It has been an interesting couple of months, but I finally finished (kind of) my first year of university! Nothing in high school prepared for university. In all honesty, many of the tips you are about to read were acquired through learning about what works for me and what helps me out. With that being said, if you want to know how I survived my first year of university (with little to no stress and emotional breakdowns!) read on!
- Self-motivation is key. You’ll never realize how important this is until you are sitting in your room, studying (more like cramming) for the midterm that you have the next day, thinking about how you would’ve understood everything better if you just studied earlier. Talk about overwhelming and stress overload! This is the thing, you aren’t going to 100% study if you don’t want to study. I mean, sure you’ll be reading and highlighting, but you won’t be absorbing the information. You need to learn how to motivate yourself if you want to succeed. No amount of convincing and nagging from other people will get you to where you want to be – you have to move there yourself in order for any progress to take place.
- Find your way of studying. This is something I wish I learned in high school. I didn’t realize that there are so many ways to study and how each way helps you differently. Before I would re-write notes, re-read, and highlight. It helped in the smallest way, but it never really helped the information stick. If I’m being honest, it was more memorization than learning – is that really good? I started discovering different ways to help me study like: making my notes colourful and exciting, recording myself read notes and listening to it, and even making cue cards and pacing around my house testing myself constantly. Finding your personal way of studying is major learning in itself and is definitely what reduced my stress and increased my GPA! (keep an eye out for “Note Taking” and “How I Study” posts!)
- Organization should be your priority. I have never been more organized in my life than I have been in university. I have an array of folders, labels, dividers, and duotangs that help organize my essays from my assignments, and my ‘to-dos’ from my ‘hand ins!’ I even have 4 calendars that help me keep track of school, personal life – everything. I even started a bullet journal which has improved my organization extremely. This is seriously the best way to keep your stress at bay so you can focus on more important things. (keep an eye out for posts on how I stay organized!)
- Go to class! (and put away your phone). Since university is such an independent thing, you may find yourself saying one of these things: “I’ve gone all week and missing one day won’t hurt”, “We’re not doing anything important… And if we are, it’s all online”, “I don’t really need to be in this class, so it doesn’t matter”. I am guilty of saying all these things, especially near the end of the semester. My tip, just go! You never know what important information or assignments you’ll miss! Plus, you’re paying for the class so like… Why waste your money? Also, stay off your phone! Seriously! What is the point of going if you’re not even going to pay attention? Put away your phone, take informative notes, and pass your exams! (I am 100% guilty of this)
- You need to give yourself breaks. Here’s the thing, not every test is going to give you an amazing grade and you will not fail every exam because you failed one. There is no need for you to study until the sun comes up and hop yourself up on copious amounts of coffee. You don’t have to be about school every single hour of the day. You need to take breaks, you need to give yourself some time. Balance your life so you can fit in studying while also fitting in time for your friends, family, and yourself. The most rewarding thing about this is that you won’t have any emotional breakdowns and you’ll be stress-free (if you balance correctly.)
Well, that’s all I have for you right now, folks! I hope these 5 tips helped you out, or made you realize something! Being stress free is so important especially during a high-stress time in your life. You got this!
xo, tonirose 🙂