Skip main navigation


In this article you'll explore the importance in finding the right balance of study/work/social while at university by focusing on the study aspect.
© University of Reading

It’s really easy to get carried away with all the fun stuff when you start university but remember why you’re there in the first place.

At university you’re expected to be self-motivated to direct your own learning. If you’ve never experienced this before it’ll take some time getting used to. Don’t fall into the trap believing you have plenty of time to do all your work. Time has a way of creeping up quickly.

The key is to pace yourself. Here are some useful tips:

  • Set blocks of time for your study and make sure nothing interferes with it. Small or big chunks – it’s up to you.
  • Figure out which environment you study best, for example, alone in your room, at the library with friends, at night, in the morning etc…
  • Multiple deadlines? Work backwards. Split each piece of work, in order of sequence, into small tasks and estimate the duration for each one. Starting from your deadline date, place the tasks in order of end to beginning. With each step you set a mini deadline to help manage your workload.
  • When you’re studying hard, set reminders on your phone to eat or exercise. When you hear it, get up and do it.
  • Please sleep.
  • Develop your study skills. At the University of Reading new students are given access to a pre-university study skills course: ‘Study Smart’ to help build their confidence and to be prepared for the change in learning. Check what your university has available for you.
  • Find out what study support is available for you. If you start to struggle with your studies, speak to your Academic/Personal Tutor, Study Advice team or Student Services.
© University of Reading
This article is from the free online

Your Essential Guide to University Life

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education