October 2, 2018, by Lucy
Habits to Start Today
Do your reading
Speaking from personal experience, it is very easy to fall into the habit of leaving reading until the night before the corresponding lecture, seminar or workshop. Or, worse still, not doing it at all and hoping that what you can remember from the lecture will be enough to guide you through a class discussion. However, there is obviously a reason why preparatory reading is set: to help better equip you to understand the content. Although reading chapters and books at a time may seem like a bore, getting on top of the workload will make any additional content easier to digest. I mean, there’s nothing worse than turning up to something and feeling completely out of your depth, am I right? Break down your reading each week, whether that be into pages, chapters, articles, etc., making notes if relevant to enable you to genuinely understand that content that is being taught.
Go to your lectures and seminars
Again, when no one is monitoring your attendance in certain sessions it is tempting to allow your attendance to slip throughout the term. One week you may miss a lecture and the next you’re only showing up to one scheduled class… it’s a slippery slope. You may feel like your attendance to a lecture is pointless: besides, the slides will be on Moodle. Well, it is more often the case that what isn’t on the slides is more important than what is. It is the points made by the lecture in addition to the PowerPoint that will help aide and inform your understanding. Likewise, with seminars too. It is the group discussions that will broaden your perspective as opposed to the handouts themselves. As unappealing as 9am starts or 6pm finishes may be, you never know what you may be missing if you decide against going into uni.
Stick to a regular sleeping pattern
Talking about 9ams and 6pms, uni life rarely follows a typical working schedule. As a result, you may turn to napping or, more drastically, your sleeping pattern may become somewhat non-existent. Indeed, if this happens it is almost guaranteed that the work you produce will take a turn for the worst too. It seems as if millions of research papers have been written about sleep hygiene, all of which point to a similar conclusion: going to bed and waking up at the same time repeatedly improves your life. Yet, no matter how many times scientists and the media drill it into our heads, most people brush it off as nuisance. However, I can safely say that there’s a reason that this message is a sirensong: it is true! I’m not here to tell you to go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6am everyday, but what I am telling you is to stay regular to some extent. Sure, have a lie in on the weekends, but don’t stay up until 2am when you know you have a 9am that day.