In a blink of an eye, I’ve reached the end of two weeks of lectures and seminars. Many second and third year gravely warned me last year that second year takes a significant and scary jump up from first year. They informed me with a grin that first year is just a ‘settling in year’, and the real work begins by the second. I cannot disagree for a second that my Psychology degree definitely has upped the reading and work load, and consequently now tests even the most nerving studious of students to keep up with everything. Miraculously, so far I am surprisingly on top of all my note taking and reading, and I want to share with you how I’ve somehow achieved this!

My first step in ensuring that second year did not defeat me at the earliest stage was attending absolutely everything university had to offer me in the two weeks in. Although some mornings I almost bailed out on the dreaded 6am wake up to make it to the 7:15am bus, I persisted nonetheless and made it to all my lectures and seminars promptly! Apart from that one lecture I had to make a mercy dash to reach and still ended up being five minutes late, but we won’t mention that! 

I know this may come as a shock to some readers, but it’s pretty good to actually be productive in your lectures/seminars! I stopped daydreaming about concerts and my celebrity crushes falling madly in love with me (I wish) for amazingly the entire duration of lectures/seminars, so I did not miss a single important point to note down from my lecturers! I personally find writing as much down as possible vital – sometimes it takes a while for lecture slides to be uploaded, but I could make a head start and type mine up straight after, with having all the information magically in front of me. I know some students in my course record lectures, and I would also recommend this technique to anyone reading this!

Commuting weirdly enough has also helped me keep on top of everything; the one golden advantage of an excruciatingly early bus into university is that the time I have spare before lectures/seminars is time I’ve spent in the library! As well as being literally the warmest and snuggliest place on campus, it’s also a place with WiFi, quietness and computers, and this coupled with no distractions pushes me to type up all my lecture notes in detail.

Finally, but arguably the most important reason of all as to why I haven’t slipped behind yet, is my imperative to purchase or borrow core textbooks! Okay, so not all my reading has been out of this world interesting, but it’s kept me on my toes and ahead of the game when it’s come to knowing the content of lectures/seminars; from keeping up to date with reading I’ve managed to follow the content of all lectures/seminars so far! 

To any prospective university students, or those already experiencing the highs and lows of university, my advice for making it through the first two weeks without having a nervous breakdown due to helplessly drowning in notes and reading is…

  • Go to all your lectures and seminars and workshops! I cannot say enough how crucial this is!
  • Well done for making it to your classes – now just focus and write down the key notes on the slides, and/or additional information the lecturers give (99% of the time it will be relevant).
  • Take time out to accompany lecture notes with key reading from key textbooks.👍🏻
  • Make sure you enjoy university! Yes it can feel daunting with the level of work there is to do at times, but it’s also the best years of your life so far as well!✨