By Lydia Ractliffe
DO the reading. It makes life so much easier. Make a plan – whether that’s reading week by week or reading a few weeks in advance. If you feel daunted by the sheer volume of reading, then read little and often. If a book is 450 pages long, then read 45 pages at a time; that’s about 30 minutes reading for most of us. If you do that three times a day, you’ll get through it without even realising
DON’T skip lectures/seminars because you haven’t got around to doing the reading. Read a summary online the night before if you have to. You will be able to understand some of what’s being said and then connect it to the text when you do read it. Skipping a seminar will only put you further behind.
DO listen to audiobooks if they are available. You can listen to them walking to lectures/seminars, at the gym, going to sleep or even while you’re playing Candy Crush. It really helps you make a dent in the reading. Listen on 1.25% or 1.5% and you’ll get through it even faster.
DON’T sacrifice everything else for reading. Downtime makes you more productive in the long run. Recognise when you are most productive and make best use of those hours.
DO secondary reading early. It makes essay writing a lot less of a scramble. A chapter or article here or there doesn’t take too long but if you do that once or twice a week, you have a source of notes to draw on – and connect to your own ideas – when essay time comes.
DON’T just highlight. A file of highlighted sheets won’t help you when it comes to essay writing. You will end up rereading it in full and going through the same thought process twice. Annotate and make notes by hand or on your laptop as you go along.
DON’T do too much. You don’t want to crash and burn before you even get to essays/exams. Although a lot can be said against ‘underworking’, overworking and burning yourself out is counterproductive.
DO enjoy it. If you engage in your modules you will enjoy them more because you will understand what’s going on.
REMEMBER If you’re not happy, go and speak to your personal tutor and change to something you do enjoy.
Have a great term.