The Student Room Group

First year student blown away by workload

I’m starting to think I might be missing something.

I have lectures Monday-Thursday (each with pre assigned reading and a 2 hour videos to watch). Every one of these lectures sets homework, and I end up spending Friday/Saturday/Sunday reviewing the lectures and completing the homework.

My train ride to and from uni is spent doing the readings/exercises.

Including lectures, I’m spending 65+ hours a week studying, and I still have readings to do. How do people have time to party??

Is this what uni is like for 3 years?
Only watch the pre-assigned reading if you feel like you need to. The homework should be more or less a review of your work, so you could take the latter out. Just use the lectures as assistance for your homework. These are all the tips I can give you, being a FY student (i.e. I have no idea what 1st year life is like), I have plenty of free time though.
Original post by Anonymous
I’m starting to think I might be missing something.

I have lectures Monday-Thursday (each with pre assigned reading and a 2 hour videos to watch). Every one of these lectures sets homework, and I end up spending Friday/Saturday/Sunday reviewing the lectures and completing the homework.

My train ride to and from uni is spent doing the readings/exercises.

Including lectures, I’m spending 65+ hours a week studying, and I still have readings to do. How do people have time to party??

Is this what uni is like for 3 years?


At uni you are expected to do as much work as you need or want. It is likely that your lecturers set the pre-reading and videos for those who struggled with last week's work or perhaps for those who have struggled with the concepts previously. Do you find the pre-reading useful? is there any amount you can cut out? I tried doing all the reading my lecturers assigned in first year but the volume was way too high and I didn't find it useful. You are ultimately assessed through assignments and exams, not the pre-reading, so feel free to skip what isn't useful. I also personally never had "homework" so I can't comment on that - obviously if it is assessed or useful then do it, but if it's not either of those then don't do every piece of homework.
In first year I definitely didn't even do 40-hour weeks, certainly not 65+hours. Third year I could perhaps understand in deadline season, but definitely not first year.
Just out of interest how long is your commute. It might play a part if it's long.
Original post by Anonymous
I’m starting to think I might be missing something.

I have lectures Monday-Thursday (each with pre assigned reading and a 2 hour videos to watch). Every one of these lectures sets homework, and I end up spending Friday/Saturday/Sunday reviewing the lectures and completing the homework.

My train ride to and from uni is spent doing the readings/exercises.

Including lectures, I’m spending 65+ hours a week studying, and I still have readings to do. How do people have time to party??

Is this what uni is like for 3 years?

How long are you spending travelling? Is there a reason you aren't living in halls?
Original post by Anonymous
I’m starting to think I might be missing something.

I have lectures Monday-Thursday (each with pre assigned reading and a 2 hour videos to watch). Every one of these lectures sets homework, and I end up spending Friday/Saturday/Sunday reviewing the lectures and completing the homework.

My train ride to and from uni is spent doing the readings/exercises.

Including lectures, I’m spending 65+ hours a week studying, and I still have readings to do. How do people have time to party??

Is this what uni is like for 3 years?

You shouldn’t be spending 65 hours a week studying, you should adjust your technique/strategy to a more reasonable amount this is the kind of workload you should be putting in at exam window or final week of term when courseworks pile up not in an average week (and first year generally should be your lightest load).

If you are struggling id suggest dialogue with colleagues to see what sort of hours they are doing, and perhaps discuss with your tutor.
In my experience, pre-reading tends to be optional. If the videos and pre-reading covers the same material, you should definitely just do the one you usually find most useful. I did not get set any "homework" during my first year so idk about that. But you could probably get away with not doing all of it if it's not graded and you have actual graded exams or coursework deadlines coming up. 65+ hours sounds ridiculous tho.
Original post by Anonymous
I’m starting to think I might be missing something.

I have lectures Monday-Thursday (each with pre assigned reading and a 2 hour videos to watch). Every one of these lectures sets homework, and I end up spending Friday/Saturday/Sunday reviewing the lectures and completing the homework.

My train ride to and from uni is spent doing the readings/exercises.

Including lectures, I’m spending 65+ hours a week studying, and I still have readings to do. How do people have time to party??

Is this what uni is like for 3 years?

No, 65+ hours a week is problematic. We were always advised to treat it like a normal, full-time job and aim for a working week, i.e ≈40 hours. How much time are your fellow coursemates spending on their studies, and how are they dividing their time? If you have a group chat, it might be worth putting this question to them.
I was told each module should be around 12 hours study a week (inc the lectures and tutorials) so the normal 3 would give you a 35 hour week.

How much actual lectures/tutorials do you have.
I’d possible I’d make each day a subject x day. Sp do ore reading ob train, attend lecture, do post reading on way home and evening prepare for tutorials. Sunday download all the readings for everything.
Original post by Anonymous
I’m starting to think I might be missing something.

I have lectures Monday-Thursday (each with pre assigned reading and a 2 hour videos to watch). Every one of these lectures sets homework, and I end up spending Friday/Saturday/Sunday reviewing the lectures and completing the homework.

My train ride to and from uni is spent doing the readings/exercises.

Including lectures, I’m spending 65+ hours a week studying, and I still have readings to do. How do people have time to party??

Is this what uni is like for 3 years?

Hi there,
I am sorry to hear you have been struggling with the workload, I know it can be a very difficult transition when you first move to uni and are still in the process of learning how to balance everything that you are being set.
I think you should definitely consider speaking to your lecturers about this and letting them know you are struggling, as you may find they can explain more about whether any of the aspects you have been set are more optional, and which bits you definitely need to be doing.
As mentioned by other people, it may be a good idea to consider whether you feel everything you have been doing is actually benefiting you and your learning. For example, you may find you don't actually need to be completing all of the readings but that they are more to supplement what you are learning in your lectures. Therefore, you might be able to cut down on doing every single one of them, so that you have time to give yourself a rest. If you feel you aren't able to have any free time for yourself it is likely you will soon find yourself feeling burnt out and this will actually be more counter-productive to you learning than anything else. It is extremely important to try to give yourself balance so that you can get the most out of your degree and university experience.
First year is definitely the time to work out how to fit everything in, so try not to worry that you haven't quite found the right answer yet, you have plenty of time to discover what works best for you!
Is your commute to university long? And do you feel this may also be having an impact on your studies?

Anna- Third year Fashion Design student
you know the trick to watch videos in 1.5X speed?

It sounds like you are doing a lot, what are you studying?

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