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About this book

This book is about you. It's about how you can shape your student experience based on what matters to you. It helps you to 'get sorted', take control and make the most of your time at college or university.

This unique and practical self-coaching guide bridges the gap between student life, academic performance and employability skills. It actively encourages students to discover ways to shape their outlooks and experiences.

- There are a host of useful illustrations, diagrams, checklists, exercises and real student stories to help you get the most from the book.
- It's easy to find your way around the chapters so you can pick the bits that are most relevant for you.

Regardless of your subject, level of study or reasons for doing a degree, Get Sorted will prove invaluable in helping you to navigate the challenges of your student journey, and beyond.

Table of Contents

Introduction — Get Sorted!

Introduction — Get Sorted!

Abstract
This book is about you. It’s about how you can shape your university experience in the broadest sense based on what matters to you. ‘I just need to get sorted’ or ‘I need to get my act together’ seem to capture the sentiments of so many of the students we’ve worked with during workshops, coaching and lecturing. That’s why we’ve written this book — to help you ‘get sorted’ and make the most from your experience.
Jeff Gill, Will Medd

Foundations

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Get sorted, now and every day…

Abstract
‘How was your day?’ A simple question, one you probably ask your friends, flatmates, partners, parents and others habitually. And their responses are probably habitual too: ‘fine’, ‘grhrrrrr’, ‘alright’, ‘awful’, ‘great’, or simply ‘don’t ask’. While you might often say to a friend ‘have a nice day’ or ‘I hope you have a great day’, what if you turn this completely on its head, and ask at the start of the day ‘How do you want your day to be?’ As a habit.
Jeff Gill, Will Medd

Building Your Resources

Frontmatter

Chapter 2. What gets you going? Finding your motivation

Abstract
If you were offered a prize of a jar of Marmite for the best essay, some of you might say ‘yum’ while others will say ‘yuck’! We all have different tastes, and so too we are all motivated by different things. When you look at the diversity of students at university and what they get up to, it becomes pretty clear that people have a whole range of motivations for being there. There are those who are career-driven, those who are passionate about their studies, those who are looking for a good time, those looking to experience a new country and those who thought this was the safest thing to do for now. And so, too, when it comes down to feeling motivated in what you want to get done, what will make one person tick will be quite different to another.
Jeff Gill, Will Medd

Chapter 3. Not really with it? Getting things done by being focused

Abstract
How often do you find yourself all over the place? Today’s the day you’ve decided, yet again, to really get down to it. This time you’ll really focus. You’ve set the time aside to start that essay, get that reading done, or go to the gym. Then, before you can say ‘focus’, the distractions come flooding in. You know what you need to do, you’re all set up to do it, and, it just isn’t happening. Your mind has wandered elsewhere.
Jeff Gill, Will Medd

Chapter 4. Lost your confidence? Finding it as a question of emphasis

Abstract
Sometimes losing your confidence can come from nowhere and really knock you sideways. Despite all you’ve achieved to get to university, it’s still so easy to lose your confidence, with the knock on effect this can have on your study, social life or university experience as a whole. Universities are full of people who know a lot more than you or can do things better than you. Other students appear so popular and at ease with everybody. There are students with incredible skills and talents in sport, music, politics, language etc. They can even make the perfect Sunday roast! Perhaps you were used to being top of the class at school, or the captain of your sports team, only to discover at university a whole bunch of other people who were top of their class or captains of their teams.
Jeff Gill, Will Medd

Chapter 5. Awaken your creative explorer

Abstract
How often have you been asked to ‘creatively explore’ or ‘creatively discuss’ an idea at university? While some disciplines do so, and indeed, universities are starting to identify ‘creative thinking’ skills as part of the core skills you might learn, you probably find yourself more often than not being asked to use your critical thinking and evaluation skills. That’s great; they have a purpose and we all need to draw on our critical faculties from time to time. There are times, though, when more creative exploration is needed. You might be stuck in your studies, somehow unable to move forwards with a piece of coursework, a project, or with understanding an idea. Some students also feel stuck in other areas — dealing with difficult flatmates, managing home life, responding to cultural differences, wondering how to make more of your spare time, how to get better at your sport, music or art or some other talent, struggling to manage money. Or maybe you’re stuck when you think about the future, life after your degree and beyond? Indeed, you may not be stuck as such, and rather looking for that something extra, for fresh ideas, to enhance, add to, or to develop. When you generate ideas you have options. When you have options you have choice. When you have choice university life feels so much different. There are choices to be made about doing your coursework, approaching reading, what you get from lectures, how to deal with friends, how to spend your spare time, how to manage money, how to manage home life, how to think about your future.
Jeff Gill, Will Medd

Chapter 6. You and your relationships — making them work

Abstract
Relationships play a big part, an emotional part, in shaping your university experience. You’re in a relationship with your lecturers, your peers, other people in your university, potential employers, your friends, family and with others in your life. Why stop there? You’re in a relationship with yourself and your emotions as well as with the degree itself. Not to mention your relationships with time, money, food, computers, alcohol. The university experience is full of relationships.
Jeff Gill, Will Medd

Chapter 7. Too many setbacks? Call forth your resilience whatever happens

Abstract
Doing a degree, indeed university life in general, can feel like a rollercoaster at times. One minute you’re up, feeling over the moon, the next you’re down, carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. There are so many things lined up waiting to knock you down: endless reading lists, coursework lining up, unfamiliar surroundings, poor marks received, realising your overdraft is at the limit, problems at home, friends placing unfair demands, illness, receiving bad news, career options closed down. How do you respond to all those things? How resilient are you to the many, many challenges and setbacks you’ll face?
Jeff Gill, Will Medd

Enjoying the Journey

Frontmatter

Chapter 8. Being mindful of this moment

Abstract
The ethos of this book has been to encourage you to become more aware of how you can take responsibility for shaping your university experience. We’ve offered you various ways to experiment with different strategies to create the experience you want. Key to this experimenting has been to see what happens when you work from your ‘core foundations’, that is, working with a sense of vision, in alignment with your values, managing your Gremlins, recognising how you are as you set out for the day, and setting your intentions (what you are saying yes to, and what you are saying no to). Additional experiments have been offered around the themes of focus, motivation, confidence, creativity, relationships, and resilience. The word ‘experiment’ is important here: it’s an invitation to try something out and experience something afresh. Our hope is that these experiments have helped you become more aware of yourself, your choices and the possibilities that exist for you.
Jeff Gill, Will Medd
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