First Year Academic Help

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tomspiderman
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#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Hi,
I was wondering if anyone has any advice for how many folders/organisation things a first year would need? I know so many people have told me to use digital notes but my neurodivergent brain just cannot work that way (found that out through online learning). Should i have one big folder and separate it to the different teaching terms or do i have one small older for each component etc and for pathways/ electives should i use a separate folder as its different to my course subject?
i know it seems a little early to be thinking of this but if im not pre-prepared i get extremely overwhelmed. thank you sm x
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Interea
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#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
You'll probably just have to try things out as you go to find out what works best, since it varies by course, how each module is run, personal preference etc. You can always buy more when you're there if you find a system that works and you don't have enough.

I don't like big folders, so I just brought 6 standard folders and 6 sets of file dividers to uni (planning for 2 per teaching term and a couple of spares, but I very quickly found several modules were much too dense for that!). To allow for flexibility, I never wrote on the file dividers, so it was very easy to rearrange things as I went, and it definitely wasn't a case of "one size fits all".

As an example, I ended up with 2 modules having their own folders, 1 pair of related modules sharing a folder, 1 folder for the rest of the term 1 modules, 1 for the rest of the term 2 modules, and 1 for revision planning - quite chaotic, but it was the best way I found to do it with the varying format of each module. If you try to plan too far ahead and stick to that plan it probably won't be the optimal solution, so just make sure you have enough to get you started and work out the details once you start studying
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Uni of Southampton Students
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#3
Report 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by tomspiderman)
Hi,
I was wondering if anyone has any advice for how many folders/organisation things a first year would need? I know so many people have told me to use digital notes but my neurodivergent brain just cannot work that way (found that out through online learning). Should i have one big folder and separate it to the different teaching terms or do i have one small older for each component etc and for pathways/ electives should i use a separate folder as its different to my course subject?
i know it seems a little early to be thinking of this but if im not pre-prepared i get extremely overwhelmed. thank you sm x
Hi tomspiderman
It will probably take a little trial and error to find out the best organisation system for you. I personally use digital notes but many of my friends used notebooks and folders.

Some people like to have one big folder split into terms but I know others who preferred to have one notebook and a smaller folder per module so they didn't have to carry around all of their notes to every lesson. Some people prefer completely different systems or like to do filing at home and just bring select notes (e.g. if a lecturer tells them to bring a particular document) to each class. Though I mostly worked online, I would often be given paper notes. For these, I had a small folder with binder dividers for each module. At the end of each semester, I would transfer important notes I wanted to keep into a bigger, expandable folder with one section per module.

Of course, this is only what worked for me and my friends and it may not be right for you but trial and error is probably the best way to work out what's best.

How did you organise things throughout sixth form or school? This could be a good place to start looking at what will work best for you.

I hope this helps but feel free to ask any other questions below.

Daisy (a third-year History official rep)
www.southampton.ac.uk
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gjd800
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#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
I just bought one a4 notepad per unit.
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Catherine1973
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#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
I do
1 lever arch per module. Each week I print off the slides and reading. I will take that into university in a small wallet.
I have a4 pads - I used to have one big one I used for each subject and tested off and put into correct week /folder

For masters I went ott and got different colour paper notepads for each module. (Purple blue green yellow) as I love my stationery!
By the end of the year it may be 2 lever arch for one module!
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University of East Anglia UG Student Rep: Danielle
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#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by tomspiderman)
Hi,
I was wondering if anyone has any advice for how many folders/organisation things a first year would need? I know so many people have told me to use digital notes but my neurodivergent brain just cannot work that way (found that out through online learning). Should i have one big folder and separate it to the different teaching terms or do i have one small older for each component etc and for pathways/ electives should i use a separate folder as its different to my course subject?
i know it seems a little early to be thinking of this but if im not pre-prepared i get extremely overwhelmed. thank you sm x
Hi tomspiderman

I think it's great you're thinking about this in advance to be honest! It's good to be prepared and give these things some thought beforehand as it will help you once you get going! I think the best way to guage this would be to look at how many modules (and what they are) you'll be doing in your first year! What will you be studying? Before I started my degree I spent a bit of time on YouTube watching different ways people take their notes and their stationery hauls and things like that, I found it so fun and inspiring haha, so maybe that is something you could do?

Hope you find a system that works well for you and you enjoy uni!

Danielle
Film and Television Studies
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University of Liverpool Student Rep
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#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by tomspiderman)
Hi,
I was wondering if anyone has any advice for how many folders/organisation things a first year would need? I know so many people have told me to use digital notes but my neurodivergent brain just cannot work that way (found that out through online learning). Should i have one big folder and separate it to the different teaching terms or do i have one small older for each component etc and for pathways/ electives should i use a separate folder as its different to my course subject?
i know it seems a little early to be thinking of this but if im not pre-prepared i get extremely overwhelmed. thank you sm x
Hi there,

I hope you're well

In my first year, I was the same as yourself as digital notes just did not do it for me! What really helped me was having a binder for each module (a different colour), and then using dividers to chop up the different topics. I would advise making sure you keep on top of the notes, as it's so easy to lose track and that's when papers go missing and things become a bit disorganised (which is what happened to me!) Now I do use digital notes, but again this is different for everyone - some people prefer different methods of teaching / learning so that's totally okay.

I hope that's helpful,
Ana - UoL Ambassador
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hallamstudents
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#8
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#8
tomspiderman nothing wrong with wanting to be prepared. I love being organised! For me personally, I like to have one folder for one module, and one notebook for each module. This way information doesn't get confused or lost within other modules.

In terms of being organised, it would also be helpful to get a diary, and use different colours to write in different modules.

- Rosie
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tomspiderman
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#9
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#9
(Original post by hallamstudents)
tomspiderman nothing wrong with wanting to be prepared. I love being organised! For me personally, I like to have one folder for one module, and one notebook for each module. This way information doesn't get confused or lost within other modules.

In terms of being organised, it would also be helpful to get a diary, and use different colours to write in different modules.

- Rosie
Thank you so much!
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tomspiderman
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#10
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#10
(Original post by University of Liverpool Student Rep)
Hi there,

I hope you're well

In my first year, I was the same as yourself as digital notes just did not do it for me! What really helped me was having a binder for each module (a different colour), and then using dividers to chop up the different topics. I would advise making sure you keep on top of the notes, as it's so easy to lose track and that's when papers go missing and things become a bit disorganised (which is what happened to me!) Now I do use digital notes, but again this is different for everyone - some people prefer different methods of teaching / learning so that's totally okay.

I hope that's helpful,
Ana - UoL Ambassador
Thank you- this sounds good and i will try this!
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tomspiderman
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#11
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#11
(Original post by University of East Anglia UG Student Rep: Danielle)
Hi tomspiderman

I think it's great you're thinking about this in advance to be honest! It's good to be prepared and give these things some thought beforehand as it will help you once you get going! I think the best way to guage this would be to look at how many modules (and what they are) you'll be doing in your first year! What will you be studying? Before I started my degree I spent a bit of time on YouTube watching different ways people take their notes and their stationery hauls and things like that, I found it so fun and inspiring haha, so maybe that is something you could do?

Hope you find a system that works well for you and you enjoy uni!

Danielle
Film and Television Studies
Thank You! i think i have a solid idea now of what i will try! I just know it is going to come around so quickly so need to get on top of it haha
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tomspiderman
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi tomspiderman
It will probably take a little trial and error to find out the best organisation system for you. I personally use digital notes but many of my friends used notebooks and folders.

Some people like to have one big folder split into terms but I know others who preferred to have one notebook and a smaller folder per module so they didn't have to carry around all of their notes to every lesson. Some people prefer completely different systems or like to do filing at home and just bring select notes (e.g. if a lecturer tells them to bring a particular document) to each class. Though I mostly worked online, I would often be given paper notes. For these, I had a small folder with binder dividers for each module. At the end of each semester, I would transfer important notes I wanted to keep into a bigger, expandable folder with one section per module.

Of course, this is only what worked for me and my friends and it may not be right for you but trial and error is probably the best way to work out what's best.

How did you organise things throughout sixth form or school? This could be a good place to start looking at what will work best for you.

I hope this helps but feel free to ask any other questions below.

Daisy (a third-year History official rep)
www.southampton.ac.uk
Thank You so much! My sixth form we had lever arches per subject and then per component in each subject! It was good for me as i love physically organising so i might do something similar to this
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UniOfLincolnStudent
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#13
Report 4 weeks ago
#13
(Original post by tomspiderman)
Hi,
I was wondering if anyone has any advice for how many folders/organisation things a first year would need? I know so many people have told me to use digital notes but my neurodivergent brain just cannot work that way (found that out through online learning). Should i have one big folder and separate it to the different teaching terms or do i have one small older for each component etc and for pathways/ electives should i use a separate folder as its different to my course subject?
i know it seems a little early to be thinking of this but if im not pre-prepared i get extremely overwhelmed. thank you sm x
Hi!

I am also neurodivergent and not a fan of digital copies of my work. I initially bought 4 folders, one for each of my modules, with dividers inside based on the topic within that module with a section for assessments. Throughout the year I adapted and changed these and went into second year using Notion as I found that keeping physical copies of my work was difficult as lots of my resources were online. Notion is essentially a website that acts as a planner, timetable and place for your notes all in one. It is fully customisable and you can link in external files. This may be something to consider as well if your course will have lots of online aspects.

I hope this helps and good luck with your studies

Trinity
Y2 Politics and Sociology
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