Hello Mancunians! Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2022!
It feels good to be back to my routine of running across campus to attend classes but making a pitstop at the popular Whitworth Arch to take a beautiful picture of the “University of Manchester” title. I can just never get enough of the beautiful buildings and people I am surrounded by. Through my article, I would like to impart some tips and mistakes which I made during semester 1 concerning studying and the way forward towards embarking on a comprehensive learning journey.
Firstly, I would like to discuss some of the mistakes we study tend to usually make and something we should work towards:
1. Carrying on your day without a plan is the biggest mistake a student can make. As Martin Luther King rightly stated, “if you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write”. For a holistic educational experience, the first tip I would give you is to write down all your deadlines and stick them right in front of your study table. Prepare a plan on what you aim to achieve in each study session. It is okay if you don’t always meet your goals for the day, just restructure your learning plan accordingly.
2. I am sure we all have had days where we have spent hours staring at the screen but haven’t studied much! A huge stress buster is knowing when you are most productive. For some, it is early in the morning and for some, it is late in the night. Always take down notes of the lectures from classes and if you have some incomplete notes, the podcast is always available on blackboard.
3. Usually around exam time, the situation is overwhelming, and anxiety is at its peak. We can easily avoid this situation by planning and being up to date with our readings and assignments from the very beginning. Adopt the Pomodoro technique where you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks (Pomodoro). After four Pomodoro’s, take 15-minute breaks.
4. Please use the entire 10 weeks of the semester to learn and grow, rather than cramming up a few days before. It always helps that I clean my desk and have a nice cup of black coffee by my side. For a change of environment, I have found the study spaces offered by the university to be very comforting.
To conclude, as we approach exam deadlines for semester 2 coupled with initial discussions about dissertation, all I can tell my classmates across all pathways is that we got this and trust the process! It is tricky, but we will eventually learn to strike a balance between studies and exploring what the city of Manchester has to offer.