Tag Archives: studying

How To Stay Motivated With Uni Work During Lockdown

On the face of it being stuck at home under lockdown circumstances may appear to give you the ideal time to get your head down and focus on you uni work. With this being said however feeling motivated to keep working hard is far more difficult than it seems. Melbourne uni students in particular have been discussing recently the challenges which they have found in keeping their motivation levels high during lockdown. 

Whilst many students were able to go back home, a lot of international students were unable to do this. In terms of student accommodation Melbourne has seen a great number remain here, and that is down to the challenges for international students. With this being said, there are some hints and tips which may help you to keep your motivation levels high, so that you can focus on your work. 

Dedicated Study Area

Our homes are usually where we go to relax after a tough day of studying, and trying to relax and work in the same space can blur the lines. This is certainly something which negatively impacts motivation. With this in mind it makes a great deal of sense to try and separate the space in the home where you would relax and where you would study. This will help with focus and ensure that you don’t get sick of the same four walls. 

Minimizing Distractions 

Another factor which can affect motivation is the number of distractions which we have in our homes. It is simply too easy to grab our phones or to switch on the television when we should be studying. For this reason ensure that your study area is as free from distractions as you can make it. In reality you should be looking to strip out everything but your study resources, so that you can stay motivated and focused. 

Using Timers

A timer can sometimes be a great way for you to stay on track with your studying, and the Pomodoro technique is a proven approach to increasing motivation. This timer runs in 25 minutes segments with a 5 minute break in-between. There are 8 of these 25 minute segments in total, before having a 30 minute break and starting again. Studying in bursts of 25 minutes is excellent for motivation and you’ll find that the clock almost becomes your authority to keep pushing you to study. 

Setting Times

Another great idea is to set the times within which you will study. No matter if this is 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, or 9 at night until 5 in the morning. You have absolute flexibility in terms of when you study, but the key will be that you structure your time within the day. If you don’t do this then you can easily lose the discipline which you need, as well as the motivation to study what you need to. The more days that you do this, the easier it will become and the more motivated you will be. 

These are challenging times but with some discipline and some hard work, you will be able to find that motivation again.

The 5 Negative Consequences Of Partying Over Studying

I don’t get high, but sometimes I wish I did.

That way, when I messed up in life, I would have an excuse.

But, right now, there’s no rehab for stupidity.”

Chris Rock, U.S. comedian, and actor 

Right now, there really is no rehab for stupidity. There’s no place you can go to detox, away from other stupid people, under the correct professional guidance and supervision, to get yourself a little brighter, a little bit smarter, and then to re-enter the local community as a valid member of society, prepared to never return to your utterly nonsensical ways of the past – indeed, as someone now in possession of a few more sandwiches in the picnic basket.

Unless, of course, I’m subconsciously discussing college here… 

Take any typical college campus. Throw in a free(ish) weekend, and the majority of young people are going to be looking to enjoy themselves, have the proverbial good time. And why not? And so what if those Monday memories of it all are a little jaded, a little sketchy, filled in only by amigos who approach you with a look of fair disbelief on their face? There’s time enough in your life to be putting your shoulder to the wheel, making the mortgage payment this month, every month, and filling the tank every couple of days. If cars still have tanks then…

That was my attitude during my college days. Add the fact that I was well down the road of chronic addiction (liquor and meth, to be precise), and a free weekend was a done deal. Winner, winner, blackout dinner. Tell me about it on Monday. Or Tuesday… Or never. Just avoid me in the corridor.

Nowadays, I’m a little more focused, to say the least. Nearly ten years ago, and thanks to my parents, I found myself in one of the other kinds of rehabs – the ones where they detox you and then make you well from the years of substance abuse that you subjected yourself to. And, with good luck and a following wind, I’ve been clean and sober ever since. And sobriety feels good.

Real drug and alcohol rehab, for me anyway, was a far better source of meaningful education than college ever was. But, I guess, it comes down to what you’re studying. I, as it turned out, was majoring in a chronic disease that came close to killing me. Now if that doesn’t get you to sit up and pay attention in class, I don’t know what will.

I’d like to share some of my class notes with you here. Especially aimed at those students who are tempted by a weekend of drunken and drug-induced debauchery as opposed to settling down with a nice History essay or five. Here are your 5 negative consequences of partying over studying:

Alcohol Overload

It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.” 

“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?” 

“You ask a glass of water.”

Douglas Adams, British author, and playwright

Drinking alcohol at college parties is as endemic as textbooks. It’s there, and how you deal rationally with it is an important aspect of your college life. Fail to do so, and rationality will go out of the window as your reliance upon it increases. Take it from one who’d chug a shot before the first class of the day. Alcohol’s effect on any student will take various forms – here’s a few to get you thinking:

  • Liver Disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer
  • Ulcers & Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Immune System Dysfunction
  • Brain Damage
  • Malnourishment & Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart Disease
  • Accidents & Injuries

Being young doesn’t make you exempt. Many of the fellow addicts I shared rehab with were experiencing a number of these, and some were irreversible. Irreversible.

Sleep Deprivation

One of the main consequences of partying like you’re Prince (am I showing my age here?) and it’s 1999 is this – sleep deprivation. Not enough of it, poor quality sleep, or not even being able to get there in the first place. And this can be whether your party fun was chemically-induced or not. So, say goodbye to past levels of concentration when the lesson bell rings. And everybody knows that Monday morning feeling of wishing for a brand new weekend to suddenly begin again.  

Sliding Grades

“Striking a balance” is pretty good advice for anyone when it comes to getting through life. Yes, there is doing what needs to be done, and, yes, there is doing what doesn’t need to be done, but you want to anyway. Get the balance right, and they won’t be able to wipe that smug smile off your face. Get it wrong at college, and your teachers and professors will know before you do – your grades will snitch, and will tell on you. Guaranteed.

Remember, it’s never too late to recover your academic performance, and get back on track. Or is it? I’m an example of principal-stamped proof of the latter. I actually remember one tutor telling me that I needed more than a miracle to pass the semester, and considering I had failed every Monday morning to rise from the dead as Jesus had done, that was probably a little too far-fetched for me. That was my “Satirical Humor” class.

Ever-Changing Moods

Partying should make you happy. Usually, it does. However, the after-effects of any binge, drugs or alcohol or both, is going to hit you emotionally. You are in no way going to be your usual motivated, leveled, industrious self if you have become a permanent fixture of the house party circuit. Two biggies to watch out for here: anxiety and depression. If either of these sound alarm bells with you, it really is time for a time-out.

Conflicts Where There Should Be None

When you become out of control on a reasonably regular basis (and take it from me, control wasn’t one of my things), conflicts will invariably arise, some of which you will have no idea about until the other side decides to vent at you. And, in my experience, vent they will. Too much partying will always try and knock down the walls of personal relationships – romantic, friends, and acquaintances. You have been warned.

What Happens Next

Well, that’s up to you. Tone it down, hit the books a little more, strike that balance, and all will be good. Carry on like you’ve got one month to live, and, like me, maybe you’ll be told that for real one day. Yes, it’s college, yes, it’s your life, yes, you’re younger than I’ll ever be, but, unless you make changes if you are bearing witness to the consequences described above, then maybe you’ll wake up one morning, back of a dumpster, no money, no home, no nada, just an angry thirst. Yes, many a time, in case you’re wondering.

Have you been out too much lately, living it up when you should be handing it in? Please let us know by sharing a comment below. The last thing – take it easy. Because life gets no easier.

3 ace ways to break away from your studies

As you study for your degree, has it ever occurred to you that all your effort might just be a tad useless?

No matter what the subject, we all fall into these states of ennui. You hit a wall and can’t ever quite break through again.

3 ace ways to break away from your studies

So what’s the solution? Well, you should always leave your options open.

Don’t fall deep into one subject to never return. Instead, lightly skim a few wildly different options and make yourself a Jack of all trades.

But how can you find a few new hobbies? Here’s a few ways we’ve uncovered.

Beauty, of course

The beauty industry rakes in hundreds of billions of pounds every year – and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to falter any time soon.

If that sounds like a slice of cake you want a bite from, why not grab a few beauty qualifications along with your highfalutin degree.

Dermal filler courses, for instance, can get you a place in any beauty salon and help you key into a trend that’s gaining more traction every day.

Moreover, if you’re pursuing a business-based degree of some sort, the lucrative beauty game will give you the chance to manage an enterprise almost guaranteed to strike success.

High society

Societies are the lifeblood of the student with plenty of time to fill. And they could even help scratch the itch when you’re feeling tired of your course.

They don’t come in one homogenous package, either. Depending on the management style and general focus of a group, two sports societies could provide entirely different experiences.

When people say they attend university to “find themselves”, it’s rarely their actual course that helps them out. Instead, it’s the societies and the people they meet within them. Unlike the admin heavy world of uni, societies are more free-wheeling.

Dip in and out of societies until you find one that really grabs you. Like a tentacle from a b-movie monster, you’ll be sucked into your hobby – and you might never want to leave its warm embrace.

Outside campus walls

Some students outright refuse to leave their university campus. Whether they’re in student apartments that resemble matchboxes or campuses like metropolises, those averse to risk won’t want the opportunity to explore a new location.

Don’t be one of those dullards. The city is there for you to use. It’s brimming with volunteering opportunities, job vacancies and social events that your university would never bother to host.

It’s a world away from the standard 18-24 experience offered by most campuses. So strike out on your own for a while and use the city to its fullest.

Take a Left: Studying in North West England

For all the appeal of London and southern England in general, the north west of England can hold its own just as well when it comes to accommodating the nation’s brightest minds. As glamorous as London and its southern counterparts may be, cities like Manchester and Liverpool shouldn’t be ruled out when you’re seeking that postgraduate degree, MBA or other higher education qualification.

Liverpool cityscape

So why would people pack all their things in the car and head for the north west rather than driving south?

Academic prowess

The north west boasts some fine universities and is a good place to study an MBA. Manchester itself, for instance, has four universities and there are a further 14 in the surrounding area. As you can imagine, this in itself has given the region a thriving student population. If you are looking for a particularly specialized qualification, you might like to try an MBA at the London School of Business and Finance in Manchester.

Major sports and entertainment hub

Football is something of a religion in the north west of England. The region boasts some of football’s biggest clubs, such as Liverpool FC, Manchester United (possibly the biggest club in the world!) and Manchester City. Then there’s the music scene, which has produced huge names such as the Beatles, the Smiths and the Chemical Brothers, to name but a few. And if you like to dance the night away, you’re not too far away from super nightclub, Cream, in Liverpool.

Lower accommodation costs

Students, of course, have to live on a budget and try to make their loan stretch as far as possible. Accommodation is a big part of the cost. In the north west, the average cost of accommodation is lower than in London and in the south in general. This gap is most noticeable when it comes to private accommodation, where there’s as much as £100 difference in the weekly rent between the North West and the capital. Think of all the money you could save for books or other expenses, especially when it comes to international students.

The northerners themselves

Sometimes it’s the people that make a place great to study in. Northerners are renowned for their open, happy-go-lucky nature. They’ll make you feel right at home while you settle into student life.

So when you’re flicking through the university prospectuses and deciding where to study, be open to looking north for your education. You can receive just as valuable an education. You’ll also be able to keep more money in your pocket for the graduation celebrations!



Making It Yours — Achieving Balance for a Better College Experience

Organizing your time, handling your finances, socializing and study are all part of college life. Add to this the experience of living away from home for the first time and college can seem like a daunting prospect to many. College life means that you’re now pretty much independent to make your own decisions and this includes your own lifestyle choices (no more “My roof, my rules”). Ordering your priorities during your first year will go a long way towards a more beneficial college experience. Here are a few tips for how to achieve balance in college and get the most out of it.

  Julian Stewart is a learning development tutor and has helped many young people to develop the skills to succeed in academic life.

Get as much advice as you need

Choosing the right college course for you will be one of the most important decisions you can make. Colleges are set up to offer help and advice to potential students, and this includes decisions on your course. If you’re thinking of studying and are unsure about what’s involved in that chemical engineering degree course or that BSc in Data Science then ask for help. College support services will provide as much information as you need to ensure you make an informed decision on your course as well as providing practical help and guidance throughout your college years.

Don’t just study

Everyone knows that it takes a lot of hard work to obtain those qualifications, but you’ll enjoy college a lot more if you have an active social life. Your new ‘home away from home’ is the ideal place to meet new friends — some, if not many, will be in the same boat as you — and these friendships can last a lifetime. Socializing is an important part of life at college whether that’s meeting people with similar interests or trying out something new. One thing your college will have is plenty of different social scenes — join a few clubs in your first year and wider your circle of new friends.

Manage your time

Organizing your time efficiently is a skill and learning to do this should help you to strike the right balance between socializing and study. Time management will help to ease stress by evenly distributing your work-life and extra-curricular activities. This includes making sure you eat right throughout the day, exercising when possible and getting enough sleep. Getting used to managing your time properly is all part of the learning curve and should be a priority during your first college year.

Remember that you’re not alone

College life places heavy responsibilities on young shoulders and can get stressful. Everyone needs a little help at some point. Remember that you’re not alone in this and support, whether on finances, health matters, counselling or course work, is available. College support services are there to provide you with all the help that you need and the employees do understand the problems faced by students. Familiarize yourself your student support services so that, when life throws one of those curved balls at you, as it occasionally does, you know who to turn to and get through it.

The college years are an adventure. If you make the most out of them, you’ll learn and experience a lot, not all of which has to do with your course work.

Do you have any more tips on how to achieve balance in college?