Helloooooo Success African’s here are 12 tried and tested ways you can make yourself comfortable on campus with a first class honours degree…
You need to really want it
Emphatically speaking, if you want to eye a first class degree you have to be prepared to put in maximum effort.
Students who who normally complete with a first class degree are those who desire to achieve that. To complete with a first class degree, one must be academically discipline consistently.
Getting consistently good grades involves planning ahead, being organised and not leaving your assignment until the day before. If you struggle with getting yourself organised when it comes to uni, you ought to have a colleague serious mate who would always put you on your toes. Wise up, you will notice them!
Even if you’re one of these people who insists you work best under pressure – don’t be foolish enough to think you’ll get a first this way. If you frequently leave coursework to the last minute, you don’t want this first class degree enough.
Research, research, research
If you have the attitude of I have been to all my lectures and seminars, done all my assignments, so I’m doing everything I can’, then you might as well quit now.
Uni contact hours are notoriously low, and whilst going to classes is incredibly important, Dear student, note that it’s the hours you put in outside of class and lectures that really matter.
Read through your course handbook carefully, and you’re likely to find that the number of hours you’re expectedto put in each week are pretty high.
Getting a first isn’t just about blagging your way through or managing to pull a fast one on deadline dates. If you’re eager about it, reading around outside of your recommended reading list is pivotal.
This doesn’t mean reading academic texts cover-to-cover, of course. Don’t spend hours and hours researching in one go. This just doesn’t work and you’ll end up forgetting most of what you read.
Instead, bookmark relevant websites, set google alerts for topics you’re thinking of writing an essay or doing you dissertation on, and just generally try to keep up to date with relevant discussion. Try to learn about other academic related materials in your environment.
Learn to love the library
First thing’s first – you have to love the library, the library has a lot of books which will help you read more on what you have been taught in class. Uni library is unlike SHS library, you know right! A lot of books at your disposal..Go out there and get the knowledge
Learn not to be distracted by dressing of other library users, or an attractive fresh boy or Girl..Its normal, no one puts restriction on your dressing but just be decent and have your full concentration on your books.
Don’t depend on one source for an information. In uni academic lifestyle, be searching from other sources. It will broaden your knowledge.
After a while, you will start to enjoy to process of searching and finding books that are relevant to your ideas. Just make sure that you take note of everything you use before putting that book back on the shelf.
Remember that a first class student will have an idea and then use critical sources to support it, not the other way round.
Brush up on your presentation
It’s common for students to miss out on a first class degree simply because they think presentation doesn’t matter.
Correct spelling, punctuation and grammar are vital and unfortunately a lot of lecturers will downgrade you substantially if your presentation’s not up to scratch, no matter how great your ideas are.
Good writing skills help you to present your ideas effectively, and can even make a relatively dull topic sound interesting – which is a feat in itself!
If you struggle with presentation, don’t worry, you will have a lot of people to learn from.
If your writing skills are something you are particularly worried about and you think you could do with some additional support, reach out to learning support at your uni. They exist for a reason! Don’t let something like this get in the way of nailing that first.
”Harass” your tutors
Please note that we’re using the term ‘harass’ lightly here – please do not get yourself into any problem or you can kiss that first goodbye (and probably uni altogether, if we’re honest).
Book appointments with lecturers often if they will have time for you, whether to discuss an upcoming assignment, get feedback, or just talk about an idea you have. Lecturers are paid to be there for you and to help you when you’re struggling!
Tell them about anything you struggled with, but don’t waste their time asking for detailed feedback on everything you’ve written or you’ll be in the bad books; don’t spare their teaching assistants too.
Go For Lectures
Attending lectures and seminars is not mandatory but you for look sharp!!!. Who knows tomorrow? Not all lecturers will care about class attendance but I bet you,if you joke with some of them……well
Turning up to class is also important to get on the right side of your lecturers (you know, the people who will be grading your work?). They’re likely to be a lot tougher when grading work from someone they know doesn’t bother to show up to class than they would someone they see participating and putting effort in each week.
Control your social media addiction
That said, as great fun as Facebook stalking can be, there is nothing that can be achieved with it, and studies have even shown that social media just adds to uni stresses as you become more likely to compare yourself to classmates.
Unsurprisingly, spending hours of your life on social media is also pretty bad for your result. If you have a steely will power, set yourself a goal that you don’t check social media until the evenings; if you struggle a bit in this area of your addiction is particularly bad, either deactivate your account or download one of these browser extensions that do it for you.
Pick topics you’re passionate about
The whole point of doing a degree should be to expand your knowledge in the field, but the worst thing you can do is choose to focus on a subject that do not really excite you.
Of course, it’s highly unlikely that every assignment is going to enthral you, however try to select exam topics and essay questions that you have a connection with. If you’re uninspired by what you’re writing about, it’s a dead cert that your reader will be, too.
Throughout the year, take note of anything that comes up in class that you find really interesting – this list will be a total saviour when dissertation proposal time comes around!
Find a study buddy
No matter how great your motivation levels are, there will always be days when you need a kick up the backside.
Befriending an equally ambitious student is always a good plan, as you can motivate each other to go to the library on rainy days, and you’ll find yourself feeling way more troubled about missing classes if your study mate is making it in regularly.
Socialising with people on your course is also a good idea. Not only will it make hard work significantly more enjoyable, but being able to discuss ideas with them will classmates is a great way to develop your ideas and opinions (without boring them to death, as it probably will do discussing this stuff with anyone who isn’t taking the same class).
Remember to take a break
If you don’t make space in your study diary for a little down time, you’ll either burn out or get totally fed up and start procrastinating even more.
As mentioned previously, this is particularly relevant to library time. Spending days on end in the library until you’re at the point that all you can manage is using your books as a pillow while you snore the house down is not productive. If you’re at that stage, it’s time to take a break.
Balancing your studies with chill time and a bit of fun here and there will make you much happier and more inclined to use your study time productively.
Don’t underestimate how much of an impact your health can have on your uni grades.
Eating the right brain fuel foods and drinking lots of fluids (this excludes booze, sorry) will set you up well to do the best you can do at uni, so constant hangovers and takeaways for dinner should be avoided whenever possible.
Make sure you stay fit and active, too. You might not want to believe it, but exercising regularly will give you a huge energy boost – we’ve got a huge list of ways to stay active without spending money, as well as a guide on how to save on gym costs.
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