My University Study Routine During The Semester

01/02/2017

“Push yourself. Because no one else is gonna do it for you.“

My university study routine during the semester

At Robert Gordon University Aberdeen the second semester of the academic year 2016/2017 has just started *yay* although I am pretty sure that there are mixed feelings towards this fact. However, I am excited for the new semester with my timetable looking fun and being filled with interesting subjects such as short film making, social media, email marketing, SEO, writing skills and much more - a lot that I can apply and benefit from when working on this blog. As teaching starts again, so are lectures, workshops, tutorials and study sessions at the library.

Last semester a few of my friends approached me how I am always so organised and up-to-date with the lecture materials during the semester and how I get the motivation to not leave it to the last minute before the exam. Personally, I consider myself having indeed a quite effective, productive and strategic daily study routine during the semester as well as during exam time. Therefore I thought it might be helpful to walk you step by step through my study routine as it may inspire some of you guys to take a more thoughtful and strategic approach to studying. Today I am bringing you my strategy to productive and efficient university studies during the semester as well as some good study habits for college, which is both PART 1 of my study routine. I obviously know that everybody studies differently and puts varying effort and priority in/on studying. So even if you can’t apply my strategy to your studying habits in detail, just see it as an inspiration to think about your study strategy and how you could make it even more time-saving or effective.

My university study routine during the semester

Before the lecture: Study the given materials 
At my course we get the lecture slides and additional research or reading material some days ahead of the lecture - I think most universities are doing it that way. I would highly recommend you to do as much reading and work on the given materials as possible before the lecture as I find it being more productive overall. I know it can sometimes be hard to get yourself together and start studying before you are actually “forced“ to do it (the night before the exam). When that happens always remind yourself that studying doesn’t get easier when you postpone it. At a later point in time you will still be the same person, with the same amount of work and the same wishes of what you would rather do.  

What to do some days before your lecture: 

  • copy the notes from the slides the professor will use in the lecture into a separate word document (or on a piece of paper, whatever you prefer) as it will be much easier to follow your own compensated, summarised and well-arranged notes during the lecture
  •  
    PRO TIP: for journal articles it is often enough to read abstract & summary in detail and skim over the rest
     

    During the lecture: Listen and only add bibs and bobs
     I find that when I prepare for the lecture in advance I can concentrate more easily during the lecture as I already know what the professor is talking about and I can therefore follow his thoughts better. When I don’t prepare in advance, I often feel overwhelmed with information as I can’t keep up with copying the slides, listening to the professor and jotting down notes all at once and I tend to give up and switch off. 
     However, when I am prepared I always keep up, take in the information and I only have to: 

    • add little pieces of extra information the professor is giving away to your prepared notes, however: don’t waste time re-arranging your layout listen carefully and attentively to the professor 

    After the lecture: Combine 
    What is great about having prepared everything in advance is the relief you get knowing that you don’t have to get through that whole big mountain of reading material after the lecture when you are tired and exhausted. It honestly is the best feeling to be able to almost tick off that topic immediately after the lecture because now I would advise you to just: 
    • add the extra knowledge/industry examples/references you got from the reading materials and additional resources to the corresponding paragraph or subtopic of your lecture notes 
    •  perfect your layout and make everything look neat and tidy

    My university study routine during the semester
      Phone case - New Look / Planner - Filofax / Notebooks - John Lewis 
     4 Quick Tips for Effective Studying 
    • Set a timer on your phone at 30 minutes and work through that time without interruption. I find that most of the times I easily get into the workflow, then simply ignore my timer and just continue studying. So the timer a perfect motivation to get started because as it gives you the prospect of a break. 
    • Use the same fonts and colours for each: your headings, sub-headings, definitions, bullet points etc. It makes your notes so much more organised and it also looks quite pretty. I always choose the colours of my headings in the order of the rainbow colours. I know, quite weird. 
    • Find your productive time. We all study best at different times - so whereas I get most things done in the morning person, others might be night owls. Just try studying at different times of the day and keep track of when you get most stuff done. When you ultimately find your “productive time“, always try to do your studying then as it will be easier and quicker. 
    • Make sure it is bright and light. When the lighting in the place I am studying at is dimm and dark I often can’t concentrate, I get tired and I get a headache. Make sure your place has good lighting - I love to study in front of a big window. 

    I really hope that this little guide can simplify and optimise your studying process during the semester and acts as a little motivation. However, I have to admit that I think that ultimately there is no trick, hack or tip that can replace the honest and true ambition to learn. I think that I study so well, not necessarily because of my strategy or my habits, but because of my will, endurance and high standards I demand of me. 

    So wanna know the real secret for succeeding in university? Stop doing sh*t you hate.


    Wise words by the one and only. 

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    My university study routine during the semester

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