Good planning is essential to your success. Buy a diary and write down all of your timetabled sessions, your assessment deadlines and tutorial commitments etc. Also use your diary to plan your working week so you are organised and on track to meet your deadlines. Start assignments as soon as you are able to; if you leave everything to the last minute you will become stressed, you will not submit the best work you are capable of producing and may not succeed.
Aim to be positive and set yourself high but realistic targets. In particular take a positive approach to feedback from your tutors, they are there to help you succeed. Aim always to absorb and learn from comments received so that you can improve the next submission. Putting a positive spin on any setbacks you encounter will often help you turn these to your own advantage. Keep a record of your achievements and thoughts as you progress through your degree – why not also start your own ‘Blog’? – It’s a great way to reflect and organise your thoughts, you can do this within StudyNet.
Acknowledge your strengths: technical, creative, written, organisational, etc. Use these as tools when you may feel less motivated. Try to focus on your weaker areas and channel extra energy into improving these aspects. A sense of achievement always follows if you feel you have worked to the best of your ability, particularly as you see your grades improve.
Aim to be entrepreneurial and proactive, i.e. don’t just sit there passively waiting for information to come to you. Use lectures as a catalyst for further reading, research and study. Research and plan future career paths, keeping sight of the bigger picture beyond university. It is always advantageous to network for contacts and advice through employers, student peers, tutors, the careers service, family members and friends.
Goals are very helpful in assisting us to achieve what we want. Have short, medium and long-term goals (today, next week/month, next year, next three years, etc.). Be ambitious for yourself, but temper this with realism. Goals need to be clear, but flexible. Write a list of all the things you want to achieve in a day (called a ‘to do’ list), and enjoy the feeling as you cross each one off the list. Anything you do not complete can be carried forward to the next day’s list. Most successful people use ‘to do’ lists.
In most cases tutors will give very clear guidance as to what will be expected in order to pass any particular assignment, however try to think of this as the bare minimum and strive for above and beyond what is expected. In today’s climate it is often not enough to just complete a piece of work to task… seize opportunities, be original, be creative, take the occasional risk and… do it with style!