FRESHERS ISSUE 2023 SCAN Lancaster University

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SCANLU SCANLancaster scan.lancastersu.co.uk

How To Not Fall Behind

with University Work

Adrian Collis


University’s finally here, and nicely

enough, the first week is more or

less just one massive party where

you try to get to know as many

people as possible before you

dive into classes.

As reluctant as I am to be the

bearer of bad news, classes are

coming, and when they do, there

will be deadlines, and there will

be many of them.

Nobody (and I mean nobody)

has a perfect track record when

it comes to university work,

and keeping on top of things in

balance with your life outside of

class is always going to take a bit of

hard work you won’t be used to yet.

With the right attitude

and planning, nothing’s

impossible, and you’ll be

top of your class in no


So, take these top tips from someone’s who

hasn’t missed a deadline since college. I

promise I’m not a soulless drone devoid

of any social life, either. It’s possible, and it

won’t be as difficult as you think it will.

1. Make a work


It’s kind of like a revision timetable, and I

know you’re familiar with those. This one’s

easier to plan and doesn’t take up your

whole day.

Keeping a written plan of

when you’ll get everything

done is essential,

especially if you’re

prone to losing

track of days

and forgetting



Your brain is going to be

busy, and you’re not going

to be able to remember


Don’t just rely on Moodle to tell

you when everything is due; making

yourself a personalised calendar also lets

you balance the things you need to do with

the things you want to do.

That way, if you need to shuffle things

around, you can still keep track of what you

need to finish by which day. Do this for long

enough and it becomes second nature to

get things done efficiently, without doing it

all at the last minute.

Always try to plan so

you’re finishing your work

way before the deadline,

so if you do have to push

it back you don’t find

yourself strapped for time.

2. Actually make

time for your work

Once you get into the swing of things, you’re

probably going to find yourself being pretty

socially busy.

As much as

you never

want to get



out on





trust a

third year

when I say

there will

always be more

nights out and house

parties to go to.

If you’re particularly overwhelmed with

something, don’t be afraid to say no. You

could even use the opportunity to say:

“Well, I can’t do then, but

how about we hang out at

this date, when I actually

am free?” (as shown on

your fancy schedule

you’ve made after

reading bullet point


Everyone loves to be invited

to things, and you’ve gotten

everything done that you needed

to. Take it a step further and plan

to do your work way before your

deadlines so if you really don’t

want to miss out, it’s not the end of

the world for your grades.

3. If you know you

study best alone,


It’s a fun idea to go to

coffee shops or the library

and study peacefully

with friends. That is,

until you’re distracting

yourselves for hours,

getting caught up in

tangent conversations,

and now all of the library’s

B floor knows your business.

It’s a mistake I’ve

found myself making

all too often; there will

always be other times to

get silly with your friends.

Don’t be afraid to head out and tackle

your work alone if it’s what you need; your

deadlines will be thanking you.

4. Stick to your plans

This one seems obvious,

but life can get hectic.

To the best of your

ability, the stricter

you are with

yourself to follow

the plan you’ve

set out, the better

you’re going to feel

when it’s done when

it’s supposed to be.

Independence and selfmanagement

can be rough

to learn, but setting

yourself a plan and

sticking to it is one great

way to get ahead.

Photos Credits:

Caitlyn Taft

The more productive you

are, the less deadlines you

miss, the more time you

have for other things, the

better you feel.

If you ignore your responsibilities and

procrastinate them, they’ll just come back

to you at a time you’ll hate. Don’t do it. Be

hard on yourself.

5. Don’t be afraid to

ask for help

Being tough on yourself is all well and good

in theory, but sometimes life gets the better

of us and it’s not as simple as following your

daily schedule.

Sometimes life

events out of

your control

get in the

way, or

you’re just

unable to

get out of

bed and do

the tasks

you normally


If it’s getting really bad and

it all feels out of your hands,

you’re not the first, and there’s nothing

wrong with that.

Reach out to your professors or a counsellor

on campus, and don’t be nervous to ask for

the support you need.

You’re not a robot, though

sometimes it seems

like uni asks that

of people. With

the right amount

of tenacity and


deadlines will feel

like a breeze to hit.

You just need to be real with

yourself: nobody else is going to do

them, no matter how much you try

not to think about them.

You’re not alone! You’ll always have

something to worry about, but if you get

ahead at the right time, it’ll hopefully be

something a little smaller.

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