I dropped out of university the first time around because things just went pear-shaped. I was lonely, failing, and unhappy and to be honest I had no idea what I was doing wrong and I hated it. Your girl was happy doing everything BUT coursework.
To be honest, I struggle to see a point in anything that I was doing. In a nutshell, I was unmotivated.
My second attempt ended because the qualification was discontinued and I was ready to give up.
I’ve decided to return to school to study Marketing. Something I recently discovered I quite enjoy.
There were various factors at play that contributed to my lack of success and I have made quite a few rectifications but I also feel like this time, I’m getting it done!
What’s Different This Time?
I’m in Control of My Workload Now
Seeing as I am a student at UNISA, I have picked the number of modules that I feel I can handle per semester.
The workload at university was too much for me. I feel that now I have more time to complete my work to the best of my ability and a lot less pressure.
I’m More Confident in Myself & My Abilities
I believe in myself more now. There was a point in time when I had decided that university was not for me and that I just wasn’t smart enough, I don’t feel that way anymore.
I know that if I tell myself that I am capable and apply myself, I can and will succeed. My marks are now way better than before.
I’m telling you, lack of confidence makes things 10x more difficult even when they shouldn’t be.
I’m More Motivated
Before I couldn’t see a future for myself, I am not even sure why. I feel more motivated because I believe I am doing this for my future family. I want my kids to have a better life than me so I am pushing myself to succeed so that they can have a mom that I can be a mom they can be proud of.
I am also enjoying the coursework a lot more and it makes it easier to study when you’re not bored to death with the subject matter.
Getting good grades is so motivating. It makes one push harder to sustain that level of work.
Stopped Doing Things Last-Minute
I actually go through my study guide and see what’s due when at the beginning of each semester so that I can make a study plan and ensure everything is completed ahead of time and submitted on time. During quiet times at work and on my lunch break I do schoolwork, so there is absolutely no excuse for my work not to be done on time.
I Use Alternative Methods To Study & Understand My Work
I have joined online study groups and made use of YouTube to watch subject-related material. There are lectures uploaded that I watch in addition to studying so that I don’t get bored by doing one thing over and over again.
I also use the “Read Aloud” function on Word to listen to my notes instead of only reading them.
I Follow Study Guides
I used to just study everything in the chapters covered in the course, including topics that were irrelevant when sometimes only certain parts of the text should be studied. This was such a waste of time. Only go through the subject matter that is relevant for tests and exams.
It’s called a “study guide” for a reason. There’s absolutely no need to try to study and memorize an entire textbook.
Studying in Different Spots
I’ve read that it helps to study at different spots because it helps to give your brain different cues to recall information. Sometimes I study at the local library, I study at my work desk and even at home.
At home, I use the study, the patio and occasionally the kitchen and my room.
I’ll be adding cafes just to switch things up a bit more.
Utilizing All The Resources At My Disposal
There are many resources available for students to help with their studies. I don’t know why but I was kind of ignorant before.
You can find them online and join online study groups such as TogetherWePass where you’ll find your coursemates and share study tips and notes. I find the study notes available there so useful and they help you to better understand the subject matter. If you’re a fellow UNISA student, click on the link and join the study groups relevant to you. It’ll make your life so much easier.
It was actually a friend of mine who told me about TogetherWePass but back then my head was so far up my ass, I didn’t listen. I should have listened! I’ve found great notes for my subjects that I add to my own to help me study.
You can also find help on YouTube. There are YouTubers who share tips and lectures on various subjects that are super helpful.
Being a student can be quite challenging and you don’t have to do it alone. Get help if and when you need it, the sooner the better. There are so many resources at our disposal and we should utilise as many as we possibly can to succeed.
I’ve made drastic improvements on my academic journey doing the above-stated i.e:
- Being more in control of my workload
- Being more confident
- Being more motivated
- Not leaving things to the last minute
- Using alternative methods to study and understand my work
- Following the study guides
- Studying in various locations
- Utilizing the resources at my disposal
The most important change this time is that I’m doing it for myself. Not because of societal pressure or because I want to please my family – it’s all for me and the bigger picture.
You may even have kind of laughed at how obvious some of these things are but hey, when you know better, you do better and I now know better.