University is wildly different than any other educational environment, every student knows that. The workload for your degree may feel increased and the responsibility to be independent is hard for some to get used to. It may take a while to grasp the rhythm of seminars and lectures, but preparing for them will make this easier. PLAN YOUR TIME The key to getting the most out of a lecture or seminar at university is to plan for it first. The first step is to make time for any reading, extra research, rewrites of notes and/or additional work needed for your course. This can be done simply by making a study timetable and pinning it to your wall, sticking post-it notes in your room or even planning in a planner or diary. For the more tech-savvy, use a reminders app or even write tasks down on your phone. Planning gives you a clear overview of the tasks you need to do and this organised-first approach means no task is likely to be left undone. Furthermore, it avoids that last-minute rush to finish a task because you’ve forgotten to do it. ASSESS THE TASKS AT HAND Make sure that you understand what you’re being asked to do. Doing this as soon as possible after receiving an assignment means you have enough time to email lecturers questions, ask peers for advice and/or plan for longer tasks. GIVE YOURSELF TIMEOUT So you’ve followed this and you’re on your way to completing your tasks but please make sure you give yourself a timeout. It’s important to balance your work and your needs, as this will have a positive effect on your lectures and seminars. It will mean that you won’t feel weighed down with the workload and it will relieve a little bit of stress. This could be as simple as reading a book, watching a movie or just going out with friends. BRING WHAT YOU NEED Be sure to pack your bag and check you have everything you need before you leave for the day. This can include the smallest things such as a pen or something crucial like equipment or a course book. It’s easy to think that’s all obvious and expected in the preparation for a lecture or seminar, but it’s always possible to forget something. GETTING TO LECTURES If you know you’re bad at timekeeping and are most likely going to be late, leave earlier. You’re living in Lincoln, notorious for its train crossings. Plan your route around the train crossings if you need to. The campus also has a number of footbridges you can use, for example, the crossing at the Minerva building. BE FOCUSED Finally, the best way to prepare yourself for lectures and seminars is to be focused on what needs to be done. Having the right state of mind will ultimately benefit you and help you towards the best outcomes. Make sure you try to get a good night’s sleep the night before university and always make sure you eat and drink enough during the day – your health is just as important as planning and preparing. Thank you for reading and I hope you have found this helpful. This article is featured on Learning at Lincoln.