Take Lecture Notes Using These Two Rules: TUB-Thump 002

I worked with a two-rule approach to lecture notes at university. That’s what Episode 002 of TUB-Thump is all about.

Here are the show notes for the 6-min episode:

  • My lecture notes were always different. Sometimes a couple of words, sometimes several sheets of paper. Although the length of the notes were always different, the method of taking them stayed the same.
  • Rule One: Only write down the stuff you don’t actually know. Work out the context and bigger picture and limit it to that, alongside anything you don’t already have an understanding of.
  • Rule Two: Engage with the notes within the next 24-hours. Don’t leave them, use them to deepen your understanding. Do it while it’s fresh in your mind.
  • Yep, it was that simple. There are loads of ways you can take notes and they should all work under this two-rule method.
  • This should help you write fewer notes, not more. That’s the magic!

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud,YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

Why Your Careers Service is Just as Great When You DON’T Know What You Want To Do In the Future


“Planning for the future can simply be about a toe in the water, not commitment.”
– Sarah Longwell, Careers Adviser (Keele University)

Student data suggests that many who would benefit from their university careers service tend not to use it.

Similar findings are in this year’s Unite Students Insight Report, which echoes previous years of the student survey. While most students are aware of the benefits of their careers service, they don’t always take action and visit.

Also, students without solid future plans in mind are less likely to use their careers service. It’s worrying that one of the best places for further research and thinking about future possibilities could be overlooked.

This year’s Unite Students report states:

“Students have most commonly gone to their parents and the internet for advice about choosing a career and applying for jobs; it is less common that they have used career services at their university for advice.”

I asked Sarah Longwell, Careers Adviser at Keele University, about what students can do when they’re not sure what they want to do when they graduate.

TUB: “How can students plan for the future when uncertain about their future plans?”

Sarah: “Planning for the future can simply be about a toe in the water, not commitment.

“The best place to start is for students to think about themselves – what do they enjoy, what motivates them, what matters to them and what are their strengths.

“Consider what activities they have gained the greatest satisfaction from, what aspects of their degree they enjoy, how others would describe them… Students can then consider opportunities that tie in with all the above. It’s all about starting points!”

TUB: “What’s one simple, yet effective, action someone can make right now to start their career journey?”

Sarah: “The simplest action a student can take is to go and see a careers adviser early in their degree. A careers adviser can help them to reflect upon what they might be seeking in a career and make suggestions based upon this. These will only be suggestions, as no one else can tell a student what would definitely suit them, but careers advisers have the expertise to advise and guide on the basis of an in depth discussion.”

TUB: “Why should Freshers start thinking about their future plans in their first year, even though graduation seems so far away? And why is it important they visit their careers centre sooner rather than later?

Sarah: “If students start early, they have plenty of time to research ideas, reject or further research them and then attend events with employers and arrange work experience with the option to change career ideas or direction at any stage.

“Panic career decision making is rarely effective!”

The bottom line is this:

If you’re not sure what your future plans will look like when you graduate, it’s well worth checking out your careers service at university and chatting with a careers adviser.

At worst, you’ll feel none the wiser for a quick visit.

At best (and far more likely), you’ll have some food for thought and you’ll be one step closer to finding something that’s right up your street.

High Fliers Research [in The Graduate Market in 2016] found that:

“Almost all the leading graduate recruiters are working with local university careers services this year and there has been a marked increase in employers taking part in university recruitment events”.

According to the report, 94% of employers used careers services, with over a quarter of them doing more in that direction than the previous year.

Most employers also used campus presentations and careers fairs, so there’s plenty happening on campus.

Even if you think it’s too early to check out what your university has on offer, take a look while you can do it casually.

Settling In At University: TUB-Thump 001


Since October is the month of new students hitting campus, Episode 001 of TUB-Thump is all about settling in.

Here are the show notes for the 11-min episode:

  • Your entire way of life is up for change when you hit campus. It’s time to focus. And that means taking action. From the big stuff (like getting to know others), to the small stuff (like unpacking all your belongings).
  • The rush is real. However, it’ll calm down quicker than you realise. Take control of the rush, rather than let it take control of you. It’s easy to ignore scheduling and discipline, but it makes a huge difference to what you’re able to do.
  • You get used to what’s going on pretty quickly. In some ways, you may end up feeling a bit of an anti-climax. That’s why some freshers get a second hit of homesickness, part way through term.
  • If the situation continues to be difficult, do seek help. If you don’t know who is best to turn to, check your Freshers documents/handbook and check online. Failing that, ask someone to point you in the right direction. Student Services or your Students’ Union, for instance, should be able to tell you what to do next in your situation.
  • I took weeks to fully unpack. It doesn’t help you feel so much at home. Put everything in its proper place.
  • Don’t spend all the cash on stuff to make you feel better. First, the money is meant for stuff like accommodation and living. Second, that stuff is a distraction. It doesn’t actually make you feel any better in the longer term.
  • Start studying as soon as you can. Sound mad? Actually, a bit of advance reading should help get your mind a bit closer to what you’re about to encounter in lectures and seminars. If you get a taste of the basics before your first lecture, you may be in for less of a shock by the language and concepts. And it may take your mind off all the other changes you’re dealing with right now!
  • Be prepared for better to come. Your experience will change over time. It’s not three or four years of the same things happening again and again. You won’t recognise yourself by the time you graduate.
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Many students feel the same way. In the end, you’ll probably want to do even more.

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

Introducing TUB-Thump – Ep.000


TUB-Thump is upon us! Yay! Make the most of your time at university…and beyond.

This is an introduction episode, so call it number 000 if you like. The full-on Episode 001 is dropping alongside it (hear it in the next post).

If you already know TheUniversityBlog, you’re probably used to the type of content that appears. But if you’re in any doubt, the introductory episode will fill in the gaps.

Here are the show notes for the 15-min episode:

  • You have multiple purposes and multiple experiences at university. Taking it easy shouldn’t be the default option. Then again, neither should burning yourself out.
  • Short-cuts and life hacks aren’t useful until you’ve mastered the long-form way of doing things. Taking the quick route without proper understanding or context is a false trail.
  • University is genuinely like a universe. No matter how small your institution is, there’s so much stuff going on. You won’t want to do it all. And you’ll have to limit the stuff you would like to do. It calls for strategic planning, so you know what to say yes to and what to go without.
  • Your journey doesn’t end with graduation. TUB-Thump (and TheUniversityBlog) tackles how to showcase your university experience when looking for employment. It also looks at making use of what you learned at university long after you’ve graduated.
  • The show will focus mostly on full-time students, but will still cater for some specific issues for part-time students.
  • TUB-Thump will cover matters including academic, social, personal, and many other aspects of student life.
  • My aim for the show is to advise, inform, inspire, and to help you get as much out of your experience as possible. I’ll also occasionally have guests with even more great hints and tips.
  • We’re all unique. Just because something hasn’t worked for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I’ll still feature stuff that works for many people, even when I’m not so keen on it. After all, the aim is to check out the tools that could help you out. Only once you get hands-on can you decide for yourself what speaks to you.

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!