Top 5 tips for returning to University

by Marketing Lowdown on March 4, 2012

There are not many things that are harder to do when you’re young then get back into the swing of university after 3 months off.

Suddenly you’re being forced to sit still for 2 hours whilst the sun shines outside and spend your entire first week being read unit outlines and taken through what is expected of you in the course.

The thing is though, that the way in which you apply yourself to university in those first couple of weeks does actually set the way in which you will spend the entire semester. If you open your textbook 5 weeks in, suddenly getting through everything before exams becomes much more rushed and you are more likely than not, going to decide it’s too much like hard work and close the book again – we’ve all been there!

So to help I have put together 5 simple tips, which if you implement, I am certain you will not only find this semester easier, but you will be more organised and actually have more time for the other things in your life.

Tip 1 – Write a weekly schedule.

Have you ever realised with 5 days to go that that essay you were putting off now clashes with another essay due the same day! If you write out a schedule that shows what is due each week, what readings you have to do and the group meeting you are going to have, I guarantee that assignment due dates wont sneak up on you anymore. If you have several things due in the same week it allows you to see so, way in advance so that you can start one earlier and give yourself enough time to complete them all on time.

Tip 2 – Buy Second hand

You don’t always have to buy textbooks new and the great thing about finding someone to buy a second hand book off is that you can also then ask them questions about the course. Whenever I buy and sell books I always chat about hints on what the markers like to see and how hard the readings are each week. Just make sure the edition of the book hasn’t changed – in which case you will have to buy new.

Tip 3- Get to know your lecturers and Tutors

Your lecturers and Tutors always like those who are opinionated and active in class discussions and if you can chat to them afterwards about something they have talked about or an area they specialise in that you are interested in, it’s a great way to get to know them. When lecturers and tutors see a student applying themselves and genuinely interested in a subject they are much more willing to help and give helpful advice, be that about the class itself or your career ambitions.

Tip 4 – Choose your seat wisely.

For most people doing a marketing or related degree, group work always appears, even when you beg it not to. The best thing to do, is to choose your seat wisely. When you stand outside your first class, talk to the people who are like you, who seem enthusiastic about the course and avoid the people who openly admit they don’t buy the textbooks! You want a good group, because so much of your final grade depends on them! Whether you are allocated groups or get to choose your own, sitting next to those you want in your group gives you a much better shot of being grouped with them.

Tip 5 – Start assignment early

Don’t skip over this one! Don’t say “yeh yeh – I’m not a nerd”. Starting early has several advantages. First of all, it forces you to learn early course work which is great if you have mid semester exams. Plus, if you have questions, you can ask your lecturers or Tutors and given you’re probably the first person to ask, they will be more willing to help. It also gives you breathing space. Once you’re done, leave it a couple of days and then read it again. When you cram something, what ends up happening is you read what you think it says not what it actually says. Giving it a couple of days, I assure you when you go back for a final read, you will find things you want to change.

Do you have any other tips you would add?


Written by: Louise Griffiths

Louise spent 3 years working in Event Management full time before starting her degree. She now works in Social Media and Strategy for a Digital Creative Agency whilst also obtaining her degree, a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) at Macquarie University full time. Louise’s passion is in consumer engagement through the integration of offline and online channels.

University: Macquarie University, Sydney

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing)

Graduated: 2013

You can also read about Louise on our ‘Meet the Team’ page!


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  • Karen Thomson

    fantastic tips Louise… thanks

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