Student life can be one of the most remarkable stages of your life. Everybody says that the experiences you go through, both fun and struggling, will shape you as an adult and will prepare you for life after university. This could not be truer in terms of gaining autonomy, as more often than not, it is the first time you live by yourself or with other coursemates. The environment is full of learning opportunities. Apart from becoming more independent, you will be interacting with so many different people, learning how to work in a team, and improving individual learning.
On the other hand, when you arrive at university, the way you will be graded and how your performance will be reviewed differs from what you have known so far. You will need to nurture and improve your research skills, as university curriculums are built in such a way to promote individual learning. Besides, among coursework, project assignments, and final exams, it isn’t uncommon for students to experience anxiety and stress — poor time management results in an overwhelming workload. However, don’t fret. For times when you are struggling, there are some things you can do.
1. Learn how to take notes
At university, you won’t be able to type or write everything you hear in a lecture, and any learning materials will serve as guidance. So, as a student, you will have to do most of the work to gather information and conduct research or look for useful books at the library. Depending on how well you manage to take notes during class, you will be prepared to do your assignments. For this reason, it is crucial you learn how to take notes effectively. Some great methods of note-taking include:
- The Cornel system: This is an effective method that helps students organize their notes neatly and facilitates reviewing, given that it comprises essential sections. There is an area for notes taken during class, another one for thoughts and questions that might appear that you could ask after class, and a summary section at the bottom where you can conclude the class’ main idea and highlight concepts. This method helps you understand relationships and make correlations.
- The Mapping method: For students who learn better using visual connections, the mapping note-taking method is more suitable. It helps you make connections between concepts and topics, given that you start by writing the main subject from which you can create subtopics and write down essential details for each.
- Transcribing services: There might be certain classes that are specifically more difficult than others, and note-taking is challenging even with one of the methods mentioned above. In this case, you can make use of transcribing services. You could record the class while you adopt an effective note-taking method. In your own time, you can utilize an online service that transcribes that particular class. This way, you don’t have to worry about missing any crucial points.
2. Create a schedule that works for you
As a student, good organization is vital. If you learn from university how to manage your time effectively and organize your tasks well, not only will it improve your academic performance, but you will be better prepared for when you start working. Employers look for these skills in their possible candidates, so it is vital you create a daily planner to help you stay organized.
A noteworthy mention would be to put together a schedule that works for you, as not everyone learns the same way and at similar paces. For instance, if you are more productive early in the morning, prioritize your tasks and responsibilities based on their urgency and do the most time-consuming or difficult ones in the morning. Depending on your learning styles and whether you also work part-time, you should stick to a schedule that helps you stay productive and turns into a routine.
3. Take care of your mental health
Probably one of the most important things to consider is your mental health. As a student, you are predisposed to becoming anxious when you see deadlines are approaching and feel as if you are not able to fulfill them and perform well. It is of the utmost importance not to overlook your mental wellbeing. Suppose you develop anxiety symptoms or panic attacks due to putting a great deal of pressure on yourself, lacking self-confidence, and feeling overwhelmed. In that case, it is natural your performance levels will decrease. Hence, it is vital you practice self-care and pay attention to what you’re feeling.
If indeed, you start experiencing anxiety, insomnia, and an inability to concentrate, there are things you can try that might be able to help you. For instance, there are CBD products that can alleviate symptoms of anxiety or depression. Such products are available on the market and are non-addictive, given that the level of THC doesn’t exceed 0.3%. Depending on your needs and personal preferences, there are different types of administrations. So, you might want to get CBD oil that is taken sublingually or purchase organic CBD nugs that you can smoke. No matter what you choose, if you decide on trying these products, it is vital you get a professional opinion from your medical provider on the proper doses for you.
Practicing self-care is essential for creating a balanced and healthy routine. For this reason, it will be beneficial for you if you prioritize time to unwind, either by spending time reading a book, exercising, or going out with your friends. What’s more, if you find it difficult to handle everything on your own, taking care of your mental health also means discussing what you are feeling with someone you trust or a professional.
4. Reflect on your performance
Last but not least, in order to improve performance, it is imperative not to underestimate the importance of asking for feedback from your tutors and lecturers. Also, you might not feel comfortable asking for help. However, only this way can you improve your learning techniques and understand certain concepts better.
Plus, by doing this, you will be better equipped to reflect on your performance and become more aware of your strengths and skills, which will increase your self-confidence. On the other hand, reflection is an effective way of noticing any areas that might need improvement, so you know what needs a different approach. For instance, you might need to change your note-taking method or adjust your schedule.