Agony Aunts January ’18

Dear Agony Aunts, I failed my first piece of coursework and I’m doubting that Uni is for me. Any advice?

Okay, first things first we’d suggest talking to the lecturer of the piece of work you failed. Ask to meet them to discuss your work and why they gave you the mark they did. They should be able to give you pointers on how to improve your work for next time. If it was the content that you struggled with they should be able to help you to understand the course more. Talk to your coursemates and see how they got on and if you’re struggling with the content they might be able to help you study so you can improve for next time. If it was your academic writing or referencing that let you down try to arrange a meeting with your college’s Academic Writer (the person who can read through your work with you.) Talk to your personal tutor and they can advise you on what this means for your overall mark for the module and how this may affect your year.

Dear Heather and Emily,
I have three exams in the space of ten days, and I’m worried about the amount of revision I’ve done. I haven’t revised much over the Christmas period due to constant family parties and catching up with friends. I think I’ve left it too late to revise a good amount for each exam and I’m worried failing one will prevent me from going on my year abroad.

This definitely isn’t the best situation to find yourself in, although try not to panic too
much. Try not to spend all of the time leading up to the first exam just focusing on revising for that one, leaving minimal time for the other two. It’s always good to draw
up a revision timetable and to follow that as much as possible. A bit of revision for all of
them is better than doing really well in your first exam and then completely failing the
last one as you’d run out of time. Maybe try some group revision sessions? If a friend
has done a solid amount of revising over the holiday, they’ll find it useful to teach you in
order to solidify their knowledge and in turn, you’d both be benefitting from shared
knowledge. We’d suggest talking to your personal tutor or lecturer for more advice and
more specific exam help.

Dear Agony Aunts,
It’s my housemates’ birthday over the exam period and he has suggested we have a house party to celebrate. I’m the only house member who hasn’t replied to this message enthusiastically and I’ve been dubbed a ‘party pooper’ by the rest. I’m in first year but I still want to do well.

This is a sticky situation as you don’t want to upset your housemate on their birthday, but it really isn’t fair that a house party has been suggested at such an important time in the semester. Maybe suggest that everyone goes out (after all student loan has just come in!) and just host pre-drinks at your house? It’ll be a great way for everyone who doesn’t want to drink too much to still be involved but with a more chilled vibe, and an earlier bedtime, whilst everyone else parties the night away. You need to think about your neighbours too; as a first year you probably live on campus or in the student village so it’s wise not to be loud during the exam period and end up disturbing a lot of people, who may end up calling security on you as quiet time is usually enforced during the exam period. Another suggestion to keep the peace is decorating your kitchen with birthday balloons and banners, so your housemate isn’t homesick on their birthday and they get to feel special for a day in amongst all the stress! It might be nice for you to let your hair down a bit for one night during the exam period but it is totally okay to not want to go too crazy and focus on your exams. Good luck!

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