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As we prepare to go back to another term of online uni, I started to reflect on first term and the things that helped me with studying. It’s safe to say that having uni online was not on anyone’s agenda, so here are my tips and tricks to survive another term of online uni. 

During first term I realised how important it is to be organised. I like to use an academic planner to organise myself. I write down the times of all my online classes, and list what I need to do that week, like watching online lectures or doing some reading. I find having everything in one place helps me to organise my time. It’s also insanely satisfying to cross off work when its done! 

It’s also really important to make sure you organise your work efficiently. If you like to have physical copies of notes, I recommend buying a ring binder and lever arch folder for each module. I like to colour code my folders so they match… that is obviously optional! I use the lever arch to store my notes in (using dividers for lectures, seminars, assessments and admin notes) and then the ring binder to store readings in, or extra work to do for that week. I find using the ring binder for everyday work less stressful because it’s smaller, so when I compare it to the lever arch my work load seems much more doable. If you like to store you work on a laptop or tablet, get into the habit of storing work in folders. I like to have a folder for each module, and within those folders I have another four folders, just like the dividers in the physical folders. 

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Make sure when you start to study, whether you are writing a report, reading a book or planning an essay, that you are in the right frame of mind. I don’t mean if you don’t fancy doing it then procrastinate instead, but if you’re stressed or overly tired then your study session will not be successful. Make sure you’re mentally ready to start studying because it will make the session more effective. If you’re not in the mood, try 10 minutes of mindfulness. There are loads of apps to try, I like Breath Ball which helps you concentrate on your breathing. Try playing a calming or focus orientated playlist. Music is a great mood enhancer so will encourage you to relax and fall back into the rhythm of studying. 

With having so many things online this term, it’s essential to take screen brakes (and I don’t mean stop looking at your computer and start scrolling on your phone!) Even if it’s just a five-minute break to go and make a cup of tea, your eyes will thank you in the long run. You can also use screen breaks to go and get some fresh air. Being inside all day, every day is not good for your metal or physical health so make sure you get active, even if it’s a 10-minute walk around the block. 

Now we just have to cross our fingers that this is the last term of online uni and that we can go back to normality soon! 

Sophie is in her final year at the University of Exeter. She is the President and Campus Correspondent for the Exeter Chapter of Her Campus. Sophie would love to work in the media when she graduates because of her love for reading and editing... in fact as you read this she is probably wishing that she was lying by a pool with a good book and an iced coffee!
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