Ultimate University and Studying Advice

This week, I reached out and asked if you had any questions about university or studies. I was so happy that quite a few of you came up with great questions, so todays post is me answering them!

Bit of background information, I’ve just concluded my Bachelor of Business Marketing with a Distinction average. Didn’t drop the grade for the sake of it, promise! Just wanted to let you know incase you were wondering ‘ok so why should we listen to you Katina?’ – so hopefully that justifies a few of my answers, right?.. You still don’t have to take any of this advice of course! Just take whats meaningful to you and work with it.

The Ultimate University and Studying Advice You'll Ever Receive, Best University Advice, How to adjust from high school to uni

I won’t beat around the bush, yes it is. But don’t fret, that’s just all a part of the journey. Theres two parts that I found difficult.

#1 Independence. In high school, you’re used to having your teachers remind you that things are due. You usually get told a while in advance and receive your almost weekly reminders. At the beginning of every uni period, you’re given a booklet for each subject. Inside along with lots of other information, you receive your assessment details and due dates. Your tutors and lecturers will probably also give you a couple reminders, but that’s it. It’s up to you to know when your things are due across all of your subjects.

My tip: At the beginning of every semester, write down or create a word / excel document. Put all of the weeks of your semester, and write down when you have things due. This gives you a super clear indication of your busy periods that semester. Seeing everything down on paper or in a visual form will really help you plan out your assignments so you don’t forget anything

#2 Friendships. At high school, you’re used to seeing all of your friends, every day. Sadly, university is nothing like that. You go to your class, and leave. If you’re lucky, you’ll strike up a friendship with some people and take that friendship out of the uni zone. You’ll find though lots of ‘friends’ that you make in university are temporary, unless you really work on them. You’ll have your constant university friends throughout the years that you see in class with and bond with. but trust me there’s lots of people you meet for one semester and next semester, your friendship has almost evaporated!

Unless you make the effort, it will also be difficult to keep in touch and see your friends from high school. It’s really funny because in high school you think that there’s so many people you’ll remain friends with and as soon as everyone is thrown into the big world of university, ‘you see who your true friends are’. It’s super cliche I know, but if there’s that friend or two that you saw cracks forming during late high school, chances are you won’t be friends for much longer. Not because bad things will happen, but because you grow up and realise that if people are impacting your life negatively, you just don’t have to put the effort in anymore. You’re no longer forced to one social circle because those are the people you see every day in and out. There’s no pressure to stay in a friendship group if it doesn’t work for you! Friendships should always be a two way street and if people never reach out to you, or always make you feel crap, then what does that say?

My tip: Do your best to make friends during university as early as possible. I stupidly waited until my last year to make really good uni friends and I honestly regret it. If you click with people, ask them out for coffee or lunch. See how they are outside of uni and you might have those friendships forever.

Know who makes the effort and who doesn’t. Like I said, true colours come out. You and your friends from high school will all have your own university, work and social circles forming. It will be hard to see everyone and you’ll see overtime who your true friends are. If people treat you like crap and don’t want to see you, please don’t waste your energy.

This is such a good question. During high school you’re used to your routine of 9-3, you get home do some homework and repeat. Because uni is so incredibly open, you can find yourself having only a few days at uni a week, a few hours at a time.

My tips: Everyone is different but when I get home after a day of uni, I like to do that homework straight away. I do my readings, my homework and assignment prep that day or the next so everything is fresh and it gives me virtually a whole week to ask questions. That way, I knock off a subject and I know exactly how much spare time I’ll have that weekend. If you leave everything to the last minute, you’re probably going to run out of time and your work won’t be as great.

I’d say that I’m pretty lucky because I am an organisational freak. I love lists and planning ahead, so it works to my advantage.

My tips: As I mentioned earlier, try get down on paper when your busy periods of uni are. Try work on your assignments earlier. If you have an essay due in week 10, start looking for articles in week 5, reading through them week 6 and jot down your ideas by week 7. That gives you a solid couple of weeks to then write your paper. When it comes to blogging, do the same! Note when you have busy weeks at uni or because of other life commitments and try plan ahead. When you have a quiet week, go all out with ideas and content and just schedule your little heart away. And hey, if it’s too much, take a break from blogging!

No matter how much you organise your assignments during the semester, if you still have some assignments due later on in the semester, you’re going to panic a little because of the upcoming exams. So, it’s not only important to just organise and plan for your assignments, but also exams.

My tips: Start your exam notes early. Exam notes are typically just a summary of everything you’ve learnt through the semester. After every week, just spend 30 minutes to an hour of summarising your textbook, articles or anything else you’ve learnt at uni that week for a subject. It seems really annoying, but at the end of the semester when you still have so many things that are due and you have to start thinking about exams, you’ll honestly thank yourself (and me haha).

At the beginning of every year or semester you usually start off super motivated to do really well. Sadly, that motivation does drop! The busier you get, a couple bad grades here and there and you start thinking ‘whats the point – p’s get the degrees’

My tips: Remind yourself why you’re at university. Uni isn’t supposed to be easy. There’s a tricky grade system for a reason. You’re supposed to push yourself and it’s supposed to be challenging. You’re paying such good money to be at university and to learn as much as you possibly can. If you have a few unmotivated weeks and your grades start slipping, it’s going to be hard to chase up good grades later on in the semester. It can also really impact your graded averages. Just tell yourself that if your grades decline and you fail, that’s more money out of your pocket! The more units that you fail, the longer time you have to spend at university re-doing them – which i’m sure you don’t want to do! Work your butt off, get in and get out of university, onto better things! 
Internships are so important. If you go to a university like mine that is incredibly book based, by the time you graduate, if you don’t have any internships under your belt, adjusting to the real world can be really difficult. I had three internships this year and they were all equally as important. They teach you how to apply what you’ve learnt and they help you understand more clearly the particular area you want to work in. For example, marketing is a HUGE area. There is so so soooo many aspects of marketing, and therefore lots of potential jobs. Going through my internships, I learnt that I want to focus on social media marketing and digital marketing, in particular content creation (who would have known that it would align so well with my blog, right?)

My tips:
Ask around. Your immediate connections are the best way to start looking for an internship. Alternatively, go have a look around Google or if you’re in australia, Pedestrian Tv. They have heaps of good internship opportunities, many at start ups or more creative sides of businesses. Before accepting any internship, make sure you have a good look around for reviews. Please please pleaseee don’t just accept whatever internship comes your way because unfortunately many businesses can use interns to do all the rotten work and just turn them out. Interns in, interns out. Some don’t care for you and your development, and just use you for free labour. Aussies, check Glassdoor because they often have really good reviews.

Again, this changes for absolutely everyone! At the beginning of uni, it’s all trial and error. The first semester, try a few different techniques for different subjects and you’ll see what works the best for you. Some people need to write everything by hand, record themselves speaking about a subject, or like me, I have to write everything up into word and then get that bound into my own little book for exam revision.

Thank you so much to everyone who asked a question for this post. I really hope that I answered your questions well and that this post can help you all.

If you missed out on asking me to talk about a topic or couldn’t leave me a question before, feel free to leave any additional ones in the comment section.

What’s some of the best study advice you’ve ever given, or been given?


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