Go Higher: How to stride through your studies

Time management is essential when coping with deadlines, writes Jacqui Bealing

After the hard work it took to get your A- level grades, the slower pace of higher education can be quite different.

Indeed, those taking arts courses may be surprised to find that no more than 10 hours of their week is time-tabled with tutorials and lectures. You may ask yourself what you're supposed to do with the rest of your waking hours.

Of course, getting to know your fellow students and acclimatising to your new environment is important. But you'll soon need to find a balance between socialising and studying.

If you can, try to set your own timetable. You will be expected to do a fair amount of studying and research on your own. And while two weeks may sound like a long time in which to produce a 2,000 word essay, don't be fooled into believing it can all be done the day before deadline. You may not be able to get hold of the books you need from the library. You may suddenly realise you don't understand the assignment, but be unable to talk to your tutor about it. If you start off with a realistic personal timetable you won't need to correct bad habits during the important final stages of your course.

It's also worth learning to type and having access to a word processor. It won't guarantee you higher grades, but anything that makes life easier for your tutors - and for yourself - is worth considering.

You will be expected to attend all tutorials, but lectures can be seen as optional. This doesn't mean they are not worth attending. Some lecturers can be highly entertaining, even though their subject sounds dry. Don't expect lectures to cover all aspects of the topic you are expected to write about, however. The secret is to use them as a springboard for your own research.

Everyone worries about whether they'll be clever enough to cope with the workload. A "degree course" may sound more high-flying than A-levels, but in reality, most students find the work no more difficult. You've already proved you are intelligent enough to "compare and contrast" information, or "discuss" complex issues. That's how you ended up where you are now.

Of course, there will be students who appear more knowledgeable or likely to get higher grades than you. But there's no need to feel you are competing against each other. You are there to get qualifications for yourself.

Sometimes, within just a few weeks of starting college, you start to have doubts about the course you've chosen. If this happens, don't fall into despair, or think about chucking everything in. The first thing you should do is discuss the problem with your personal tutor. Maybe you've opted for the course because you wanted to please your family. Or perhaps you've changed your long term goals. It may be possible to change your course at your college, or even transfer to another college. There will be a lot more options open to you than you think.

News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

    Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there