As a first-year student it can be hard to navigate your time. You’ve got lectures and seminars to prepare, essays to write and, of course, lots of books to read. Getting into a good routine with reading can be particularly difficult, so in this post I have come up with four tips that I find useful:
- Set time aside
It may seem obvious, but if you are like me you probably don’t realise how quickly times flies. The small pile of reading you have to do can quickly expand into a mountain of paperbacks that then grows and grows. Well, what I find useful is making sure I have time to get through them before the lecture and seminar. It’s a good idea to have a little routine: Sundays are a particularly useful day to prepare for the week ahead.
- A little goes a long way…
I find it helpful to break up my reading, so I don’t become overwhelmed and start questioning what the author means by chapter 4. Reading the text in little chunks makes it easier to digest. My next tip reinforces this and allows me to work effectively.
- Annotate, annotate, annotate!
I know, I know: writing in one’s book can seem like the worst possible literary crime on the planet! I have considered not doing it myself, but it is actually very helpful. I like to highlight a quote and put a little note next to it if I believe it is significant. Doing this allows me to remember quotes and apply them as evidence to an argument.
I find that if I don’t go over the text more than once, I don’t truly understand it and am not able to analyse it to a good standard. Revisiting a text reinforces your knowledge of it and makes you better prepared to discuss possible arguments with your class during seminars. It can also help you to achieve higher grades.
I hope these tips are helpful and help you get the most out of your reading!