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Most universities hold a Freshers’ Week or a similar event. Its chief purpose is to help new students settle in quickly. As well as a series of informative talks, there is usually an energetic social programme and senior students will be around to help you to find your feet. Your university will probably send you an information pack ahead of your arrival.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Time management

How to balance study, family, work and leisure

Managing your time effectively is an important key to a fulfilling university career. As a student, you will need to balance the time you devote to study, family, work and social activities. Although you probably have more freedom over these choices than many others, making the necessary decisions is still a challenging task.

Diaries & Student Planners
Use a diary or planner to keep track of your day-to-day schedule (for example, lectures, sports activities) and to note submission deadlines for university work.

Create a detailed timetable of study when you have a big task looming (e.g. before exams, or when there is a large report or literature survey to write up), you could:

- break the task down into smaller parts;
- space these out appropriately;
- schedule important activities for when you generally feel most intellectually active

Wall Planners
These are another way of charting out your activities, with the advantage, like a timetable, that you can see everything in front of you.

Advantages of being organised
If you organise your time well, you will:

- keep on schedule and meet deadlines
- reduce stress caused by a feeling of lack of control over your work schedule
- complete work with less pressure and fulfil your potential
- build your confidence about your ability to cope
- avoid overlapping assignments and having to juggle more than one piece of work at a time

Being organised is especially important for large or long-term tasks because it seems easier to put things off when deadlines seem a long way off.