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Student Top Tips

Student Top Tips

We want you to thrive at University.
We have spoken to students who have lived through the experience you are about to undertake and compiled some tips to help you survive.

Students Top Five Tips to Relax.

Tip 1

Making a hot drink - The simple act of making a hot drink, pouring the boiling water into your favourite mug, can be enough to relax you for a moment.

Hot drink
Tip 2

Colouring - Drawing and colouring can focus the mind for a moment of creative bliss. Turn your tension into a work of art and allow yourself a few minutes to colour in a pattern or draw a picture.

Tip 3

Listen to Nature - Open your window and take a few deep breaths, listen to the sound of the birds, the cars on the road, the rain.

Tip 4

Reading - Get lost in the pages of your favourite book. Escape your worries for a moment of adventure.

Tip 5 
Games - Isolation can be lonely, pass the time with a game. Connect with friends through multi-player or challenge yourself with a puzzle. (My favourite game at the moment is Animal Crossing)

What are your top 5 tips to relax?

Made with Padlet

Life is nearly  normal but not as we knew it.

We know that the last 18 months has been very different, with all of us working from home, off campus and with TEAMS being our best friend.

We have some simple pieces of advice to help you adjust to home study

Every student is used to studying outside the classroom or lecture theatre but probably not to 'distance learning' as the only option. Working from home can take quite a lot of adjustment so it's useful to have some practical tips that will make the transition to a different style of study as straightforward as possible.

For a start, move your phone some distance away so it's not instantly available. Use it as a treat when you've achieved a particular task rather than as a constant companion. You could try using the Pomodoro method where you work for 25 minutes or so, the an allow yourself five minutes break/phone time.

  • Organise your study space. Everyone has a different home environment so it's difficult to make hard and fast rules. However, there are certain basic guidelines about study spaces that should apply to most students.
  • Try to keep whatever study space you have neat and tidy. This will help you stay calm and feel well organised and make it less likely that you'll lose things. 
  • If you can, change your workspace to provide some variety but avoid trying to work when lying down or in other situations where reading and writing is tricky, or your posture is uncomfortable or slouched.

Get comfortable
  • Avoid distractions. Procrastination is always the enemy of effective study and it's an even bigger danger when working at home with the temptations of social media, Netflix and so on
  • Stay in touch. Pretty much everyone will be staying in touch with friends and family using Skype, Zoom or some other video tool. But don't forget you can also maintain contact with other students in your classes or doing the same course as you using social media, video link, email or voice call.  You can share ideas, discuss assignments, test each other or just share experiences.
Stay in touch
  • Make a daily timetable. It's easy to slip into a situation at home where work and leisure become blurred. 
  • To minimise these problems, make yourself a daily timetable that breaks up the day into periods of study. Make sure regular breaks are included, particularly a proper lunchbreak and some exercise. List the things you want to achieve and then work out the best order. Maybe aim to do the most important tasks first and finish with something quite straightforward. Don't get frustrated if you don't get through the full list - just take the unfinished tasks forward to the next day.
  • Think about how you learn best. Different students prefer different methods of learning so it's worth thinking about what works best for you. For some, the simple question/answer format of flashcards enables easy self-testing while for others the more visual form of the mindmap is great at showing how the various aspects of a topic are linked. 
 Note taking
  • If you're making notes that you're going to need to recall later, it's worth considering the Cornell method. This involves dividing a page so there is main column, a narrower column beside it and a space at the foot of the page. You use the main column for main notes, the right-hand column for headings and/or key words and phrases and the space at the foot for an overall summary. This format allows you to test yourself easily and the very process of creating the notes in this way forces you to think about the meaning of the content.
Staying productive when studying

Relentless study and revision can make you burn out - here are our tips and tricks to keep on track when learning and revising.

If you sometimes feel like your brain has hit a wall when you're studying, you're not alone. It's bound to happen when you're learning and getting to grips with tricky concepts.

When this happens, there's no reason at all to feel like a failure - it's just your brain asking for a break.

In fact, there are plenty of things you can do to stay productive - which includes taking some time out!
Make a timetable

Planning what you're going to focus on and when can be really beneficial. It can help organise your mind and spur you on to achieve what you set out to.

Find yourself constantly refreshing your Instagram feed?

Fortunately (or unfortunately), there are apps to stop you overusing social media and similarly distracting sites. AntiSocial is one you could use for your phone, and StayFocusd is a Google Chrome extension.

Five revision no-no's you should drop right now - see student Ruby's top tips on revising the smart way.
Bright ideas

1. Sort out your workspace
A cluttered desk can lead to a cluttered mind... Clean and tidy your workspace to make it somewhere you're happy to work from. In fact, tidying up could be the break your brain needs to reset and figure a study-related problem out.
2. Mix up where you're working from

It might be a nice idea to vary your work environment, to help avoid feeling bored of the same old space. While we're waiting for the world to open up again, it's not as easy as it might be to mix things up. But if you usually work from your bedroom try working from other rooms in the house, if these are available. Or take your laptop to study spaces at your school or university.

3. Take breaks
Take breaks 
You should regularly take some time out to relax your brain, as otherwise you may find it tricky to concentrate and really absorb things.
Schedule breaks in your timetable, and maybe try to avoid spending all of them WhatsApping. Go for a short walk, have a healthy snack, or talk to someone - letting your mind wander and not think about work can actually help you figure things out.

4. Exercise

Exercising can be a great way to combat stress. It can also boost your self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy.
For exercise to benefit health, you just need to be moving quickly enough to raise your heart rate, breathe faster and feel warmer. So even if you're not the next marathon superstar, a brisk walk will do the trick.
Take exercise
5. Drink water

If you're not properly hydrated, it may prove tricky to concentrate. Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue and headache.

Skills to help you survive University 

Save the Student provides free, impartial advice to students on how to make their money go further.

Top tips include; Learn some basic cooking skills, starting a meal plan and learning to use a washing machine!

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