Coping with Coursework

Everything about university is a learning curve. It’s not just the academic stuff. It’s social interaction with your peers. It’s living away from home – often for the first time. And, most importantly, it’s managing your own timetable and prioritising your own tasks.

Do you want to know the secret to single-minded focus? We’ve laid out some of our tips for coping with coursework below:

  1. Start well

There’s nothing worse than getting an assignment and not even understanding the title. To make sure you never get left behind, attend everything and ask questions when you don’t understand.  Keeping pace with what’s happening in your lectures and tutorials can give you real confidence when it comes to your coursework. Forming a study group with peers can also be a great way of supporting one another and chatting through any confusion.

  1. Little and often

It’s very easy to proclaim on the first day of university that you plan to study 40 hours a week on top of all your classes. But actually studying 40 hours a week is quite different. It’s an unrealistic goal. Not only will you fail to achieve a 40-hour study plan, the failure will put you off from engaging in any study plan. And suddenly there you are, 5 weeks in with no work to show for it.

So, what should you do? Little and often is the key. Regular study is far better than last-minute cramming sessions. Aim for one to three hours in the library every day – and more if exams are approaching.

  1. Take regular breaks

The time away from your books is just as essential for retaining the information as all the time spent reading and studying them.  When you’re stressed or overworked, the body releases the stress hormone cortisol which can impede the brain’s capacity for memory and learning. So, go take a walk in the fresh air, watch your favourite show, or meet some friends for cake and coffee. Then get back to studying with a renewed energy.

  1. Have a work/life balance

No university experience should be all about study. Part of being a healthy, happy student is diversifying your interests and learning to manage multiple responsibilities. Try new things and build on existing passions. So, join a sports club. Give martial arts a go. Launch a charity campaign. Or delve deeper into music. If you plan your time well, having a varied agenda can be good for the soul.

  1. Get enough sleep!

You’re asking a lot of your brain. All it asks in return is a solid 8-hours sleep pattern. Caffeine is not a substitute for this… To do your best work, you need to get the best night’s sleep.

  1. Don’t be afraid to seek help

The mind is a delicate thing, and sometimes simple life tweaks are not enough to quell the feelings of stress. If worry about your coursework has triggered feelings of anxiety or depression, don’t suffer in silence. There is always a way around the problem. Talk to our wellbeing and support team about getting the help you need.

If you have any questions about any issues raised here, talk to us today.


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