This website has some really useful time-management tips from students. I’m not sure on the origin of the site but the information is certainly very useful. One tip which is timely, I think, given that it’s back-to-school time in the Northern hemisphere is this one:
University is different from school
If you have come straight from school then University life will be very different, because there is a lot more freedom. This will seem great at first, but you also learn that in a way, it becomes more difficult than school (I am referring to the mode of study rather than the content of the study), because what you must learn is no longer handed to you on a plate. You must self-manage your studies and research the topics yourself. It is very easy not to do much studying at all in the first year, unless you are very self-motivated. If you are not, then try to help yourself by reading as many books as you can from the reading lists for your modules, or any books that are relevant to your course, even if you are not specifically learning about it at the time. It is good to discuss the issues you read about with others on your course. You need to form personal views about subjects, because if you can somehow personally relate to a subject area, then you are more likely to understand it. Even though your study is self-directed, you can still ask a lecturer if you do not understand something. A lecturer can help you to understand more fully, and advise you on the best books to use for your research. It is often difficult to balance study with other aspects of life. For example, some students have part-time jobs and/or families to think about, other students who have neither of these factors, may instead enjoy socialising a lot (usually in pubs and clubs). I think that this too is an important part of University life and life in general. Making friends and social action is an important part of social integration, and may even be relevant if you are studying a social science. Interacting with people also means that you can then study together and help each other. However, there should be a balance between study and other aspects of your life. It can often be difficult to self-motivate, so a good strategy may be to make up a rough timetable of your week, which allocates specific time slots where you should sit down and do some studying. Ensure that this time is quality time where you can really concentrate, away from family and friends, the TV or the radio.
This is something I wish I’d known when I started at uni.
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