At the start of studying PR, I had no idea what to expect. But now, nearing the end of final year, there’s some things that I wish I could tell my 19-year-old self back in first year.
Don’t buy all the books
This makes me sound like a terrible student but hear me out. Some books I have bought and picked up only once to use one chapter to research and quote in an essay. Others I’ve read cover to cover and they are covered in notes and post-its.
Don’t buy every book on your reading list on day one. Start out by taking the recommended books out the library and invest in copies of those that you use often. You could always buy different books to friends on your course and swap copies too!
Keep your notes titled
I consider myself pretty organised, dating and labeling my first and second year notes with what week we were currently on and the date. But that’s pretty much no use to me now – I can’t remember what week last year that we studied internal comms and now I need the notes for my essay!
I’d suggest titling your notes clearly and boldly with what topic you were studying, so should you need to flick back through some old notebooks, you will know exactly what your notes are about!
Get things started early
Quite simply don’t leave essays to the day before. Or even the week before if you can. I’ve got far better marks on those that I have written, had a break from and then proof-read and edited before hand-in.
Slightly ashamed to admit that I’ve completely broken down on two occasions this year over how much I’ve got to do. Did stressing out help? No. (eating my own body weight in chocolate didn’t either…)
What did help was sitting down, prioritising my tasks and making a schedule. You can do it all if you keep calm!
Your friends will keep you sane!
Particularly near deadline time, keeping yourself on lock down in your room might not be the best plan. Get together with a group of friends (make sure they are equally as motivated as you though!) and plan in library sessions together. If you commit to meeting someone else, you are more likely to go study as you don’t want to let them down!
And I’ve found my friends are great to bounce ideas off and fill in the blank of what word do I need in this sentence…
What has helped you during university? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…