Life at University can be pretty hectic! You’ve moved away from home, you’ve met a whole new bunch of people and you’re finally having to start caring for yourself. That being the biggest change of all having left home and not having pretty much everything done for you anymore.

Then, when you’re already slightly unsettled enough, you’re thrown into the complete deep end! You’re put into lecture theatres which are just absolutely massive compared to the tiny classrooms you’re probably use to at school or during sixth form or even college! These lecture theatres are massive, I’m only tiny standing at 4ft 11, but even my tallest friends found them rather abnormally large.

You then get introduced to your course by a group of lecturers that, without initially trying… I think, make you feel like you’re not going to have any type of social life for the next 3, 4 or even 5 years (depending on course length) And you know what, they aren’t far from wrong really. Being at Uni is a full time commitment! You see these people going to Uni and going out all the time, being hungover all the time or even going on holidays… But having just finished and graduated from my 3 year degree myself, I can vouch for the fact that that really isn’t how Uni ALWAYS is!

I truly loved my University experience and choosing to study History was one of the best decisions I ever made. I made some friends for life, had moments I’ll never have again and gained such huge self independence it’s unreal. I may not have had the “true university experience” that others may have but, this will boil down to the fact that I simply just did not go out and party at every given opportunity because I learned pretty early early on that if I really wanted to achieve my degree I needed to organise near enough everything in my life at Uni.

During your time at University you will have assignment upon assignment upon assignment constantly in the background of everything you do. You need to make sure you as a student do not let any of this get on top of you, which trust me is something that can easily happen, because you will then become far too consumed in your work and it will little by little whittle you and your mental state down.

Now! I’ve no doubt made you sit there and think “why on earth did she even go to Uni if she felt like this about it?!” after reading that and I’d completely understand why you would think that. But it was because I organised my time and pretty much everything as to why and how I enjoyed/managed my time in Uni.

  1. Organising lecture notes for assignments: It is something everyone will do in a lecture and that is taking far too many notes. After my first semester at Uni I realised I had notes from various different lectures scattered around my room, I didn’t know which ones were for which but I knew I needed them due to up coming assignments during and after my first semester break. So! I thought it would be a good idea to go out and buy one big folder, with individual dividers and plastic wallets for each set of lecture notes. I then labelled each divider with the name of my module for that year and during lectures I would then abbreviate the module name at the top of my notes. This then meant reminding myself that when I got back to my student halls after lectures I would need to put the set or sets of notes I had taken into each folder section therefore, making my assignments that much more easy to research and write for. This tip may sound incredibly straight forward to you but, I had not thought of it before starting Uni, so I don’t know how many other students would have. If you did however, well done! Because you’re saving yourself a lot of hassle, if you hadn’t before now… YOU ARE WELCOME!
  2. Thinking about deadlines: Deadlines during Uni, whether we like it or not, creep up on us very quickly! My course I studied required me to read a hell of a lot so preparing for an assignment could involve at least 2 weeks worth of work. What I would suggest here is make sure you pick a question for an assignment far in advance, check your module handbook where your lecturer should have posted your future assignment titles, just so you can prepare yourself for maybe how much reading or research you need to do. So 2 weeks from the hand in assignment date, I personally would suggest making a start on at least picking your question and checking out a few books. Just so you’re beginning to make some sort of start. No matter how big the word count, you can never be too prepared for an assignment.
  3. Worrying: This then leads me onto the worrying for deadlines! No matter how many times people tell you to chill out, you will always find yourself CONSTANTLY worry about deadlines. Even if you start it early, it is always there niggling away at you as a constant reminder that you ALWAYS have something to be doing.. Just try to not let this consume you, for there can be bad consequences that follow. Worrying isn’t something that can easily be stopped, I know that all too well, but the least you can do is TRY. 
  4. Reading for other deadlines at the SAME time? : This also then leads me onto this. You are always going to have more then 1 assignment to complete at a time… You just need to make sure you space your time for these deadlines efficiently. Therefore you can spend enough equal time on all of them, meaning you get decent grades for them. So don’t rush, just try and roll with it okay? Which then leads me onto my final point of organisation…
  5. Chill out time: Now it may have been made to feel like you don’t have a social life anymore, Uni is your life, assignments are now your life and constant worry is not a stranger anymore, BUT! This chill out time is an absolute must. Even if it is going out for coffee and catch up with a friend, a trip into town on your own to do some much needed retail therapy, or even on a night out (yes I said night out, where you go and let your hair down with the help of alcohol). You MUST make time for you to chill out… Granted I didn’t do this all the time, but I did know when enough was enough and chill time was needed and I now know when looking back where I should have taken time out to chill. Just know your limits, or you will send yourself silly and nothing you want to achieve will actually get done.


I actually wish I had read something similar to this before I headed off to Uni because I now know what stresses it can cause for you as a student. So, I really do hope these are helpful to anyone who is reading them. Organisation may seem like a lot of effort sometimes, but trust me, it really does help.