Advice — Roshni Goyate’s five essential tips on studying
Roshni Goyate is a freelance senior copywriter, co-founder of The Other Box, and recently went back to university to study a part-time MA in Culture Diaspora Ethnicity at Birkbeck, University of London. Here, she shares some of her advice on studying – from learning to look ahead and plan in advance to keeping an eye on your own wellbeing.
1. Get really good at planning your time.
I currently juggle studying an MA with freelance copywriting, co-running The Other Box (a platform for promoting diversity in our very un-diverse industry), and running a podcast with my siblings. So I have to be really good at planning my time. And sticking to it too. I use various apps but mostly, my Google Calendar and me are best buddies. The trick is to look ahead and be realistic about how long things will take. And learn to say no if you really can’t fit it in.
2. Go to all the extra workshops.
I’m not too proud to admit that my academic skills were a little rusty after eight years out of academia. That’s partly why I chose Birkbeck – because it’s designed for returning students like me. At their workshops I’ve been able to brush up on my academic reading, note taking, writing, and critical thinking. And I’ve been able to apply some techniques to my professional work too.
3. Think through writing.
After several years of writing professionally, I (and my ego) have learned that the first draft will seldom resemble the final piece. That’s okay. It’s all part of the process. Get the ideas and thoughts down and let them morph on the page through redrafts and feedback, rather than letting it all remain abstract in your head. That applies whether you’re writing a three-word strap line or a 5,000 word essay.
“Take the time to reflect on what you’ve achieved. Let yourself feel damn good about it.”
4. Look after yourself.
When there’s deadline after deadline – client briefs, essays, articles, public appearances – it can be so easy to burn out. Also, the subject matter of what I’m studying sometimes gets real heavy. So alongside all the studying and working time, I make sure to plan in time to decompress, recharge, exercise, cook, eat well and see friends and family for my own sanity and wellbeing.
5. Take the time to reflect.
We’re all conditioned to look ahead to the future and think about what we want to achieve over the next year, five years, ten years. But it’s also important to take the time to look back and reflect on everything you’ve achieved in the last week, month, six months. Whether that’s good feedback from client work, a great essay mark, or just a conversation that left you on a high. Write it all down. See it all in one place. Let yourself feel damn good about it.