Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Don’t panic!

Don’t panic!

Are you in a panic? Is the work piling up and the assignment deadlines seem impossibly near?

Is your head spinning and you think the only thing to do is quit?

Well, you are not alone. Most of us have felt like that at some point in our courses and, believe it or not, we have come through it. And if we can, you can.

Yes, there are just a few weeks to go until the end of the summer term, but you can do it if you take action now. Brushing everything under the carpet will just create one big heap of anxiety and impending doom. So, take a deep breath and get organised with a few simple tips. This is what I am about to do to get back on track for success.

  1. Clear your diary and your desk. Make sure you have allocated time for study. There is plenty of opportunity for partying once the work is finished. Commit to study periods or time in the library and treat it like a job. Keep your desk tidy, as it’s a sign of a tidy mind too and will help you be more organised and time efficient. Everything in its place and a place for everything.
  2. Make a list. Assignments are all over the place on Canvas so bring them together on one A4 sheet in chronological order. Print it out and stick it at the front of your notebook or on your wall. Don’t let it be a case of out of sight, out of mind.
  3. Resources. Make sure you have all the books and other equipment you might need. It is no good burning the midnight oil at home only to find you haven’t got that book you need. Remember, not everything is available as an ebook, and besides, I find it comforting to know the information is literally at my fingertips.
  4. Prioritise. Some assignments are quick wins. I will get these out of the way and then tackle some of the more complex pieces of work. I always feel better when I have ticked a couple of things off the list as it builds up confidence and gets you in that work mode.
  5. References. Yes they are a pain, but you won’t get anywhere without them and they have to be right. I have a printed copy of the reference handbook from the library next to my computer and I advise you to have one too. You will find it under library resources.
  6. Work ahead. Just because an assignment needs to be in on Friday at 5pm does not mean you submit it on Friday at 4.59pm. Try to submit work at least a couple of days in advance, just in case there is a technical hitch. You can still update it if needed but it avoids a last minute panic and you can move on to the next piece of work in good time rather than always playing catch up.
  7. Finish what you started. Most assignments can be divided up into sections so tackle them one at a time but don’t stop midway through a section. It may not be your best work, but some work is better than no work.
  8. Ask for help. If you really are struggling for clarity, and need guidance, ask your lecturer, not your classmates. Everyone takes on information in a different way so you don’t want to end up playing a game of Chinese whispers. Take responsibility for your own work.
  9. Finally… Look after yourself. If you are working hard, make sure you are eating lots of good, light, brain food (fish is good), sleeping well (8 hours minimum) and getting some fresh air and exercise. A walk around the block will clear your head.

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