18 June 2014

University; Organisation

One thing I love is organisation; something you have to be pretty good at at uni. It can be quite daunting going in to university and being faced with the fact that organisation is completely up to YOU but hopefully some of my tips are helpful and please feel free to add to them in the comments, I'm sure you can help someone out.

NOTE TAKING

For the first few months, note taking was very trial and error. To begin, I tried putting everything in to one A4 notebook but that meant that modules were mixed between each other and it was hard to find particular previous notes when needed. I then tried using one notebook for each module, this only resulted in a very heavy and full bag, not ideal. Failing that, I resorted to printing off the lecture slides, taking them into lectures and adding my notes to them before going home and putting them in a lever arch file, divided into modules. However, this one file got very full very quickly and it meant relying on lecturers to actually put the lecture slides on line before the lecture itself and in my case, they were quite forgetful. My note taking dilemma was resolved when I purchased a few Pukka pads after seeing others using them and I LOVE them. This is what I used for the rest of the year and will continue to use next year. I have one for seminars and one for lectures, each split by built in dividers into modules. 

In terms of the content of your notes, it really is tempting to copy down everything that's on the screen in front of you. I'd definitely advise against this, it's pointless as the lecture slides should be on line for you to access, it's not likely you'll have enough time to write everything before the lecturer moves on and you'll miss any expansion on the main points. Instead, when revising, use the lecture slides alongside your notes and in lectures, make sure to take down all of the extra stuff to accompany the slides. Saying that, try to pick out what's actually relevant because trust me, lecturers like to go off on tangents and tell you their life stories, making it unclear as to what the main point actually is. I like to write in typical list form but I witnessed others using mind maps and colour coordination, a few students even recorded every lecture on to some device which was always a tempting idea, but thinking about the time it would take to listen back and having to sit through all of the lecturers stories and bad jokes put me off. Find how you work best and adapt your note taking ways to fit. 


BUDGETING
This ones probably more applicable to those living away from home, although I do feel I can offer some tips as a stay at home student. I think creating a balance between spending your student loan on necessities like food and spending it on way better things like nights out and clothes is important, although the student in you may definitely see nights out as a necessity. So, to make your money go a little further I would do a few things; make use of the university's library instead of buying books, text books can be expensive, especially if you need a lot of them. I found buying the main textbook needed and then using the library was definitely efficient enough for first year. Additionally, only print when really needed. I was surprised at how much could be charged for a single piece of paper with some ink on it and when, like me, you decide to print every journal article rather than reading them on line the price quickly adds up. I soon stopped that and only printed when I really needed too, which was rarely. 

A lot of universities will have tempting cafes such as Costa or Starbucks on campus but they're often ridiculously overpriced, bring your own lunch and treat yourself every now and again. Also, shop around and keep an eye out for offers and vouchers and take advantage of them, this can definitely be helpful for the dreaded food shop if you're living away and it's always useful to keep a note of what needs to be spent on what. Finally, I'd definitely suggest opening a savings account and letting a small amount of your loan transfer in to there, you won't miss it too much and it will help in the future. 

Rachael x
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22 comments

  1. This post was so helpful, will definitely take this advice when I move to uni in September thank you lovey :}
    Life in a Northern Town

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    1. I'm so pleased you found this helpful :) You're very welcome, good luck with uni!

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  2. Cute post doll! Very, very helpful! =] xx.

    www.beautyandlouise.com

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    1. Thank you, I'm pleased it was helpful! :) xx

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  3. I've just finished university! I concur that these are awesome tips :) One of my favourite things is organisation.
    Love from Jasmine xo - rabbitwoodblog.co.uk

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    1. Yaay I'm pleased you agree with them! x

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  4. This is such a great little series-type-thing you've done on university! Perfect timing for those of us with our first year of university approaching :)
    Elesaurus

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    1. Thank you so much Eleanor, I agree, I thought this was a great time to do it! Maybe I'll be able to think of some more uni related posts :)

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  5. This is so helpful,I wish I could be more organized!:)

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    1. Pleased you found this helpful, aw it's easy once you start making steps to become more organized! :) Pretty stationery always helps!

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  6. I like your budgeting tips its really easy to just spend while at uni on little things here and there!

    Much love xxx
    Christinanista.com

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    1. Thank you! Yes I totally agree, you don't realise where your money goes! A balance between fun and necessities is definitely needed though xx

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  7. Definitely some good tips! I know I struggled with note taking at first as well. My first trimester I had bought different A4 books for every subject and then a folder for all of the handouts for all the subjects and I ended up forgetting which books were for which days and ended up just taking notes all in the one book which was definitely not such a great plan. 4 subject books with folder dividers definitely changed my note-taking abilities since now it's so easy to remember just the one book instead of lots. Bringing my own lunch was probably my biggest money saver too. Can't believe how long it took me to actually stick to it though -.- haha

    Deb | Debra Bros Blog

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    1. Thanks Deb, I'm pleased you agree with them! I found it do tricky to find a way to organise my notes in which I liked. It sounds like you've worked it out well! I found different books for each module just a little too much to carry and like you said, it was easy to bring the wrong one. Haha I was pretty good at that one, although the Costa hot chocolates got me quite a lot of the time!

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  8. Dear, randomly found your blog and I’d like to say that you have amazing design, beautiful photos and interesting posts! I’m also impressed by your style! Everything is magnificent!

    would you like to follow each other?
    will be happy to see you in my blog)

    www.dianacloudlet.com

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    1. Thank you so much Diana, so nice of you!

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  9. This is really good advice!! At my University some lecturers record the whole lecture and put it online for us, so we can listen back to any bits we missed, with the powerpoint presentation!


    Emma Louise x

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    1. Thank you! Ooh that sounds super helpful! x

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  10. I suck at organizing myself. every year I tell myself that this time will be different, but it never happens LOL
    blogablebeauty.blogspot.com

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    1. Hahaa yeah I know the feeling, I always say I'm going to make more effort with making my notes neater but at the speed I have to write, that never happens!

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  11. I am a complete control freak and am already panicking about going to university in September, so those tips have defiantly helped put my mind at ease- especially the note taking! I would love to see more blog posts like this

    theamygill.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm pleased you found this helpful, don't worry about it you'll find your way! Note taking was definitely a bit tricky at first though for an organization freak like me haha. Hopefully I'll be able to think up some more uni related posts :)

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