines approaching or even exams OR you’re someone who needs some tips on organisation.
Disclaimer: Now this isn’t to say I’m perfect at sticking to these because between you and me I’m not. Life is tricky sometimes so motivating yourself to doing half of these can be too, BUT trying to work on these (I’ve found) are healthy steps in the right direction. I too am still working on these:
Get a Diary
Now this is key (well it is for me). Writing everything down from what day I’m doing laundry to my deadlines helps me schedule my time realistically and visually be able to see what’s happening over the next few days/weeks. It’s my to do list and my arrangements guide. I would actually be lost without it.
Stick your deadlines up somewhere
This is similar to the diary, it helps me visualise what’s coming up in my life and keep me focused. It also saves the panic of turning over next weeks page in the diary and having the “oh poop, I have a deadline due” moment. This also helps me to get ahead because I know I’m working towards something even if it’s weeks ago- it doesn’t let things creep up on me. (As you can see my deadlines for 2020 is an incomplete list as of yet. I don’t actually know my post Jan deadlines until I start term again)
Stick to a routine
Try to get up around a similar time and go to bed at a similar time on weekdays, that way it’s less painful when you do have a 9am lecture or a day when you need to get up early to get lots done. I try to get up around 8am and go to bed at 10pm and read until I fall asleep. Obviously this can’t happen every night but the more you stick to it the easier it is to have a sense of natural routine.
For me these sort of go hand in hand. Climbing is my sport and my hobby. I’ve loved taking my friends bouldering and going with the Adventure and Expedition society. It’s so important for me to have this sense of escape, it gets me out of house and off campus and while I’m there I don’t really think about what work I have to do.
Make time for down time
Whether that’s a bath, or watching Netflix, or going on a short walk for fresh air, it gives you some time to reset and relax after a busy day.
Plan things to look forward to
For me these are little nuggets of motivation, even if it’s just a quiz night or movie night in with my housemates, or going on a coffee date with a friend. It’s something to look forward to as a sort of reward. It also makes sure you’re not holed up in your room smashing out an essay all week.
Remember it is ok to take rest days
Sometimes it’s important to put your mental health first and postpone things. If you really need a break, don’t force yourself to do work because it will not be efficient. If you rest and go back to it you’ll do some successful work rather than still be going at it whilst draining yourself more and more.
Get some fresh air
You don’t have to go far (although if you can deffo do), just walk round the block or walk to the nearest shop. Just a few mins of fresh air will make you feel that bit more refreshed.
Basically, write things down and remember to look after yourself and those around you.
Good luck to everyone who has got a busy few days, weeks, months, or whatever coming up.
I hope you all succeed in your endeavours. I also hope these tips help. Let me know if you think I’m missing any or if any help you.
See ya soon with a new blog post next Sunday!