1. Get ‘appy
Back in the dark ages of undergraduate study, you’d show up to a lecture with a handful of pens, a notebook and a
box of No Doz caffeine pills a really heavy, clunky laptop (if you had one at all). The internet also made that weird squealing dial-up sound when you connected, but this isn’t about how old you are, okay? Anyway, today, there are literally thousands of apps out there that have been designed to help you study and to keep you organised while you do it. From Fetchnotes (which lets you organise your study notes by hashtag) to SelfControl (an anti-procrastination tool) and RefMe (which creates a citation for you when you scan the barcode of a book), apps can take over a lot of the drudge work you used to have to do yourself.
2. Or, go retro
If the thought of browsing the app store makes you feel queasy, or if you don’t have the time or inclination to make tech part of your study habits, never fear. Be that guy who uses a notepad and pen without even trying to be ironic. Grab some Staedtler highlighters, a biro, a ring-bound notebook – if you’re feeling extra reckless, you can even treat yourself to a wooden ruler – and get thee to your chosen education provider (or to your computer, if you’re studying online). If it worked for undergrad, there’s no reason why it won’t still work now.
3. Practice makes perfect
Habit is key to study success, so make hitting the books part of your daily routine. Whether you get up for an early morning cram, schedule it after the kids go to bed, or tell your partner that you’ll be studying instead of helping out with the domestic duties (highly recommended), make it a same-time same-place event every day.
4. Organise your chaos
Have you ever stepped into an office supply store and thought ‘today is the first day of the rest of my life’? All those folders, notebooks, highlighters, storage and organisational solutions are a symbol of hope that maybe you won’t actually die alone in your apartment, crushed to death by piles of old paper. Treat yourself to a few items that’ll help you stay focused when it comes to your studies – maybe it’s a wall planner so you can see all your assessment items for the month, some document folders to keep your printed notes neat and tidy, or a desk organiser to keep all those random bits of stationery under control.
5. Everyone loves a freebie
Studying today is no longer about sitting in cavernous lecture halls listening to a droning voice and trying to make sense of those funky, handwritten overhead projector slides. The emergence of online degrees and free short courses at universities around the world, as well as a wealth of web-based professional development opportunities and other resources, is making it easier than ever to learn what you like, when you like. Keen to expand your skills? Start by checking out the free short courses on offer through UTS Open – it’s a great introduction to postgraduate study.
With subjects spanning from blockchain and systems thinking to podcasting and genomics, taking just 3 to 5 hours in length at your own pace, choose a free online short course with UTS Open.