8 Tips to Help You Conquer Student Life

So here are the lessons I’ve learnt as a student that, if you learn now, will help you not just as a student, but as a human being trying to navigate this crazy, challenging and unpredictable world.

1) Do it right the first time

There have been countless times when I have been in the middle of reading a paper or further reading for the FIFTH time and thought, “I wish I had just read this carefully the first time and made insane notes, and then I wouldn’t have to re-read everything”. If you are going to do a reading, or make revision notes, do it properly, and do it properly the first time! It will save you a lot of time, as you won’t have to re-visit old material, and your notes will be much more digestible. The same goes for everything else in life - if you’re braced with a new challenge, the start of a project, or have decided to learn a new skill, by investing your efforts from the start and doing things right at the outset, you won’t miss anything out, and you won’t have to repeat anything, or worse, correct your mistakes. If you decide to do something, decide to do it right.

2) Remember names and dates

Darn those people who can remember when the first computer was made (I’d love to pretend I knew without resorting to Wikipedia) or who wrote what at that date and developed this theory …unfortunately, I’ve always been a little lax with remembering the finer details. However, I’ve learnt that, when it comes to revision, it helps to remember what theory belonged to whom and to have paid attention to the dates. To some it comes effortlessly, but if we practiced being more attentive, it may not be as challenging as we think…but it’s still a pain.

3) If you want something, go get it 

There are some selfless people who will go to the ends of the Earth to help you (and those people are usually our parents…). Despite their bountiful efforts, the best way to achieve something is to go after it yourself. Relying on other people will only get you half way there, if that. Help is great, however sometimes it can be more difficult to coordinate the help than it is to do things yourself. Better yet, by doing things yourself, you’ll learn the process and become more knowledgeable and proficient over time. I’ve found that if you really want something, you have to get it yourself.

4) Take note

Whatever it is - an idea, a lyric, a memory, a Goldman Sachs contact, additional lectures notes, your flat mate’s birthday - write it down! If you want to remember it, write it in the right place and it will serve you well in the future.

5) Stay organised

Relates to the above point. As a student (and soon-to-be life-conquerer), you have an awful lot to remember! This is not just when it comes to exams. Organise your calendar to keep on top of your busy schedule. Compile check-lists so that you are well-prepared for deadlines and seminar work. Keep files and folders and tabs and appropriately label EVERYTHING, so that everything has a place and a purpose. Design your own template for note-taking in a word processor that works for you - then all of your notes will be consistent and easily digestible. Plan your meals for the week to stay (relatively) healthy. Plan and stay organised.

6) Keep in close contact with friends and family on a regular basis

You may feel like your bossing life now, but there will come a moment, and when it comes, you’ll want to be at home in you PJ’s getting some TLC from your family. They keep you grounded and be positive, no matter what. Same goes for friends, except friends might not always be in the mood - family will always be in the mood to speak to you. Take advantage of that, not just everything else they do for you.

7) Don’t repeat your mistakes


8) There is always enough time

“How does she have time to do everything?” you ask of Miss Superwoman, that BNOC on campus. It’s because she doesn’t ask it of herself in the first place. She doesn’t question if she has time, but she knows she’ll make it work. Don’t say no to thing because you think you don’t have time. Do be selective, but as long as you plan and are organised (see #5), you could just be runner up for BNOC.