Jack Moran gives you some tips on how to begin the new semester in the best way possible.
For most UON students, the second week of a brand new semester is just about to start. With new classes, each with course outlines packed full of assessments, the upcoming semester can seem pretty daunting. If you’re starting to stress already then don’t worry, here are some handy tips to help you start your semester right.
TIP #1: PLAN IT ALL OUT
Whether your preferred method of organisation is a diary or a wall planner, your first step is to pull out that course outline and jot down every single assessment item you’ve got coming up this semester. Wall planners or any method that makes your upcoming dates permanently visible, instead of hidden away in a book, are particularly useful for making sure you stay on top of what’s coming up. Besides assessments, also make sure to add in any important events coming up such as birthdays or holidays so you can manage your workload around them.
TIP #2: MAKE A ROUTINE
Set up a weekly schedule for yourself as soon as possible and try to stick to it. Adding your lectures and tutorials is an obvious part of it, but also remember to put in time for you to study and exercise or have your own time to relax. Having a clear schedule can help you keep a good work/study/life balance and makes it easier to form habits such as studying consistently. Make sure to keep your schedule flexible as well and don’t be too disheartened if you have to move things around.
TIP #3: TALK TO YOUR TUTORS
If you’ve got a problem, such as not being able to make it to a tutorial or knowing you’re going to miss an assessment, your tutor should be able to help. If you’re having an issue assessment-wise or didn’t quite understand something in your last lecture, most tutors are more than happy to help you out. It’s part of their job. Don’t be afraid to send them an email or talk to them after a tutorial if you need to.
TIP #4: LEARN YOUR WAY AROUND THE LIBRARY
If you know you’ve got a research heavy subject this semester, take some time to quickly familiarise yourself with your campus’ library. Locate the books that relate to your subject now so that when it comes to assignment time, you’re not battling the Dewey decimal system to find the information you need. If you feel like your research skills are a little rusty and need some help, book a library class for some professional help.
TIP #5: CLEAN AND ORGANISE
If your desk at home (or room/house) is starting to get covered in textbooks and notes, or even all of your junk from last semester, now is the time to clean up and organise your space before your workload really starts to intensify. Depending on how serious the mess is, take a weekend to organise and declutter to make your workspace more efficient. This goes for your digital workspace too. Take a few minutes to sort out the files on your computer as well. Make folders for each subject and separate those folders into subfolders for things like notes, assessments and digital copies of readings.
TIP #6: SET SOME GOALS
Take the time to decide what you want to get out of this semester. While we all might have some outlandish semester resolutions we’ll fail at, setting some realistic goals can help you to focus your efforts this semester. Whether your goals are academic, personal, health related or professional, the key is to make sure they’re SMART goals. This means they’re specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Setting goals for your semester using this scaffold means you’re more likely to have a clearer vision of what you want and how to get it.
TIP #7: HAVE FUN WITH IT
While juggling a full-time university workload along with commitments to a job and to family can take up a lot of time, make sure you’re still taking time to relax and enjoy yourself. Having lunch regularly with a friend on campus during your break periods, going to see a movie or even something as simple as reading a book for enjoyment rather than for a course can help you destress and lessen the intensity of classes and responsibilities this semester.
Feature Image: Poodar Chu, Unsplash, no changes made.