Gear Yourself Up: Tips for a Successful Year

Christmas may feel like a distant memory and New Year’s resolutions might have already gone to pot. But it’s not too late to make this year a success at uni. Wrap-up warm with these study tips to help make the next months as comfortable as possible and stop that bleak mid-winter chill.

Base layer – your thermals!


Our snowman may like to go commando but without these essentials you won’t get far.

  • Check your Uni email account daily (Tip: install an app where you can access personal and uni accounts in one place and to get notifications when you receive emails).
  • Check your timetable and any changes and make sure you understand it.
  • Know your deadlines and meet them. 
  • Look up reading lists, these are vital. Use FindIt and the library.
  • Check UniLearn (Blackboard) for all course information.

Warm coat – weathering the assessment storm


When that wind starts to bite wrap-up with these tips to help keep it at bay!

  • Get things done early, start assignments as soon as they are given. Work first, have fun later. Apply this to everything – essays, coursework, projects, revision. (Tip: Student Development and Study Skills can help with organisation, essay writing, referencing.)
  • Prioritise your work effectively.
  • Team work is only effective if you make a plan. Set a goal and manage your time to produce high quality work and achieve the goal in time.
  • Attend lectures including online classes, they aren’t 'optional’. Essential learning and information provides a basis for future classes and assessments.
  • Remember to back up your work! (Tip: email your draft assessment to yourself!)

Hat, scarf and gloves – don’t leave yourself exposed!

dog wearing scarf

Accessories aren’t an afterthought, and neither are these tips.

  • Read any available lecture notes beforehand or, if online, open them in a separate window ready.
  • Make your own notes during lectures and reading. (Tip: If you find it hard to make notes quickly, stick to key points and go over examples and other extra information afterwards.) A note-taking short topic guide is available at the bottom of the Researching page
  • Read through your notes after the lecture to make sure they’re still legible and make sense.
  • If there is anything you don’t understand, now is the time to seek clarification.
  • Organise your notes. File them, or keep everything in one place. (Tip: Look for a note-keeping application (like MS Office OneNote or Notability for iPad) to store electronic copies/scans of notes.)
  • Ask for feedback. Whether you have done well or not, talk to your lecturer as guidance for your next assignment, and check out Using Feedback to Move Forward.
  • If you miss a lecture (everyone does occasionally) check if there is a recording on Blackboard, ask another student if they have any notes, and do the reading. 

If you are still feeling the chill and would like to talk to someone about this, support is available.