05 March 2018

My Top 5 Study Tips | Lippy In The City

I can’t believe I’m half way through the second year of my degree already, time literally flies when you’re having fun! I study part-time with the Open University (whilst working full-time) and I’m working towards a BA Honours in Law. I’d always wanted to go to uni, but for one reason or another its never been the right time. So one day I decided to bite the bullet and go for it, in my head I thought ‘if I don’t do it now I never will, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

As I’m now well and truly into the swing of juggling my studies with work, as well as life in general I’d thought I’d share my top 5 tips on how to keep everything up in the air…

This may seem like an obvious one, but I wanted to mention it as I’ve had many a night where I’ve sat up in my study trying to push through to meet a deadline but the information just isn’t going in. Personally, I work better in the morning, so for me if I’m up against it I’m much better off calling it quits and having an early night and getting up early to finish whatever I’m working on. This might work in reverse for you, you might be a night-owl where you retain information better in the evening, as opposed to the morning. I’ve found it’s best to work out which time of the day works best for you and your brain. That way you’ll be less tired and more productive. Win win!

I love spending a day at the weekend studying, especially when my fiance is at work, that way I know it’s not eating in to our time together. I like to get up early, get all ready and treat it like a proper work day, that way I get myself into a studying mindset. But sometimes having a whole study day ahead of you can seem daunting, so I like to make a plan of action for the day and schedule in regular study breaks. There’s only so much your brain can take in before you become tired and easily distracted. I like to work for an hour and a half then have a fifteen-minute break. I ideally like to step away from laptop for a bit to give my eyes a rest, I’ll make a snack and a cup of tea, or pop some laundry in. Sometimes I like to watch a few YouTube videos just so I’m not actually concentrating on anything for a bit. After fifteen minutes I get back into it again feeling refreshed and ready to tackle another session.

We all have weeks where we know we have assignments that need to be handed in, but we’ve planned to go out with friends that we haven’t seen in for-evvverr, as well as stay on at work to catch up on the new quarter (as well as planning a wedding and maintain a blog…). These weeks can feel non-stop and be really tough. When I have a week like this coming up I like to plan my whole week out, some days down to the hour so that I know I can fit it all in. By drilling down to the hour you’ll be surprised at how much time you actually have in your week and where you can utilise your free time and get the studying in. For me, it’s usually the weekends or early in the morning. If you got up an hour earlier before work every day during the week you’ll have done an extra five hours of studying by the time the weekend rolls around. That time could make all the difference and even be what takes you from a pass to a distinction.

Again, this might seem like an obvious one but leaving your assignments to the last minute is
disastrous. You'll be stressed, you know your work won't be your best and you could lose vital marks towards your degree. Over the past two years I've learnt exactly how long I need to prep and write out my assignments. By settling down to them when I know I have the time to do them properly amounts to a much less stressful experience. I have a little routine in place, and so far it hasn't let me down.
(FYI... I need one weekend, and three evenings after work to get my assignments done currently).

Lastly, make sure that all this hard work is going to be worth it. Only do it because you love it, and because you know it's going to get you one step closer to your dreams. I'm doing it because I've always wanted to be degree educated, to better myself and to prove to myself  (as well as a few others) that I can do it, and I can do it damn well! Whatever your motivation to study is, do it because your going to feel so proud standing up in your gown and mortarboards receiving your degree and all the blood, sweat and tears will have been worth it!

I really hope you've found these study tips helpful, I'd love to know what yours are in the comments below... xoxo

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