Key elements for a successful study

By Maria

Most likely, every student wishes to have a successful, non-problematic and exciting academic life. We study for many reasons, but the major one would be to explore our interests and possibilities knowledge gives us. University can bring lots of fulfilment, happiness, and become the best years in our life. If only we remember about few factors, we will be able to take the most of it! In this blog, as a current master student, I will try to share some of my tips on how to study successfully!

  • Choosing a study programme

Firstly, it is a crucial step to choose a suitable study programme that aligns with your passions. You may already have some ideas in which direction you should go. However, if that is not the case, then WUR provides several opportunities to help you find your best fit. There are organized open days, both in person and online, which you can attend. You will be able to see presentations about study programmes, talk to student, ask questions, and feel the university atmosphere (Blog “Why you should visit an on campus open day”).

Besides this, you can get in touch with current students via UniBuddy, which is a platform that allows you to chat with them. There, you can start a conversation with a person who does a specific study or is from your country, for example.

And at the end of this list is just searching on the WUR websites for the information. Every bachelor and master study programme is described with details and you can always find there an email address for the study coordinator.

  • Being an active student

Assuming that you chose a good study programme, the next question is “what now and how do I do it?”. The answer is simple, but many might still struggle with applying it into the daily life. It is all about being an active student, so attending to all the lectures and classes. Don’t miss anything; it often happens that once you skip a lecture it can be difficult to come back to the routine. You might think that you will watch the recording but it’s a risky game.

While being present during the class, you will hear lots of explanations from the teacher.  Moreover, you will be more motivated to pay attention when surrounded by peers who are all listening along. It just keeps you in the good rhythm of studying. This helps creating a habit that will be helpful in further studies. Of course, attend only if possible. When you’re sick , make sure to take a rest and the time to get better.

  • Taking notes!

Being an active student is not the only requirement, because when attending to classes you should also take notes. There are many ways of doing it, so you can find the one that works best for you.

You can use an old-school notebook to write down most important points. Other than that, there is typing on a laptop, for example, in the OneNote programme, which is my personal favourite. You can also upload a presentation there and write comments where needed according to the lecture. Some of my friends also print presentations before the lecture and then write notes directly on the paper slides. You can use colourful highlighters to make things more visible. Taking notes also contributes to making you pay attention to what the teacher says. During the self-study week you will be so grateful for already having the notes done!

  • Sharing thoughts and discussing with friends

One of my favourite ways to learn and understand things is to talk with my study friends. This is so helpful and yet not everyone does it! Asking for help, for explanation or notes might be a bit awkward and difficult, but I highly recommend it. In most cases, you will experience that your friends will also ask questions back and will need your support.

Everyone needs some help; otherwise, it would be tough to be on your own trying to understand difficult topics. Make study, brainstorming or revising sessions with friends before exams. Sometimes you would spend hours searching for an explanation when your friend can explain you things in 20 minutes. It will really help!

  • Being healthy

A factor that might be forgotten by many, but is as important as the previously mentioned ones – your health. You don’t need to count calories or run 5 km a day, but just remember about some of the basic aspects such as sleeping enough. When being tired after getting little sleep, you rather won’t be productive.

Secondly, you should eat well. Don’t forget about fruits and vegetables and all the needed nutrients, specially on the days when you study a lot and your brain needs energy; so feed it! Of course, a classic thing to mention – drink water! Not only coffee during the self-study week. 😜

Preferably, be physically active; go for walks, cycle, or do some sports, it will make you feel so much better. And last, but not least, be careful with drinking alcohol. We all know that student life is vibrant and fun, and that’s all good. However, choose wisely when to go out so the next morning you won’t skip classes due to the headache.

  • Parents’ support

I can imagine that, if you are a parent, you would like to know how to support a young student. I think the best would be to show that you’re there for them. Ask them frequently if they are doing and feeling okay. Lots of young people nowadays struggle with mental health and it should be reminded to check on them.

There are psychologists at the university who students can make appointments and talk with. Fast pace of studying and social expectations can be challenging. Therefore, it’s good to observe students and offer help.

Concluding, the major factors for succeeding at the university are quite simple and basic. It’s good to remember them and try to implement as many as possible to learn good studying habits.

Good luck!

By Maria

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