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Please can you give me your 'top tip' for returning to study?

(15 Posts)
JambalayaCodfishPie Sat 13-Apr-13 20:17:10

This week I been offered a place to study a degree. Its related to my work and I hope to stay on at my job for two days a week as this will help my job prospects once I graduate.

However, I have been out of formal education for over a decade, and I have two children, aged 8 and nearly 1. DP works full time and also studies part time with OU. I know that the next three years are going to be hard work.

What tips do you have for keeping on track? Also was there anything that you weren't expecting, or prepared for, that you struggled with?

Thank you!

crabbiepattie Sat 13-Apr-13 21:20:26

Get a filofax, watch some vids on youtube about getting organised with filofax as a tool, home management binder, etc etc. get any work done on your house that needs doing asap. start reading around your subject now!!

crabbiepattie Sat 13-Apr-13 21:20:45

oh and good luck!! Im starting my BSc in Sept too xx

JambalayaCodfishPie Sun 14-Apr-13 13:14:54


JambalayaCodfishPie Sun 14-Apr-13 13:15:13

And thanks Crabbie! grin

EsmeWeatherwax Sun 14-Apr-13 14:07:45

Sort out somewhere to work, and a place to keep your study materials etc. Try and read ahead as much as possible. Makeup a study timetable and stick to it. Good luck, I'm starting my (second) BA in October too!

badguider Sun 14-Apr-13 14:10:15

Do a bit every week. Don't cram at assessment time. Ask immediately if you don't understand something - your tutors are there to help.
And chill. Flapping and getting over-stressed is the biggest issue that I've seen any mature student have.

Oh, and enjoy! smile

tiredemma Sun 14-Apr-13 14:13:30

Im doing a masters ( on top of working full time), I am struggling with trying to keep on top f everything.

Be organised, do a timetable, dont deviate from this, if you plan to spend each weds night doing some study then make sure you do this. If you plan to spend each thursday night doung something with family, then make sure you do this.

Good luck.

JambalayaCodfishPie Sun 14-Apr-13 20:22:50

So I guess it really is all about time-management then. Ooh-er.

I think (should work agree) I'm going to do two days, leaving three days for uni.

I'm going to go and work at Uni on all three of those days, regardless of lectures, because if I'm at home, I'll keep seeing stuff I need to do.

My support tutor has suggested I attend the pre-course study skills sessions too, as whilst my writing is quite good, there's nothing to lose by going, and I might learn a lot - did anybody attend anything like this?

badguider Sun 14-Apr-13 20:29:15

the biggest change i think in the last decade is that then internet has made plagarism so much easier so courses are really really strict on referencing. if you can get to a proper referencing training then do - it's really much more strict than when i did my first degree in the late 90s.

JambalayaCodfishPie Sun 14-Apr-13 21:20:04

Thanks, I agree with that, its something we're always telling the kids I work with, they don't get it at all.

I had to do an essay prior to my entry interview and it took me ages to find the original sources for things I wanted to say, I found myself constantly referred back to wikipedia or suchlike, and their references were comprehensive enough.

mixedmamameansbusiness Tue 16-Apr-13 10:40:04

Organisation, organisation and more organisation.

That includes factoring in time for yourself and family time and DH time.

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 16-Apr-13 10:48:14

Yes I did a few study skills sessions at uni and found them very useful. If you've been out of education for a while it's just little things that you forget.

slug Tue 16-Apr-13 11:15:51

Agree with the organisation bit. I had a notebook and a ringbinder (colour coordinated) for each course I was taking. Handouts etc went in the binder and all notes and other bits and pieces of research went in the notebooks. I found that a far easier way to keep track of it all.

I also found treating by degree in the same way I treated my job helped. By this I mean when I was at university I worked. I took lunch breaks but that was effectively it, no hanging around in the SU with the other layabouts.

Check with your university. They may have a mature students bridging course. These typically run in the weeks before term starts. It's also worth noting that most universities run a fair percentage of their courses through a virtual learning environment these days. They are fairly user friendly but make sure you use them and the resources put there for you. Chances are you will have to submit your essays via the VLE. This is because they will be run through plagiarism checking software before they are marked.

And finally, it's well known that mature students typically do better than young students. They know how to organise their time. I started my MSc when D was 2. I think it was good for her to see good work habits modelled from an early age. Homework, reading, writing etc was just something everyone in the family did.

JambalayaCodfishPie Tue 16-Apr-13 20:54:08

Thank you all very much.

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