How To Survive Your Degree 101 (ish)

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1. When you have free time, plan! Plan your next essay even if you don't want to. You'll get things out the way earlier and be stress-free whilst everyone else is rushing to write four things at a time. Even if you don't start writing straight away, getting the planning done, quotes chosen, secondary sources found, etc, you'll save so much time later in the year. Most of the time you have assignment details and deadlines given to you at the start of the year, so you can immediately schedule these deadlines down and see what needs doing first. You'll really thank yourself. I did this and ended up finishing my degree a few weeks early, giving myself an even longer summer and a well-deserved break. (This also means you can get all of the important books out of the library early so you don't sit around unable to make any progress because you don't have the books you need.)

2. For goodness sake, keep check of your eating habits. My personal experience wasn't a fun one, forgetting to eat, getting sick and stressed out, then inevitably very emotional. Plan yourself time for meals and keep notice of when you're hungry. You won't work well if you haven't eaten enough food, so taking half an hour out to make a nice meal for yourself will end up doing more in your favour than spending the rest of the day hangry and unproductive. 

3. People will always tell you to get a diary and write down important dates. We all know this doesn't always work. You get one, you use it for a week, you forget about it. If you know you're a person that'll just ignore a diary, get some post-it notes instead and stick important notes and dates onto your wall above wherever you work. I've found this much more effective, and the satisfaction of taking them down when you've sorted out that task is much better than crossing one off in a diary and seeing millions more things you have to do. At least in my opinion anyway!

4. TAKE THE EVENINGS AND WEEKEND OFF. This is a rule I didn't follow myself and meant I ended up never having any free time, or felt guilty if I did something that wasn't work-related. A good piece of advice I was given was to treat your degree like a 9-5 job, or as close to it as you can. Get ready for the day, lightly do work until lunch, take an hour off to eat and watch some telly/read blogs/snoop about on Facebook, then carry on until dinner time. You don't need to work yourself to the bone, do light tasks inter-dispersed with essay writing and class prep. You can plod through some reading you have to do for class the next day, anything you want as long as it's productive. Then you can spend your evenings and weekends like they're supposed to be spent, RELAXING TO THE MAX! You'll enjoy it so much more too knowing you've worked hard during the day.

Are you starting your degree soon, or in the middle of one? What advice do you have for people in this position? Leave me some comments below!
M x

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