*FREEBIE ALERT* Free week planner to download at the end of the article
It is that time of the year again, a new semester is approaching and you need to get ready and start preparing for another fantastic round of learning, new friendships, challenges and victories.
I normally consider September the moment when the real new year starts, the moment where you set your goals, you review your performance and you get ready to new adventures.
Whether you are starting the new academic year in the UK or you are a returning student, here are some tips on how to prepare for a new semester:
Make a list of goals
The first thing that you can do is make a list of all of the things that you would like to achieve in the coming three to four months. This could be something like the following:
A certain mark average (are you working towards a first class?)
A list of deadlines vs your academic calendar (do you want to avoid asking for extensions?)
Look for a campus part-time job (are you looking for extra money?)
Making new friends
Going the gym (many universities have sportsparks that offer plenty of activities)
Join a study group
Looking for workshops and training to enhance or improve your academic skills
There are plenty of things you might need to organise before starting or moving back to university. One of the most important things are the administrative tasks like looking for accomodation or setting up a student bank account (there are many offers for students, just have a look at the bank you are interested in).
A very wise thing to do would be to set up a UNiDAYS account which is a website that offers students discounts (only if you are enrolled in a university) and is something very useful if you are looking for discounts on food, clothing, technology etc..
It would be extremely helpful for you to start looking into the suggested reads and the reading list from the modules you are enrolled in and familiarise with the teaching staff (most universities have modules that you can navigate online where you will be able to approach your new lecturers and teaching fellows).
Remember that you might need to sort out public transport and you might need to buy stationery or make some space on your PCs for new lecture material. Prepare your folders ahead of time, you will thank yourself in the future.
I know this might belong the the ‘Admin staff’ but I feel this is very important and needs a section on its own. Managing money is an extremely important aspect to look after when you are alone. Most banking apps will give you the chance to set up a determined monthly budget and will break your expenses according to the type. You will be able to see how much money you spend into pharmaceuticals, groceries, entertainment etc..
Paying attention to your budget and planning it ahead of time is extremely important in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Attend campus events and induction weeks
Nothing is more exciting that the feeling of starting something new and the fact that you won’t be alone in this situation makes it all the more special.
Most universities will organise welcome days, induction weeks, welcome weeks where you will be able to know your tutor, find the relevant places in campus, get to know your teaching staff and labs.
Remember to get a little lost in the campus in order to understand how to navigate it. It will be important for you to know where student’s support centres are, where to find the library and the lecture theatres.
If the idea of starting university and networking with new people is making you a little anxious, don’t panic. Most universities have the so-called ‘Buddy systems’. It works like this: you contact the university and they will pair you with a current student that will help you understand university life and what to expect.
I hope this helped many of you. The only thing you need to know now is looking for a pen and paper (or a tablet and pen) and start writing down your list of goals.