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10 secrets to nailing your degree: Part 2

23rd June 2015

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Here are our next five tips on making sure you’re the best student you possibly can be – no excuses...

1. Asking for help is fine

Lecturers, careers departments, dissertation tutors, parents, family friends, people you meet at course/job-related events, older siblings and relatives of all shapes and sizes – use them to your advantage, and don’t feel guilty about it. They’re probably older and even possibly somewhat wiser than you are, so they might have some gems of wisdom to impart.

On the other hand, they might not have a single clue what they’re talking about – so if it sounds like they’re talking rubbish, they probably are. Dismiss. Next!

2. You don’t have to go to everything

“You’re adults,” said Professor Modernist Literature 101, way back in February 2011. “If you’re not going to write on DH Lawrence, don’t come to my Women in Love seminar. Edit your dissertation instead.”

And therein (unless you’re studying, you know, medicine) lays the best kept secret of getting a degree that works for you: you don’t have to know everything about your course. You don’t have to go to every lecture. Focus on what you like, what you’ll pursue in coursework and the questions you’ll pick in exams. Know a small number of areas in better depth for the top marks. The rest is superfluous. No one wants to write about DH Lawrence.

3. Realise you’re not busy as you think you are

Honestly, you’re not. Stop sleeping until 10am. Stop losing mornings to hangovers. You probably don’t need an eighth cup of tea, or to nip to the shop right now, or to watch one more episode of Friends. Stop staring at Buzzfeed, retweeting pointless articles and refreshing your Facebook feed.  Then you’ll have more time. Rocket science this is not.

4. Mix it up

Conversely, making your degree worth it means focusing your time at university on much more than just your degree. Graduate with a first and you might think you’re set for life – but with no work experience, practical skills or contacts you might be about to get a shock. So no matter how much work you feel like you’ve got on, make sure you balance out the revision time with career research, forward-planning and extra-curricular activities that make you employable right now.

The tricky part, of course, is fitting in all in. But that’s all part of the game.

5. And finally...

Ok, it’s actually not a secret at all. Work hard, eat well, sleep lots, and you’ll see the results. Yes, honestly. That, really, is the only piece of advice that you need to follow.

Want to be a PRO Student?  Make university life a little easier with tips, advice and competitions at the ProZone Facebook page.


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