I’m keeping this short and sweet. Being organised as an arts and media student is crucial, as it takes time and dedication to create wonderful projects – but being a student means that it has a time frame. As a third year media student, I have compiled these tips and hopefully some of that stress can be alleviated!
- Never plan a holiday or too many events around exam time or when big projects and assignments are due – seems pretty self explanatory why – anything could go wrong. Such as myself taking a trip to Bali two weeks before exams and getting stuck there due to an ash cloud, it all worked out okay in the end but I could have avoided a lot of problems and scheduling issues if I’d just waited until exam week was over to go over! You can never really pick what can and might go wrong so it’s better to play it safe around the end of a semester and focus on what needs to be done!
- Group assignments! Gotta love them. If you’re worried about whether your assigned group project will be done in time or if it will be to the standards you expect, volunteer to be the group organiser, step forward and plan the meetings and pitch as many ideas as possible – at least that way you can know you did the best to your ability!
- The first thing you should do the moment subject outlines are available online is to write down all the dates for assignments in a diary (which is obvious why), however I like to write them down on the notes on my computer too, just in case I forget to check my diary and also because it gives a broader view of what needs to be done and how quickly I need to prioritise different tasks. As I get past week 3, I then write down a to-do list every few days of basic tasks I need to get done on a big sheet of paper and stick it somewhere like my wall. The things on this to-do list could include small things such as ‘make lecture notes based on slides’ in case I missed any in the lecture, or do a reading before class (they really do help, guys!)
- If you’re juggling work and university and this is a concern for you when picking your tutorials at the beginning of semester – I find it’s important to ask my employer what days they would like me to be working the most (this is when work is a high priority) and put my tutorials around those days (if possible.) However, when University is the top of my priority list, I make sure I plan all of my tutorials to fall on the same day (once again, only if possible.) Then I give the days I have Uni to my employer, as well as a day I have set aside for study. There is nothing worse than coming to the end of semester and being swamped with assignments and work on top of it, with no days to get everything done. In this instance, I find a designated study day is crucial. (You don’t even have to tell your employer it’s a study day if you don’t want to.)
- I’m almost certain I have photographic memory, or it could just be that I pick up facts better on paper. I know it’s been said before, but write your notes. Whether it be lecture notes, important quotes or details for blog posts you plan on writing, or a plethora of study notes for an upcoming exam – there is nothing that will get it through to your brain more than continuously writing it on paper instead of your laptop, because it’s likely that you won’t be typing our your exam! What I like to do is grab a big piece of paper, (bigger than A4) and write everything I can on it, instead of a smaller notebook or smaller pages. It requires less page turning and your eyes should immediately focus on unknown or less familiar words (which you can then highlight.) Once I’ve learned that page, I move on to another and come back to it later.
- It’s fine to take a break from studying or repeated Uni work every now and then, if you find yourself studying or doing assignments 7 days a week, maybe focus one of those on yourself so you’re more energised and ready to get back into the work the next day – instead of a constant flow of information that can sometimes be a little too repeated to the point where it is tedious or even boring!
& NOW SOME RESOURCES
- Printable to-do list for a weekly layout
- Assignment tracker – super detailed and useful!
- Printable exam tracker – really concise and simple!
- Another printable planner, in case those aren’t your thing!
image source: my own // links not my own, sources are available when clicked.