With exams being over and semester 2 classes kicking off, it’s important to remember that we still need to study even if it’s not exam-period time. Here are a few tips to creating a plan to manage your time and study consistently, while still having a fun student life.
- Think about your duties
The first step to creating a plan is to think about what it is that you have to get done. This includes both the university work, house chores and any social events that you have to attend. You should either create a ‘mental’ note or write them down on a piece of paper. Consider any deadlines and how long each of these activities will take.
- Don’t forget: ‘consistent studying is your friend’!
In order to be able to have free time at all, you must study consistently. This means preparing for any tutorials beforehand and studying the lecture material. By studying for a lecture per day for example (e.g. by studying the book for a lecture along with the lecture slides and writing your notes) you will ensure that by Friday you have covered all the lectures of the week and that you’ll have the weekend free for a pleasurable time with friends and family.
*This proved to be really helpful in my personal experience as I not only had the weekends free, but also during the Christmas holidays I could enjoy time with my family and friends at home as all my notes were complete for the exams and the only thing I had to do was go over them and practice (which takes much less time than doing the reading and writing all the notes for 3 months’ worth of lectures in just 2 weeks before the exams).
- Be realistic
Yes, you should be optimistic regarding the exams and studying but be careful not to be unrealistic. By creating a timetable where you will be studying for 9 hours a day and finishing off your exam notes by the middle of the semester is just not realistic. You should honestly think about how much you can handle studying each day and genuinely be productive so that you can stay up to date with your plan.
- Allow yourself some free days
By incorporating free days in your timetable, you allow yourself time to relax with your friends, family or even by yourself at home. You shouldn’t however plan studying for 2 days and then relaxing for 5 days as this will probably result in insufficient studying. Also, free days will allow you to catch up with your studying in case you had a change of plans that week and you missed some of your study sessions.
- Create and test your plan
After considering these steps, create your actual plan either by hand or by using templates online. Then, test your plan for 10 days and check whether it is realistic and effective. In case you have difficulties keeping up or you have too much free time you should perhaps modify your plan.
*Bonus tip: Stay positive*
You should by no means overwhelm yourself with studying. You should also never forget about your mental health and your tranquillity! Remember that you should always have positive thoughts, surround yourself with positive people and take care of yourself. You don’t have to study 24/7 to be consistent. Just stay up to date. And eventually, if you follow these tips, you will be rewarded with good grades and a happy social life.