We Asked Uni Students How The Heck They Retain Information Bc Goldfish Memory Is Defs A Thing
PEDESTRIAN.TV has teamed up with Victoria University to give you more study options.

Recently, I’ve been learning how to drive. I may be way behind my peers on this but I’ve finally found the time and opportunity to get behind the wheel. And while I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I did not expect to need to lie down for two business days afterwards.

Okay, that’s a tad dramatic but I’m really bloody tired. After my lessons, I make sure not to book anything too intensive or social because my brain is still trying to figure out the mechanics of a reverse parallel park. All of this is to say that our brains get tired when we learn a new skill or have a new experience.

Take going to uni for example. From making new friends to the coursework and multiple classes, it’s a lot.

There’s a term for this experience: cognitive fatigue. If you’re about to embark on a big change (like an undergraduate course) then you’re in luck. We asked former and current students of Victoria University how the heck they retain all of their information when their brain is going through a huge transition.

Sedef, studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)

Did you find it tough to adjust from the high school workload to uni workload? 

I actually found it quite easy to adjust from high school to university in terms of workload. Victoria University has the ‘block model’, which is essentially a study mode where students will do one block, for a four-week period, doing only one subject at a time.

This method meant I had less workload than I did in high school as I didn’t have to juggle 5 subjects simultaneously. This gave me time to pursue interests and find time for work and social life too. 

What are your tips for retaining your coursework for assignments or exams? What helps you? 

Make sure to take notes during classes. There have been so many times where I thought I’d be able to retain the information and didn’t bother jotting down notes. I ended up regretting it because I couldn’t remember the content!

For exam preparation, begin with a study plan; list out the content that you need to cover and when you need to retain it by. Set reasonable goals and don’t try to do everything all at once – you won’t retain anything! Once you complete a topic, tick it off on your list. This way you will feel more accomplished and more motivated to keep going. 

Turn your phone off or leave it in another room – seriously, this helps so much. Every bit of energy that you spend on reading a message, or moving your head slightly to view a notification is setting you back in terms of retaining content. Your brain needs an environment with no distractions so that it can work at its optimal potential. Every distraction resets your mind and takes away from the content you’re trying to complete. 

We Asked Uni Students How The Heck They Retain Information Bc Goldfish Memory Is Defs A Thing


What advice would you give to new uni students who are struggling to keep info in their brains? 

Don’t be fooled by the ‘one size fits all’ idea of learning, what works for others may not work for you – and that’s completely okay! I recommend getting out of your comfort zone a tiny bit to try different methods of learning and see what works best for you. Make sure to plan out your timetable and study sessions to maximise information intake. Sometimes, sitting down for hours on end, studying intensely, may not be very effective. Try to take some breaks in-between topics.

What surprised you the most about starting uni life in general?

I was most surprised about how there’s an array of diverse opportunities out there for personal and professional growth. I started getting involved in clubs, leadership positions, and even paid work at my university, all within six months of starting my course. Although your academic achievements are incredibly important, so are your personal and professional developments. I was surprised that university isn’t just a place where you study, it’s a place where you make lifelong connections and build a community. The people that you meet and connect with on a meaningful level, will eventually also be the people who provide you with more opportunities moving forward.

Start networking now so that by the time you finish your degree, you’ll have a strong idea about where to go next and who to go to. 

We Asked Uni Students How The Heck They Retain Information Bc Goldfish Memory Is Defs A Thing

Sarah, studied a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Communication Studies and Digital Media

Did you find it tough to adjust from the high school workload to uni workload? 

I think the transition wasn’t too difficult. The university was really supportive in teaching us the basics like how to reference properly and the essay structure they want to see, so it didn’t feel so overwhelming. 

What are your tips for retaining your coursework for assignments or exams? What helps you? 

Contributing during tutorials has always helped me retain coursework better. It means you’re more engaged in discussions and you can establish a better understanding of the course material. At the end of each week, summarising the content into three dot points can also be a good way to simplify the information and make it stick better. In preparation for exams, I’d say re-watching relevant lectures or skimming through notes can be a great way to cement the coursework you’ve done. 

What advice would you give to new uni students who are struggling to keep info in their brains? 

Talk to your tutor or other students in your class. I find talking about content with peers makes it easier to retain information and also helps you point out more critical understandings of the material. Sometimes academic literature is really hard to understand, so reading your peers essays or the course readings can be useful to retain and understand basic concepts. 

We Asked Uni Students How The Heck They Retain Information Bc Goldfish Memory Is Defs A Thing

Peter, studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Communication Studies and Visual Arts

Did you find it tough to adjust from the high school workload to uni workload? 

Adjusting to the uni workload compared to high school was more stressful compared to high school because I didn’t understand how the workload and structure were in the beginning.

What are your tips for retaining your coursework for assignments or exams? What helps you? 

I believe in taking a break from the coursework and relaxing. Step one, do not think about it for like, an hour. Step two is to have time to breathe. Step three, find fun hobbies. I found yoga and meditation benefit me a lot and help me relax. 

We Asked Uni Students How The Heck They Retain Information Bc Goldfish Memory Is Defs A Thing

What advice would you give to new uni students who are struggling to keep info in their brains? 

Ask your lecturer questions and advice. They are there to support you and guide you through your university journey. I’m the kind of person who gets easily overwhelmed with university work, even small tasks. Having a supportive environment with classmates and educators empowered me to do my best. 

What surprised you the most about starting uni life in general?

Starting my first year at university, I have met like-minded people with good vibes and energy. Not only did I make friends in my course, but I also explored university life with events held on campus throughout the year. I have a short story. Once upon a time, there was an event. I met this person during our tie-dye workshop. We chatted and had a lot of common interests, and we’ve been close friends ever since.

Now that you know what to expect, Victoria University has a range of Undergraduate courses with more one-on-one time and smaller class sizes thanks to the VU Block Model. Apply now to start in 2023.