Everyone dreams of studying at prestigious institutions. The feeling of graduating from a well-known school gives you that last boost that you may need to steer your career in the right direction. These institutions have built a name for themselves because of their continuous efforts to create high-quality graduates through a rigorous and application-oriented pedagogy. However, whether you are enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate program, as a student, it’s easy to overlook or underestimate the perseverance and preparation it takes to get through an intensive and world-class curriculum, amidst the glamour of being a part of a top institution.
Nevertheless, it is not an impossible task, as has been proved by batch after batch of distinguished graduates at prestigious colleges around the world. One such college is The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). So, if you are an LSE aspirant, here is your guide to successfully surviving one the best curricula in the world.
1. Self-motivation is key
LSE is a premier academic institution that has, over the years, produced some of the most eminent members of society. LSE focuses on bringing out the best in you without hand-holding and spoon-feeding. You have to be absolutely self-motivated to achieve the best educational experience of your life. A good way to keep your spirits up throughout the session is to keep revisiting your strengths and weaknesses - aim to hone your strengths further and work on your weaknesses all year long.
A demanding curriculum like LSE’s requires one to be curious, engaged and inquisitive. In-class discussions are encouraged so that students may learn to come to conclusions by themselves. You will have won half the battle if you get to classes (the equivalent of tutorials in India) prepared. Make sure you know what will be discussed in the next class, read up about it beforehand and make use of the time you have with your professors inside and outside of classrooms to clarify all those lingering questions you have.
3. Last-minute cramming isn’t going to cut it
Students tend to keep procrastinating until the very end. You can’t do that with a curriculum like LSE’s. If you are turning in a submission, you need to have your research absolutely right, and if it’s an exam assessment then you can’t expect your brain to understand all concepts in depth in one night, because the LSE exam will ask you to take one step further and apply them, not merely regurgitate them. So don’t try to cram it in one go; a little learning every day goes a long way.
4. Don’t get fixated on competition
When you are studying in a competitive environment, it gets very easy to fixate on other people’s progress. You have to learn to keep moving forward with faith in your methods, and not focus on how others are performing or what they are doing. Although the courses are the same, different people have different processes and, possibly, even different goals. You have to learn to use your education as a bridge to your goals, not your peers’.
5. Explore your other interests
It is imperative that you maintain a good balance between academics and extracurricular activities. Participate in something other than the regular classes and lectures. Maybe it’s a cause that you hold dear, or the debate society or something as simple as a bake sale. The extracurriculars help keep your mind refreshed and you won’t be bored out of your wits with studying all the time. Take some time out to do things that you enjoy. An institution as gigantic as LSE has no dearth of student life that you can partake in. Or, look to the city beyond, and explore one of the most culturally diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Pursuing a programme at The London School of Economics and Political Science requires one to be extremely methodical, and this can be exhausting, but persevering at this challenge inevitable opens up a new array of interesting possibilities. An LSE education can be the thrust your personal and professional life needs, provided, of course, you are able to navigate through the rigour and commitment it demands.