How I study in Uni: workspace, note making & what’s in my files.
Alhamdullilah midterm exams are over and I’m also happy with the results (but not too happy). The foundation year students are having a week break and my mum is coming from Malaysia in 2 days! (: A week of not having to think of what to cook, because mum is here to save me.
Anyway, inshaAllah today I’ll share to all of you on how I study here. This post has been highly requested! I’ll try my best to not let any of you down!
Before that, I would share my personal thoughts about having an organized workspace.
Here’s mine! I put a lot of effort in it MashaAllah. Most of my things are from K-mart, The Warehouse and Typo because they have the best range of fashioneries (fashion stationeries!). I’m sure most of you know how obsessed I am with owning the best stationaries. Hehe. I purchased the two Anatomy posters from a bookstore just to inspire myself and to because I have to remind myself every day that this is the last term to study maths because next term if God wills, I’ll never see Maths again for the rest of my life lol. Also, another idea is to have a world map poster, especially if you love traveling. I got my fairy lights from Kmart but I also got some from Kaison in Malaysia which is pretty cheap. The light just brightens up the mood. You don’t need to put unnecessary items on your workspace because you might be overwhelmed by it. Keep your pens and markers in your drawers. Also, a wire memo board or a cork board are the best ones to hang motivational quotes or important notes.
Okay, so let’s start with note making!
I usually have lectures in the mornings from 9 AM. I’m not sure with other foundation year students, but Otago FY students get workbooks for every subject we take. In the workbooks, there are compilations of lecture notes and also tutorial questions.
I usually read through the lecture notes and highlight the main points of the lecture on the night before. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the lecture notes than showing up to the lecture with 0% idea of what the learning is about. I read a post from a studyblr about surviving university and it said that it is more important to note what the lecturer says than what is written on the slides (if you can view them online). Usually, lecturers will give out details on how to answer exams questions and the main points that you need to know for the lecture.
I use 3 different colours of highlighters. Purple for large topics, blue for small topics and pink for the explanation. For visual learners like me, it’s important to differentiate the notes (:
So, after lectures, we’ll have tutorial classes. If you’re not a University student yet, tutorial classes are small classes where students are able to interact with the lecturer. Usually, we’ll be doing tutorial questions and discuss.
It’s so important to do exercises, regardless of how well you think you’ve mastered the lecture. I’ll always add extra notes in the lecture book after doing the tutorial questions.
At home, I’ll make my own lecture notes as a summary of the lecture. I printed these pages online from a studyblog, but I don’t remember from who! :( But if any of you are interested with study templates, you can just google ‘studyblr printables’ and print them off from the internet :) I made lecture notes after doing tutorial questions so that I’m most sure of it. During exam week, I’ll only be reading these notes! But before that, please make sure you don’t miss out writing any important details from the lecture into the page.
Lastly, I’ll make notes that are more visual. I don’t make notes for all the lectures, just for those parts I know I need help to memorize. I’ll flip through this notebook every night to remember (:
Oh! One of the things SESERI has taught me is to have a file for every subject. Apparently, that habit has been stuck with me to University, which is good!
I have 5 files for the 5 subjects I’m taking this term which are: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Academic English & Mathematics for Science.
In the files, I’ll keep in the exam questions, exam revision questions, and also the lecture notes I made. I also keep in printables like the grade tracker (this is so important so that you know where you need to work on to achieve the GPA you want!), topic understandings checklist and definition list. I glued on one of my favorite quotes too. I leave these files at home and use them to store my notes. Near exams, I’ll review them (: It’s so important for us to keep the study materials we get from classes because it just might be useful for the future. Organizing your file is so important so that things don’t get all messed up, especially when it’s near exam week.
Remember that doing extra work for your studies is for your own good sake regardless whether people are doing it too or not. I’m sure everyone wants the best for themselves, therefore there is no harm in trying to work harder. In the end, it’s all about how much you’ve achieved to get closer to your goals. If something inspires you, go for it. If it motivates you to do better, go for it. You also need to learn to say ‘no’ to the negative things in life. If you feel like your circle of friends are bringing you down in your studies, it’s okay to isolate yourself sometimes just to get back on track. It’s better to feel left out that feeling regret the rest of your life for not trying your ultimate best. With determination, discipline, and positivity, inshaAllah we’ll get to the destination we want!
I hope I helped one or two of you with this post! Do share your thoughts about it with me personally or anonymously (through the ask box) because I want to improve myself too! Also, please tell me what you want to read in my next post because I’m kinda out of ideas.
Insha Allah, till next time when I write again. Assalamualaikum.
“Study. Remind yourself: I’m doing this for me.”