Current students from the University of Birmingham talk about the skills required to succeed on an undergraduate course
Title: Skills for University
Duration: 3.17 mins
S1 When you’re at university you do have to balance study and social life. It feels quite daunting to do at first because you’ve suddenly got all this freedom and loads and loads of spare time to do what you want.
S2 Juggling everything is a challenge because it’s completely up to you. You’ve got to organise yourself really well.
S3 At the beginning of the year you get yourself involved with anything and everything that sounds appealing and you find yourself with a calendar full of different events at different times of the day; most of them probably overlap and you’ll have so many things to do that you won’t know where to start.
S1 You have lectures throughout the day but then there’s also lots of spare time, like you might have a four block where you don’t have anything. Then you can go to the library and do independent study or you can fit societies into that time. You just need to make sure that you’re doing your work and your reading.
S3 I think time management’s important because you’ve got so many deadlines coming up and obviously you do have to balance your social life and get that to mix in with your work as well.
S6 I’m still in my first year, so I’m still learning the benefits of time management but I’m beginning to see that it is very important. If you’ve got deadlines due you need to make sure you set yourself aside enough time to get it done and you’re not panicking at the last minute and, like you say, not feeling guilty for going out when you feel like you should be staying in working; so it is very important – a very important skill to learn.
S7 I have a timetable for each week where I’ve got all my hours set out on there and I can add any extracurricular activities to that and lecture revision time as well so I keep up to date with everything.
S8 It’s also about time management here because I’ve got a job in the bar and I have a couple of hours like at the University, a couple of hours of personal tutors, so it’s all about kind of making my own personal timetable instead of having it kind of fed to me, which has been really good.
S9 It’s quite hard to juggle commitments. I found it harder in the first year obviously because it was different to adapt. I mean social commitments, sports commitments, work commitments and then obviously going home and things and seeing your family.
S10 Balancing study and work is difficult but you have to get used to it and because you’re not used to it in the beginning, you get guidance from tutors, lecturers – and it does help.
S11 If you want to get the most out of your course, you need to motivate yourself and organise yourself to do that.
S12 Things like writing a To Do list, using Google desktop to list all the things that you’ve got to do, keeping a diary, making sure that you check that diary regularly. That helps a lot and always over-estimating how long things are going to take so that you make sure you have extra time in case things run over.
S1 To be successful at university, some of the key skills I think you need are just good time management, a sense of knowing what you want to do and a sense of yourself, which university helps bring out in you and just being determined to have a good time and have fun. That is what university is here for; it’s here to help you grow as a person and help you develop.
S13 I think the freedom that university gives you really means that you’ve got to try your best to make sure that you balance all the opportunities that the university provides and whether that’s making sure that you read the right amount of books for your course in the library, you know, you’re writing enough for your essays or you’re spending the time volunteering at the Guild. I think it's really important to make sure that there is that balance there and it’s really about making the most out of your time.
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