SAM MORRELL


ASTROPHYSICIST

Lesson Learned from the First Term

January 11, 2012   |   Reading time: ~3 mins

Today has been the my first exam at university, I’m not going to lie, I’m not very confident about how it went. It seemed like the writer of the paper in question had in-fact decided to almost avoid everything I’d revised. This crippling blow has forced me to look back over my techniques over the first term and revise them somewhat. So, here’s a quick post with some of the tips that I have come up with.

Always Be OCD About Your Notes

I’ve decided that I’m going to start being OCD with my notes again, as I did at A-level. Everything has it’s own folder, tucked away in a plastic wallet for each lecture with a contents page in the front of all the things we’ve covered / have to cover. This is going to take a boat load of effort now, but when I come to revision it should make my life a ton easier. Plus, it makes me feel good about myself when everything is nicely tidied away in folders, because I’m like that. Another thing I’ve noticed is it’s very hard to write things that you find obvious at the time, but not remember what was so obvious later. I think that making an effort to write everything that I think I’d need to know is a good idea.

Sleep Like Your Life Depends Upon It

I wish I was joking, but even as a self proclaimed nocturnal nerd, you need to sleep. Your mind cannot operate properly if you don’t sleep. Also, the knowledge you have accumulated during the day are processed while your asleep, so if you don’t get plenty of rest at night you’ll be doing yourself out of remembering things. This will be very difficult for me, I’m prolifically up very, very late at night doing things. I’m just going to have to force myself to take a break.

Take a Chill Pill

One thing I can’t proclaim I’ve not been doing this past 12 weeks is working, Yep, I’ve been doing something Physics related nearly every single night. Though, that’s fine in the short run, you just can’t do that, it’s not possibles to keep up like it. Take a break every now and then. No matter what you have to do, just take an hour out at least to wind down and do something you enjoy.

Procrastination is your Enemy

Serial procrastination should probably be listed as my hobby. I’m terrible for putting things off until they really need to be done. That’s why next term I’m going to try my very best to try and do things with plenty of time… and to not let my mind wander while I’m doing them. What with all the distractions of modern living it’s very difficult to not get pulled away from your immediate task by something ‘ooooh shiny’ like, especially if said task is rather difficult.

So, these are a few tips I’ve accumulated over the first term. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy some folders and revise for tomorrow’s exam.

Thanks for Reading.

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