Advice for students

Five books to read before starting medical school | Education

I will be starting medical school in September. With a few weeks of holiday ahead, I am cramming in some reading before I start the course. But I’m not just reading textbooks: I think there are certain types of books that help strengthen motivation, and crucially, develop a better understanding of the people we’ll be caring for – because doctors deal with people, not just anatomy. I have put together a list of five books that I am finding helpful…

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How physical exercise makes your brain work better | Education

The brain is often described as being “like a muscle”. It’s a comparison that props up the brain training industry and keeps school children hunched over desks. We judge literacy and numeracy exercises as more beneficial for your brain than running, playing and learning on the move. But the brain-as-muscle analogy doesn’t quite work. To build up your biceps you can’t avoid flexing them. When it comes to your brain, an oblique approach can be surprisingly effective. In particular, working…

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The sandwich degree: how to fill your course with a dream placement | Education

When Heidi Hawkins applied for her degree in business management at the University of Huddersfield, the sandwich year was the main appeal. “I was interested in marketing, but didn’t take it as a degree subject. I thought spending a year working in the industry would confirm whether it should be my future career,” she says. “The application procedure was draining. Eventually I secured my placement in communications at an NHS hospital after endless applications and four interviews. But it was…

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Students: 10 ways to beat stress | Education

Young people should have everything to be happy about, but as the generation with the least responsibility we actually experience the most stress. A 2013 survey by the Nightline Association found that 65% of students feel stressed. Students juggle part time jobs with university, worry about assignments and stress about the future and how to make the next step. Trying to manage all these things at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed. As a student, every spare minute seems to…

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How anxiety scrambles your brain and makes it hard to learn | Education

Olivia admits she’s always been a worrier – but when she started university, her anxiety steadily began to build. One day she was simply too frightened to leave the house. For two weeks she was stuck indoors, before she was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and began to get the help she needed. With support from her GP and university wellbeing service, and courses of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), she was able to stick with her university course and to…

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How to write better essays: ‘nobody does introductions properly’ | Education

As the government begins its crackdown on essay mill websites, it’s easy to see just how much pressure students are under to get top grades for their coursework these days. But writing a high-scoring paper doesn’t need to be complicated. We spoke to experts to get some simple techniques that will raise your writing game. Tim Squirrell is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, and is teaching for the first time this year. When he was asked to…

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Revise, reuse, recycle: how to be a sustainable student | Education

As university doors opened in September for a new year, an estimated 6 million people across the world took to the streets in a historic week of climate action. The power of this youth-led uprising reflected the urgency for action on the environment. So what now? For freshers starting a new chapter at university, deciding how to live your life is vital. Here are some ideas for how you can be sustainable as a student. Eating What you put on…

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