Holiday season is over, which means you’ll shortly be sitting back in your lecture halls counting down the days until summer (or the next instalment of student loans). Whilst the first term of the year is all fun and games, the second half of university is usually the time where you realise you have only a few months to get your shit together. Here’s a little advice to get you back on your feet…
Be Super Honest With Yourself
Where did you struggle last semester? Was it with meeting your deadlines? Was it missing all of your 9am’s because you were in bed, hungover? Get brutally honest with yourself on where you weren’t doing your best last semester, so you know exactly what you have to work on during this last leg of the year. Even if that means reading your assessment briefs sooner rather than later, and getting your notes done beforehand when you know you’re going on a late night out.
Your workspace, your bedroom, your closet, your bathroom… think of it as super early spring cleaning. Your workspace is probably the most important when it comes to this- set up some sort of filing plan for all the handouts you’re likely to receive this semester. If you were organised last term, this may be a little less stressful and time consuming. However, if you weren’t so organised, nows the time to get rid go all those loose papers from your old classes… you should probably use this time to return those library books too.
Make A To-Do list
To-do lists are far better than schedules if you’re naturally prone to procrastinating and being unproductive. Every night, make a list of things you should get done the next day; if you have an assignment or project, make one of the to-do tasks to read a few textbook chapters. It feels quite rewarding when you can cross things off of the list once complete- try making ‘get out of bed‘ the first point, and you’ll never feel like you’ve failed.
Even if you go off of schedule every now and then, its better to know exactly what you should’ve been doing rather than aimlessly procrastinating when you’ve got a ton of stuff to do, but aren’t sure where to start. This also lets you know what you have to do the next day, to make up for the things you didn’t manage to get done.
Decline On Those Library Hang Out Sessions
The library is supposed to be a productive place of learning- but I think we’ve all learned from experience that absolutely no learning takes place when you’re there with friends. You really don’t have time to spend messing around between now and the end of the academic year; take yourself to the library, and if you spot your friends approaching, duck and hide…
Two Words- Time Management
Constantly being busy doesn’t mean you’re getting shit done- it means you’ve got awful time management and aren’t making any time for yourself. Don’t just throw in time to chill at the end of each day, take breaks where you can; watch Netflix, go out to eat, or take a nap throughout the day so when the time comes to get stuff done, it doesn’t feel like such a drag or as though you’ve already been doing it all day.
And lastly… Don’t Expect To Always Have Your Shit Together
This one sounds like it’s defeating the point, I know; but part of being honest with yourself is accepting that every now and then you’re going to be a hot mess, and will have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. Even with the most strategic plan set in place, you’re still going to go off track. Don’t pressure yourself, nobody has their shit together 24/7. It’s not so much about getting things right from the get go, but how you get back on track and recover from setbacks.