Managing Yourself, Your Time, and Your Studies at University

  A clock hanging from the ceiling Copyright: © Martin Braun

First things first: you have to realize that going to university is nothing like going to school. From now on, studying means personal responsibility and self-management. This requires much self-organization and above all great responsibility and independence on your part.


To put it simply: you have to get used to a varying daily and weekly structure at university compared to school, for example you will have to move between classes and will often have “free” time between them. If you look at several different timetables, you will see that in many degree programs the classes are not back-to-back, resulting in gaps of several hours. The weekly attendance time is rather low in many degree programs. However, if you add the time you should spend revising and practicing the teaching content, you will very quickly see that you should be putting in the same hours as you would a full-time job.

Accordingly, you should not only include your classes in your own weekly schedule, but also dedicate time to revise and practice, as well as everything else related to your studies. It would be very useful to establish an additional semester plan with dates, deadlines, and all other organizational notes on your studies and exams.

Revising, practicing, and training the teaching content is ultimately the very essence of being a student. During the lecture period, you will not have any substantial exams, but, depending on your course of study, you may have certain assignments that you need for admission to an exam – this is stipulated in the examination regulations.

The lecture-free period – colloquially known as the semester break – designates a time when the respective module content from the lecture time of approximately three months is tested. Last-minute revising like at school is therefore not going to be effective at university.

In addition, you will be confronted with new class formats at university: lectures, exercises, seminars, tutorials, colloquia, excursions – all this is part of your student life and you will need to get used to it.

Where Can I Get Help With My Study Skills at University?

Organizing your student life is a vital skill that you will have to acquire. If you answer the question: "How is your study plan going?” with "I have to get groceries," or "I am enjoying the gym," you should consult the various ways to counter your studying and organizational challenges.

Academic Training With the Student Advice Centre

Psychological counseling at the Student Advice Centre offers a wide range of academic trainings to help you with any initial difficulties and any you may encounter during your studies.

Aachen Mentoring Model

In addition, mentoring from the individual faculties helps with initial and organizational difficulties, for example preventive measures for study and self-management, a weekly schedule and timetable, and exam planning.


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