How to: assignments (aka ‘Hopefully my laptop is waterproof as I am crying again’)

Nina Heidelmann

Faculty: Medical Science
Course: BSc (Hons) Applied Nutritional Science
Category: Sciences nutritional and pharmaceutical

2 December 2016

Hey guys, welcome back to my blog! Last time I tried to help you all a little bit with planning your work throughout the semester. At some point, the assignments will creep up and I was extremely worried to see that one 3,000-word assignment is deciding if I pass in some modules!

The key for assignments is basically the same: have a plan. Or maybe a few, as you will most likely end up deleting paragraphs of your work because you cannot find references…we all know the struggle. But really, you will be told early on in the semester about all your deadlines and the assignments you have to write. Do not wait until Week 8 to look at them, because then you will already be too far behind to do your work properly.

From my own experience, it is really helpful to start researching straightaway, just so you get a feel for the topic and the books and journals out there. It is great to use websites for research, but try to avoid them as references as they are just not scientific work in most cases (especially Wikipedia!). I know it is horrible, especially when you feel homesick and Christmas is coming up, but you invest a lot in uni and it is your future, so stay focused. Unless you are baking gingerbread men – then go on!

In my eyes, doing something daily is great, because it will not build up to a horrendous amount you cannot cope with. Also, your set-up to do work is super important. If you are someone who loves everything tidy, then take the time before working to clean your room. That is not procrastinating, but something necessary for you.

My perfect set-up is the following:

  • a cup of tea/coffee, whichever flavour is your favourite
  • a big bottle of water
  • adequate lighting
  • comfy clothing (writing an assignment in PJs is perfectly acceptable!)
  • snacks around you, but try to go for something healthy
  • a good study playlist (thanks Spotify for interrupting it with loud annoying adverts…)
  • my phone safely put away, as it is too distracting
  • tissues, because the tears will eventually come!
Hopefully some of this will work for you and keep you focused. Don’t forget, we are all in this together and every single one of us gets stressed about work. Just have a countdown to when you have to hand your work in, and be finished a few days early so you have enough time to check your work!
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