Well, it’s the almost the end of Semester One. Classes are finished, exams are almost over, and the break couldn’t come faster. If it was your first semester, how’d you go? Now seems like the perfect time to look back and see what you could improve on for the next study period. You’ve probably made a bunch of mistakes, but hey, that’s how we learn! Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest blunders students make in university (so you can avoid them and kick Semester Two in the butt).
The amount of times people complain about poor unit marks when they don’t actually attend the tutorials or lectures (okay, not so much the lectures, but still) is ridiculous. Just last week, a friend of mine was saying how she was really stressed about failing an exam. I was genuinely worried for her, trying to sympathise and be comforting, then she hits me with “Yeah, I’ve only been to two classes this semester.” *Eye twitches*. TWO? T-W-O? Sympathy gone. Dead.
First of all, you’re already paying for the course, so you may as well park your butt there and listen. Secondly, you can’t learn the content if you’re not there! That’s obviously going to result in a stressful uni experience. By skipping classes, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s just unrealistic to miss five or ten classes and still expect to do well.
Too Much Social Media
Did you know that people have an average of 5 social media accounts, and spend an average of 109 minutes a day on them (that’s almost 2 hours!)? Students are the worst at this — taking a five-minute study break to peruse Instagram turns into 45 minutes of cat videos on YouTube. Then they complain about not having enough time to study. Uh, hello?
It’s also easy to think you can multitask and do both. If you’re in a lecture with Facebook open the entire time, chances are, you’re not engaged in the unit content and you’re probably missing a bunch of important stuff.
Ah, would you really be a uni student if you didn’t procrastinate? We all do it, and we all agree it’s super unnecessary. Planning and time management are crucial to university success. Missing due dates or pulling all-nighters the night before a test, presentation or exam can seriously impact your marks. Sometimes it sucks to make uni a priority, but it’s way better in the long run. Just say “no” to a night out if you actually need to get work done. Your grades will thank you for it — and just think of all those pretty High Distinctions.
There’s procrastinating, then there’s overloading. Cramming too much information into your head is like trying to cram a whole burrito in your mouth — it seems like a good idea, but you’ll just end up choking (okay, it’s actually nothing like that but I couldn’t think of a better analogy).
Studying intensely for long periods of time can actually be detrimental to your academic goals. It can result in a major lapse in concentration — you read the information, but don’t absorb it. You make mistakes you wouldn’t normally make — embarrassing typos, errors in calculations, or failing to remember obvious facts. You forget to eat, and your sleep is also impacted. Overstudying is just a terrible idea. Study, yeah, but be realistic. You need balance and your mind needs a break.
Not asking for help
There’s no shame in a little confusion, but many university students are too shy, intimidated or embarrassed to ask their tutor for help. Don’t suffer in silence if it means your marks will be effected. In my experience, 9/10 tutors are super accommodating and genuinely want to see you succeed. Seeking guidance from an academic pro could mean the difference between passing and failing. Unless your tutor is an idiot. Then I have no advice for you. Maybe just pray?