FUNFACT: A good nights sleep = 5 hours
How to Focus at Uni
Trying to stay focused at uni is one of the most frustrating things at the best of times. Particularly when procrastination and a short attention span decides to tag along for the ride. I guess this has become almost a rite of passage during uni, coming from a design degree this was amplified for me. A huge part of any creative arts degree in producing and refining work, “a project is never finished” is something my tutors looooved saying. During my first year, I could waste up to a whole day with ‘creators block’.
Lucky for me, by third year I had become productive enough to work with my bouts of bubble brain. If you hit a brick wall, metaphorically speaking, try and stay active. Have a conversation with your tutor, speak to the people in your class or maybe just roll up to the library. Sometimes just getting outside and clearing your head can help. Basically don’t stay indoors staring at Google homepage, this will turn into online shopping and Netflix. We’ve all been there. Don’t forget your tutor is there to create some clarity, when you are struggling a conversation can be a great push in the right direction. so, don’t avoid, do communicate.
FIND YOUR SPACE:
Find a spot, and LOVE it. During my first year, I found it really hard to find somewhere to create and work. My studio was way too cramped and not somewhere I could get my head down and work. I wasn’t able to utilise my surroundings and most days, I ended up going home and working with endless distractions around me. I got over this during second year finding a few undiscovered spots. This was one of my biggest helps. You will need to adopt a routine and some will power, especially when it comes down to those late nights and very early rises (necessary to secure the hot spots in the library).
Working 1. alongside other focused people in the same boat as you is motivating even if you don’t know any of them and 2. you need to be comfortable so, find a space, kick off your shoes grab a coffee and do the damn thing.
THIS IS NOT A DEBATE:
Uni is not supposed to be a walk in the park, you will have to push yourself. So don’t stand in your way. Lack of sleep and social will plead with you to ‘just stay at home today’ or ‘just watch one more episode’. Whilst having the odd recoup day is so necessary so is getting up and getting to work. Don’t give yourself too much time to consider the plan of action for the day. Get out and get to work. This is where your will power and drive really need to up a gear. During my third year I was working night shifts on a Monday, getting home Tuesday showering and heading to uni. Whilst I don’t recommend that, I do recommend just getting out and getting on with it. I definitely had a few nope days. but most of the time I made it work, even if it was only for a quick tutorial.
I’m not saying go into this with the idea of making friends ‘just because’. We both know that’s not going to work. But having companionship from people who are experiencing exactly the same thing will really help when things get tricky and stressful. You need to surround yourself with people who are on the same sh*t as you. So the person that is only on jokes and avoids working is fine for a distant friendship. But keep like minded individuals close to you. People that can motivate and push you and who you can also do the same for
Those dreaded late nights and library sessions are now some of my fondest memories, mainly because of the people that experienced it with me.
PINCH OF SALT:
In life we don’t get along with everyone. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles and it could well be the same at uni. Worst case scenario – you don’t get along with a tutor. Find some common ground, which will probably your work; whether that be portfolio based, essays or coursework. And that’s the magic answer. Really..! Use your work as a topic of constructive conversation. The best part is you decide what you want to take from the it, if anything at all. If it helped that’s great, if not seek some more help from a tutor you have a better vibe with. The reality is whether you’re fresh from college or coming back into education after some time, we are all adults; so we need to realise our own responsibility when it comes to our own success. Don’t waste time battling with people, flip it and take something positive from the situation.
Regardless of how tough it might get, I’m sure you’ll make some of your best memories at uni. Please share any tips + tricks that helped you!