Preparing for seminars and lectures

By Alex Cessford, first-year journalism student

Any student knows that the change to university is wildly different from any other educational environment you’ve been in.

The workload may feel more excessive and the responsibility a student is given to be independent and intuitive in the preparation for your course is hard for some to get used to. It will take a while to grasp the rhythm of seminars and lectures, but preparing for them will make it easier for you to get used to.

Plan Your Time

The key to preparing for a lecture or seminar in university is to plan for it first. Planning for any reading, extra research, rewrites of notes and work needed for your course is the first step to prepare. It can be done simply as making a study timetable and pinning it to your wall, sticking post-it notes in your view or even writing extensive time planning in a planner or diary.

For the more tech-savvy, use an app such as a reminders app or even write tasks down on your Notes. Planning such as this gives you a clear outlook of the tasks you need to do and this organised first approach means no task will be likely 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 you understand what you’re doing first, why you’re doing it and if you understand the work you have. Doing this as soon as possible after receiving an assignment means you have enough time to email lecturers question, ask peers for advice and plan for longer tasks.

Give Yourself Time Out

So you’ve followed this and you’re on your way to completing your tasks but please make sure you give yourself time out. It’s important to balance your work and your needs, as this will have a positive effect in your lectures and seminars, as you won’t feel weighed down with the workload and relieve a little bit of stress.

This could be as easy as reading a book, watching a movie or something bigger such as 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 a piece of equipment or course book.

It’s easy to take this as commonplace 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 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 and resilient to 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 sleep before your day at university and always make sure you eat and drink enough during the day, your health is just as important in preparing.

Thank you for reading and hope you have found this helpful.

Meet The Author


This role is used to publish one-off or occasional contributions from students.

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