Today Ali came to 301 for a Taste of Work. He wrote the following insightful blog post about using 301.
When I first came to Sheffield, I remember I struggled to cope with being a University student. Apart from having to get used to double-decker buses and confusing road directions, it was hard to get around my academics as well.
If you’re a Sheffield student, then you were one of the most intelligent students back at your school. But as you arrive here and realise you are surrounded by students as intelligent, you begin to lose confidence and start worrying. Well don’t worry that is normal.
Now, you either give up and stay average or of course you dig deep inside yourself and decide that you’re coming back on top! But as you start studying harder and sleep less during lectures you hit that plateau. Where you’re not sure what you can do more to improve yours skills and end up watching tv.
That’s where the 301 comes in! There you can improve your writing skills, which the majority of us international students need. You can also get some exam revision and time management technique, which I didn’t know much about. The nice thing about 301 is that hey have several different topics and workshops, so you are bound to find something of your interest. The fun part about all these is after four workshops and an essay you get a HEAR certificate!
So you’ve mastered the door (you have to swipe your ucard after 5pm), now what happens? I went to Academic Writing: Paragraphs, Flow and Connectivity to find out.
It was snowing outside which made me grateful that I was sat in this workshop rather than walking home. It was nice and warm in the workshop and people seemed friendly and talkative even though they didn’t know each other. There was a huge range of students and all of them were very intelligent (despite some people thinking 301 is only for people who struggle). It was also a nice sized group.
The session started bang on 5.30pm. People who were late were quite distracting but students aren’t allowed in if they are more than 10 minutes late. Despite this, everyone was very awake and concentrating hard which was impressive for 5.30 on a Tuesday evening.
The tables were round making it really easy for everyone to communicate properly and work together on the group tasks. There were quite a few group tasks which made it more interesting and easy to focus. There were also lots of interactive activities which really broke up the content and there were handouts which was really useful. I also got the PowerPoint at the end of the evening. This made it really easy to review the content afterwards.
There was a lot of useful stuff and the tutors are students themselves so were able to give good websites and resources they use themselves.
Time management is one of the most difficult things to deal with at university. I’m a third year student, I work at 301 part-time and I’m on a committee. I’m sure lots of you have just as many commitments, if not more! So here are some of my tips for managing time:
– Don’t go back home between commitments you have at uni. It’s very tempting to go home when you have a few hours break between lectures, but even if you have the intention to do work at home, you’ll get back and realise you don’t have much time before you have to
leave again, so will probably just end up watching TV.
-Get a planner! Diaries/planners are so useful for laying out any deadlines, assignments or
evening plans you have, so you don’t double book and you can visually see how much longer you have before that next essay is due.
– Don’t try and do too much at once. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you have lots to do, but if you think about everything in smaller chunks and deal with them one at a time, it can suddenly feel a lot less stressful!
Exams are only a few weeks away and if like me, you have yet to start revision we have a few hints and tips for getting yourself organised.
This semester, exams come around when you have not had the Christmas break to revise so good preparation is crucial. Keep this in mind. Get on it now and start planning. Make your revision notes for the first few weeks as soon as possible. Then you can carry these around with you and revise on the go.
Put aside an hour a day to do this or more if you can. Before the end of the week you will hopefully have notes ready for 3 topics or more.
I have given this tip before on another post but it is key… MAKE A REVISION TIMETABLE. I use Getrevising.com and it creates one for you. You can also create mindmaps, quizes and revision cards as well as other resources to make it a bit more fun. Little and often is better than cramming everything in last minute.
Colour is also key. It helps you to remember things (there is science behind this but I have no idea what it is!).
Pomodoro is a technique that we discuss in our Beating Procrastination workshop but it is also great for revision. The idea is that you do work for 25 minutes and then take a break. working for this amount of time in one go makes it more manageable and makes you more likely to focus. You can use a timer on your phone or type ‘Pomodoro’ into your search engine to find one online.
Make the most of feedback. Do you always get comments about critical engagement? or maybe your timing? Find out what skills you are lacking and work on them. At 301 we have several workshops you can attend to improve your skills. Have a look on our website and find the one most suited to your area or areas of weakness.
If you are unable to make the workshop times you can also book a 1:1 appointment with a tutor to discuss it.
Never been to 301? Only been to 1 workshop and want to know what else we do? This post is for you.
This is our building. You can find us on Glossop Road across from the Bar One entrance to the Union.
And this is our Reception area with helpful, friendly and knowledgeable staff. We get loads of questions on stuff like ‘Have my keys been handed in?’ and ‘Where is the workshop?’. We even have some questions on accommodation problems and events in the Union. If we can’t help you, we will know where to send you.
Most students probably know 301 for our workshops. We run academic skills workshops during term time on everything from Academic Writing to Beating Procrastination. These usually run Monday to Thursday evenings and Wednesday afternoons. If you want to book a workshop or see what we offer follow this link: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301/services/workshops/index
Most workshops take place in the flexible workshop space (pictured above) and have up to 40 spaces. Not all of our attendees are here because they are struggling with something, many just want to improve their skills even further.
We also offer more than just workshops though. We have 1:1 appointments with a study skills tutor who can advise you on things like managing your workload or exam revision. These run most days during term time and you can book by following this link: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301/services/studyskills
The 301 building is home also home to MASH (Maths and Statistics Help). It does exactly what it says on the tin, tutors to give you help with maths and statistics. They run workshops and drop-in sessions on topics including maths anxiety. You can book a MASH appointment or find out a little more about them here: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/mash
We are also the hub for SURE (Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience) and LfA (Languages for All). SURE offers foundered opportunities to undergraduate students who can then work with an academic member of staff on a piece of research. Languages for All is a scheme to help students who want to develop foreign language skills within their main degree programme.