Hopefully everyone has had a wonderful month off celebrating the holidays, whether at home with family or travelling with friends. Now that term is upon us once more, it can be difficult to get back into the flow of university, trying to regain the balance of studying and social life that you perfected last term. Here are the best methods I’ve come across for rebuilding your term-time mindset.
- Having a written diary
While ecalendars are lifesaving for last-minute changes and alerts, writing down what times you have timetabled will help your brain process and better understand how much time you truly have free. This is also good for your memory—you’ll remember the room numbers and times you have classes better this way. If you have a deadline coming up, writing it down, especially in a different colour, will be a more tangible reminder of how soon it is when you can see it, and if you have a weekly diary then you can simply count down pages as it nears.
- Allotting yourself free time
This is a great way to eliminate procrastination; when you know you can take a break at a certain time, you’ll be more motivated to continue working until that break. It can also feel much more rewarding to have one long break instead of having multiple small breaks. If you have contact hours every day, a good amount of time could be a couple of hours each day. If you have days off during the week, it might be better to have your breaks clustered so that you either do all your work on days you have classes so you have full days off or spread them out so your workload is distributed over your non-contact days.
- Create a budget spreadsheet
Budgeting is one of the main worries when it comes to organising your social life. If you create a spreadsheet that shows you how much you have already spent and how much of your monthly budget remains, you can then decide how much you can spend at each event, or which events you would rather attend. Spreadsheeting is also good for keeping track of what your money is being spent on. It’s much easier to notice that you’re spending very little on something important like groceries and a lot more on things like new clothing when they are laid out (and possibly even colour-coded.)
- Attend Refreshers Fair
What better way to get back into uni life than to join a society? Or perhaps even re-join one you’ve been neglecting. The Refreshers Fair is a good opportunity to immerse yourself back into the hustle and bustle of socials, fundraisers, and meets that are an essential part of student life. Perhaps try something new to keep yourself from becoming bored of routine, such as auditioning for a show or taking up a new sport.
- Check your modules’ Moodle pages
This lets you know what you will be doing each week and when you will be particularly busy with assignments or presentations. If you are doing a joint honours degree, it is incredibly useful to know if assignments overlap, especially if you think you will need to request help or an extension. Checking the weekly summaries will also give you a good overview of your module, and if you have essay questions then you can begin to look into the topics that interest you most.
I hope everyone enjoys this term, and that these are helpful to you all. If in doubt or panicking, don’t forget that there is an incredible and understanding student support system here for you at Kent. Good luck!