Happy Christmas Eve everyone!
I hope you are all resting well. Although I can’t imagine this is the most exciting topic considering that it is the peak of the holidays, I was writing up some lectures today and could not get this idea out of my head. When inspiration strikes, you follow it! So I thought I would write a short piece about something nobody at university can escape from: lectures!
Specifically, how people tend to take lecture notes down. It is definitely an interesting thing to observe, considering that everyone has their own habits. I have decided that there are three main categories, all with their own snappy titles!
- The Laptop Laborer
Carrying their laptops/tablet devices in their bag on top of their lunch and books makes me admire these students a lot. They spend the whole fifty minutes of lectures typing away, managing to follow the lecturer’s every word with unmatched attention. Even here, there is diversity: some people come to lectures with the various lecture slides summarised and pasted, whilst some attend with an empty Word document ready to be filled up.
- The Handout Hoarder
My experience of lectures is that most people do appreciate and take a lecture handout when it is offered. It is unbelievably useful and I am always thankful when lecturers do this. Unlike other courses, the Biological sciences lectures can have complicated looking figures so it is great having the ability to annotate them as the lecture goes on. The only issue with this is that these handouts can build up, so if you are taking them, make sure you sort them out early on before you have twenty or so stuffed in your folder!
When I take a handout, I like to follow along the lecture and jot down anything the lecturer might have said that is not included. This can include references to papers I could read or tiny comments related to exams (it happens so make sure you listen out!).
- The Traditional Note taker
These students do not need handouts or laptops, choosing to attend lectures happily with the simple tools of a pen and a refill pad. From my experience of this method, having no handouts or a laptop does encourage me to pay more attention. After all, without a page of slides to follow, it is much harder to catch up in case your attention wanes!
Although I imagine there are more types, those three are the most common. There is definitely no right or wrong way – in fact, I am comfortable with either of the three. My best tip is to definitely try and figure out whichever manner suits you best and then write things down! Trust me, there is not a substitute for your own notes and you will remember more than you think when it comes around to revision time.
So, that’s it for tonight! Have a restful Christmas holiday and keep up with those revision timetables!