Anonymous #1
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I've found my concentration levels have gone down so much this year. I'm in the first year at university and find it so hard concentrating on lectures and actually doing work. Does anyone have any tips on note-taking and finding the best information? I've three deadlines in the next two/three weeks and I haven't started I'm so demotivated! Please help a stuck first year
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Anonymous #2
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It's really hard, I'm in second year and finding it awful. One thing I have noticed has helped with motivation and concentration is doing my online lectures in different rooms if you can. I'm at accommodation so only got my own room and the kitchen but it helps having a new scenery. Also use the dictator on word whilst your in the lecture so it records and writes down what your lecturer has said so afterwards you can edit it and condense it, but it helps with little bits you may have missed. Lastly looking after yourself comes first really try to go outside for a walk to refresh your mind and know it's okay to have a day where you switch of from online. It's so hard it really is. Hope it gets better x
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University of Liverpool Student Rep
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Hi there,
I hope you’re well 😊
I thought I’d reach out to you and tell you about the app Forest: it’s been a life saver for me! It’s a productivity app, and you can set an interval of time you want to study for and within that time – a tree grows! The way I like to use the app is to set a 25 minute timer, where I have no distractions (music/tv etc) and focus solely on the work I have to do. After that, I have a 5 minute break, and continue the cycle 2/3 times. You’ll be surprised at how much work you get done!
As well, it’s never too late to start revising for deadlines. Maybe try to wake up an hour earlier / go to sleep an hour later, just so you have a bit of extra time for that revision. Everyone studies differently, so it’s all about trying to find the study technique that suits you. Yes, this can be very difficult to determine, but you just have to go with it and trial and error.
Best of luck for your exams – I’m sure you’ll smash them 😊

Ana
University of Liverpool Rep.
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University of Strathclyde Student Ambassador
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I've found my concentration levels have gone down so much this year. I'm in the first year at university and find it so hard concentrating on lectures and actually doing work. Does anyone have any tips on note-taking and finding the best information? I've three deadlines in the next two/three weeks and I haven't started I'm so demotivated! Please help a stuck first year

Hey Anonymous

Sorry to hear you’re struggling I felt the same in first year but it just takes some time, you'll get there It isn’t easy with classes being online. Does your university have any study skills or note-taking sessions? I found that going along to those really helped me. I usually take down key points when I’m reading textbooks. I take each paragraph and look at the context of it then paraphrase and write it in my own words. This way, I’m able to understand what I’m learning and not writing everything down. For lectures, I usually make my own notes and note down the key points from the slides and expand on them. Microsoft OneNote is great as all your notes can be saved in the one place then you can search for key words when you’re writing assignments etc. I usually download the lecture slides on PowerPoint and type what the lecturer is saying at the space in the bottom of the slides.

Hope this helps

Melissa- Student Ambassador
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Uni of Hull Students
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I've found my concentration levels have gone down so much this year. I'm in the first year at university and find it so hard concentrating on lectures and actually doing work. Does anyone have any tips on note-taking and finding the best information? I've three deadlines in the next two/three weeks and I haven't started I'm so demotivated! Please help a stuck first year
Hello,

I understand your struggles! Just to add alongside the other Reps, have you got a planner or diary you can use for the upcoming week. I find that looking ahead for the next term can be overwhelming, so if you are able to write down some time each day that you will dictate to your deadlines within the week, then perhaps it wont feel such a concern on a smaller scale. University is different to previous education levels, and will take time to realise what works best for you.

I hope this helps
Gabrielle- University of Hull rep
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ROTL94
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(Original post by Anonymous)
. Also use the dictator on word whilst your in the lecture so it records and writes down what your lecturer has said so afterwards you can edit it and condense it, but it helps with little bits you may have missed.
Actual genius idea, don't know why that hasn't occurred to me in almost 3 years at university.
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by ROTL94)
Actual genius idea, don't know why that hasn't occurred to me in almost 3 years at university.
Awww bless 😂 now you know
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I've found my concentration levels have gone down so much this year. I'm in the first year at university and find it so hard concentrating on lectures and actually doing work. Does anyone have any tips on note-taking and finding the best information? I've three deadlines in the next two/three weeks and I haven't started I'm so demotivated! Please help a stuck first year
Hiya!

I'm sorry to hear you're feeling this way, I can relate as well as many other students who have found this year very tough so you aren't alone! Here are a few tips that I have found to help me:

1- Organise your time.
I buy a diary every year and add in when all my deadlines are being handed in. This helps me stay on track and not rush/ forget about things I need to do. You can add in when your three deadlines are and write down mini tasks each day to stay on track for finishing them on time. Mapping our you time helps you stay focused
Also make sure to have time to relax and time for yourself as you don't want to overload yourself!! I also find it satisfying ticking off tasks that I needed to get done haha.

2- Look at the assessment guidelines and mark schemes for upcoming assessments
I always refer back to the mark schemes and what was recommended in the module's assessment guidelines. This way you know you're including what is required by your lecturer for the assignment! This will help with those three upcoming essays so you know the basis for what you need to cover which will help you avoid small mistakes.

3- Keep up with lecturers and seminars/ recommended readings
Write down and schedule when you need to watch pre-recorded lectures, and when you need to attend seminars and any drop in sessions.
I prefer reading through the powerpoint slides and trying to understand the content and then watching my pre-recorded lectures and add in anything that the lecturer says that isn't on the slide.

I like to work in 40 minutes blocks and then have a 5 minute break where I go on my phone/ get a drink or something.
When going through your lectures, write down anything you don't understand as that then gives you something to mention during your seminars. I find this helps me contribute in seminars.

4- Study Support/ Personal Tutor
I always email my work to my students study support team who can look over your work and help with how to structure your arguments, spelling and grammar errors etc. They're a really useful resource to have.
You can also email your tutor to let them know how you are feeling as they will want to help and can provide some extra advise for managing time/staying motivated.

Hope this helps! Sam- Official Student Rep
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