A brand new semester is on the horizon and with it comes a whole host of to-do’s. But don’t let that put you off. Knowing how to kick-start a new term in the best way possible can really impact the rest of your time at university. That’s why we’ve listed our top 7 ways to help you get off to a great start this semester.
1. Organisation throughout your semester is the key
Organising your course material as well as your workflow at the start of a new semester can have tremendous benefits. Take advantage of online organisation tools such as MyHomework or Google Suite (Drive, Docs, Calendar and Sheets) and file your work into separate folders, colour code and highlight the most important stuff. If your professors are using slideshows during lectures then always, always, always ask them to send you a copy, they’re usually more than happy to do so. Regularly updating your calendar with due dates and important events will also help you to stay ahead of time and keep procrastination levels to a minimum.
Another handy tip is to scan your paper documents and add them to an online folder for later. This way, you avoid ever having to trawl through mountains of illegible notes and random sheets again, paper is so 2015 anyway. Click here when you want to know more about how to study more efficiently!
Doing all this from the get-go will guarantee a stress-free start to uni. And remember, everything digital can be connected. Connect with your docs and course material through your phone, tablet, laptop, whatever device you might use.
2. Home away from home
At the start of a new semester, most students will ‘fly the nest’ and move out of their family home to live in either student halls or shared housing. New address, new housemates, new everything! Sure, this can seem pretty overwhelming but you can bet everyone is as nervous as you on move-in day. Stick the kettle on and put your best ‘welcome face’ forward, this is the perfect time to bond and first impressions count for everything. And if you’re still looking to create a sense of personal space in your new home, check out Wayfair’s latest DIY on how to build your very own room divider from nothing more than your mum’s old clothes rack.
© luisa ehlgötz / schereleimpapier.de
3. Be informed
Enrollment, course catalogue, exam registration, deadlines… it’s a pretty daunting feeling when you’re not really sure a) what you’re meant to do, b) where you’re meant to go and c) when you’re meant to be studying. To save you the added worry, we recommend downloading any available info from your uni’s website ahead of the new semester, no matter if it is about exam and study regulations or the campus map, as well as joining any uni-related groups on social media, so you can connect with other students in real-time about timetables, lectures and registration times. Be aware, you might need to register a few weeks ahead of term to secure a place on certain courses.
4. Got any ID?
At last, a shiny, new student card with your name and photo all over it, proof that you’re now a member of your dream university. Use your student ID to gain instant access to all campus buildings, the library and more importantly the SU (student’s union) and even flash it in your favourite stores to bag 10% off as well as any other goodies. You’ll get your card once you’ve enrolled and it’ll stay with you until your time at university is over. Just try not to lose it or get it stolen…
5. Books, books and more books
Course books and the right reading material will be your lifeline during university. Make sure you stay one step ahead by purchasing your books a few weeks before your new semester starts, as you’ll most likely be needing them from your very first lecture on. Textbooks don’t always come cheap though, so be on the lookout for any second hand material your course predecessors may be wanting to get rid of or if it’s possible to rent books and return them later. The campus library will also act as your saviour, but only if you’re smart enough to get in there first.
6. Manage your time during the semester
Master the art of managing your time for studying, work and your personal life. Dedicating the right amount of time to your education, work commitments, socialising and of course, just for yourself is critical and will ensure you get the most out of each. Sure, your student years involve a lot of parties, parties and well, more parties but at the end of the day it’s all about balance and tipping the scales too far into one aspect can have dramatic effects on the other. We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again, opting for an online or ‘hang-at-home’ calendar and regularly updating it with deadlines, due dates and events will help you to stay on track and breeze through the semester.
7. Remember, have fun
Call it a cliché but your time at university will turn out to be some of the best years of your life. Of course, there are exams, essays and lots of homework but studying and diving deep into a subject you love will satisfy your interest and curiosity for that particular field. Knowledge is power, so soak it up! We’re assuming your peers will also have this thirst for learning, so make time to network straight away, join in any extracurricular activities and share your passion. Meeting new people from different backgrounds will not only open up your mind but also your friendship circle. They say you make the most lifelong friends at university and perhaps even a love interest or two.
Ever heard of a little thing called Orientation week. Orientation week is the perfect chance for all new and existing students to go out and party, as well as join in any day activities and all before any lectures begin. With every uni across the country taking part, this is an exciting week you won’t want to miss.
C’mon, you’ve worked hard to get here so relax and enjoy it.