First semester is done and dusted and I have survived unscathed (mostly). I found the engineering exams quite challenging but came away with results I was happy with, despite the classic post exam freak out- “I’ve failed!”. Needless to say I did not fail, but I’ve learned the hard way to keep my cool around exams. I will approach them with caution this semester and this should help improve my overall sanity. 😛
I certainly learned a few lessons along the way in the first semester. Here are my top five:
Write comprehensive notes that you understand and can refer back to throughout the semester. I did not do this for a couple of my papers and it really let me down in tests if they asked for specifics that were mentioned in the lectures but not written in our coursebooks. When it came to the exam, I ended up re-watching every single lecture again for my gen ed paper, which took me a whole day, I would have been much better off if I had done this during the lecture instead.
2.Don’t talk about tests straight after
Talking about the tests and exams straight after usually makes you second guess yourself and feel guilty about the questions you got wrong. If you don’t get that feeling of self-doubt, you still shouldn’t compare with friends, because you might make them feel bad without meaning to. My friends and I made a pact after the first test to not talk about it after and life got considerably better. 🙂
3.Go to the library
In my opinion, the university library is the best place for studying and doing assignments. I am the sort of person who easily gets distracted, so working in the Leech in the engineering building is usually fun but very unproductive. The other place that I found was really good for study is the level 4 on Kate Edgar, but that’s usually full of first med students and it’s a bit serious for us low-key engineers (hehe).
4.Bring Food- Everywhere
If you have multiple lectures one after another, you are going to need an endless supply of snacks to eat in the ten minute walk between each of them. Don’t expect to last the day on a diet, when the brain needs refueling! Eating regularly and eating good food will help you to focus and get more out of your lectures. Eating in lectures is not ideal (and supposedly not allowed) so it’s better to eat on the way there.
5.Have a little fun
When I first started the semester, I think I took life a little too seriously- I studied myself to the max, and left little time for friends and family. This semester I hope to chill out a little more and go to a few more student events. I’ve started to realise that I don’t need an A+ in every paper to be happy- it is better for me to spend time doing the things I love (like music and running) while still maintaining good results. I’m not a perfect person and that’s perfectly okay with me. 🙂