I have been enjoying the holiday break at home in Detroit, Michigan, USA. It has been very cold with temperatures well below freezing. I have been keeping warm by staying inside, writing a reflective paper, and studying for three final exams. I knew studying while at home would be difficult as it is easy to get distracted. However, I am happy with the progress I have made while at home.
Here are some things that have helped me with studying while at home.
- Set aside 2-3 hours a day for school work. It is likely that you will regret it if you wait until the end of break to start your revision.
- Create study guides for your courses. For example, I went through my notes from lectures, readings, and case studies, and highlighted the most important topics that I wanted to study in more detail. I created study guides using this information in a Microsoft Word document. I found that it is best to keep the documents organized by using headings and bullet points. I also added images and graphs to further explain topics or concepts when necessary.
- Create flash cards. They are great for trying to memorize definitions.
- Stay in contact with your classmates! It is nice to have friends that are going through the same thing as you.
- You should not spend all your time studying. You will need to give your mind a break every so often after all. I have found that these activities help:
o Exercise! The best way to de-stress is by going to the gym
o Go out to lunch with old friends
o Catch up on TV shows
I am heading back to Manchester with a few days left to spare before exams. I plan on using this time to study individually as well as with classmates. The next few weeks will be stressful, but I am hopeful that all the hard work and time spent studying will be worth it.
I am excited to begin semester two. I will be taking a required Research Methods course as well as three electives. The UK academic system is slightly different from the American system so I will be changing my study habits a bit. I will continue to focus on readings and ask questions early on if I do not understand topics or concepts.
During semester two, I also plan to explore possible dissertation topics so that I am ahead of the game. Additionally, I plan to apply for jobs within the next couple of months. I have heard that it is best to start the process early on to secure a job by the end of the school year.