You’ve graduated from college and made it into your first year at uni. You’ve successfully moved into your new student flat and enjoyed the madness of Fresher’s Week. You’ve started classes and began to settle into the layout of your chosen course. All seems to be going well. Well… all until your first assignment is introduced.
Look, I get it, the idea of your first assignment and the looming deadline that comes with can feel overwhelming. Believe me, I’ve been there, I know. But trust me when I tell you that it doesn’t have to be all that scary. Follow these simple pieces of advice, tips from one uni student to another, to help you to handle your first assignment like a boss.
First of all, it goes without saying that planning is everything. You’ve heard the expression the early bird catches the worm, right? Well I’m here to tell you it’s true. Get stuck in early on and you’ll sail through your first assignment.
That’s right. Check out those books, read up on those suggested readings, and write down everyone random, stray or spontaneous idea that pops into your mind, right from the start. If you plan your time and start out early you’ll be able to say ‘stress, what stress?’ as you write and then submit your well-planned essay.
Now what goes hand in hand with planning? Organization, that’s what. By keeping your time and your self organized, you’ll be able break down your workload, from a daunting monster, to manageable chunks and get that first assignment done and dusted with ease. Now everyone better organizes themselves in different ways. I, for example, rely heavily on my iPhone calendar to manage my time but I also love nothing more, when it comes to keeping myself organized, than to physically write lists and schedules down in my planner or notepad. Paperchase do do a nice student discount after all.
The third key tip I’d give you would be to prioritize your time as best you can in order to make sure you get everything completed in good time and at the same time, keep your stress levels to a minimum. I worked a whole lot of hours at my ‘part-time’ job in my first two years studying at university, and I’m not saying it’s something I regret nor am I telling you not to find a little job to top up your funds. I am saying that that experience is one hundred percent something I can say that I learnt from. There were times I could feel myself putting my part time job at the top of my priority list and letting my studies fall lower down that same list. Prioritize your time as best as you can, right from the start and your first assignment.
Now the last piece of advice I’ll give to you is not to worry too much. In the words of Bobby McFerrin ‘don’t worry, be happy.’ This honestly is key to succeeding. In perspective, yes, this assignment is important and of course you should work hard at it and really try your best, but don’t let it phase you too much. It’s just the beginning, the start of your adventure as a university student and your tutors won’t base the rest of your academic career on this singular assignment. Enjoy time with your friends, Netflix binges and uni events as well as focusing on studying. They do say that happiness is the key to success and who doesn’t want that?
Plan, organize, prioritize but don’t worry too much. These are my inside pieces of advice from one student to another on how to survive your first assignment as a university student. I hope they help.
Written by Charlotte Bennett