Why Time Management Is The Secret Of Academic Success

Girls and boys, it is time to face reality. The exam dates are out and the “why bother, tomorrow is another day” attitude may not be the best idea anymore. Things need to be done. And time needs to be managed.

How to efficiently use my time is one of the major things I’ve learned so far during my stay in Ireland. Not only because studying in a foreign language requires a different study approach and definitely more time, but also because I want to make the most of the two months I still got left in Limerick.

Starting with my assignments soon enough enables me to dedicate more time to each of them, more time and more patience. With a clear head I can produce results of higher quality than in a late-night-coffee-boost-I-need-to-get-it-done-by-tomorrow session. No doubt we have all been there. But it is time to learn from our mistakes.

Is there an ideal approach?

Well, it is all about identifying one’s study-type. It took me a few semesters, a lot of coffee, chocolate and frustration to discover mine. Generally, I tend to invest a lot of time in each task and I can concentrate best during the late afternoon. For memorizing I need complete silence, writing essays is easier with some piano music. I therefore learned how to structure my schedule around this.

And it works! I can’t complain about my marks and even though my free time is almost non-existent towards the end of the semester, it is worth it. In the end, studying is a full-time job. We must not forget that.

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When you realise that your plan is actually working…

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Suiting Up For The Internet? Meet Netiquette, The Online Etiquete

In today’s world there are rules for everything. Rules that tell us how to eat properly, how to dress properly, how to behave properly… online, offline, anywhere, anytime. It was in my “Writing for New Media” lecture that I became aware of the dimension of this issue – and that I should definitely improve my knowledge of the newest “netiquettal” trends out there.

Because cyber communities consist of real human beings

As Jenny Preece writes in her article about online etiquette, “one person’s clever joke is another person’s offensive insult”. The anonymity of the exponentially expanding internet allows for more uninhibited behaviour than in actual face-to-face situations. Thus, online etiquette is necessary, even though people are not looking each other in the eyes while communicating.

Generally, it doesn’t make a difference for me if I communicate with people that are commanding respect online or offline. While common sense and experience have taught me the basic internet etiquette, I realised that some behavioural patterns reveal themselves to me intuitively. A friend of mine wrote an interesting anecdote about contact she had with a lecturer via email and her discovery about the online etiquette that underlines its complexity.

Nevertheless, it is true that I sometimes talk to people online in a way that I would never address them if we were having an actual face-to-face conversation. In that sense, I want to be more careful in the future. Netiquette means respect. And respect should always be the basis of all communication, no matter how important the other person is or if he is physically present or not.

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Giving A Talk In A Foreign Language – To Fear Or Not To Fear?

My heart is thumping, my legs are shaking nervously. I can feel the adrenaline rushing through my whole body. Just a few more minutes to go. A last quick revision of my notes. It is time to accept my fate. I approach the podium and wish myself to a place far, far away.

Okay, full stop. What is happening?

Over the last few years and weeks, I’ve had countless situations where I had to stand at the front and, hello Erasmus life, speak in languages that were not my native tongue. Double trouble? Well, it is definitely time for some reflection on something I can’t run away from. And I wouldn’t want to.

Because, as Kelly Clarkson knows, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I have been thinking a lot about where this nervousness may come from.

  • Is it my language skills? No. I have reached a point where I feel perfectly comfortable using and switching spontaneously between Spanish and English.
  • Is it the fear of saying something wrong or not being good enough? Maybe. I mean, of course I want to do my best and the high expectations I have of myself definitely put more pressure on it.
  • Is it the other people that make me nervous? That could be it. But why? Especially in the university we are all in the same boat and can usually expect moral support from each other.

Basically, there are no problems. University is the best place to practise speaking skills, because we will never be so protected. Knowing how to present yourself and foreign content in a professional, relaxed and appealing way is vital for our future careers. So why not use the chances we are given instead of trying to avoid them?

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HE has a reason to be nervous.

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