With new semester just around the corner, we’re sure that some of you are feeling the ‘post-holiday blues’. Whether you’ve spent the summer buried in part-time work or you’ve taken a well-deserved break, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things after having a few months off.
Early mornings, running between classes and writing last minute assignments may not be at the top of your wish list.
So how exactly do you restore your uni routine? Read on these survival tips.
Get organized and up-to-date.
Before heading back to uni, make an attempt to get organized. Whether this means reading through the semester’s course guides or the assigned reading list, filling in your diary with important events (such as tests or exam periods) or even just starting your stationary shopping a week early, going back to uni is a lot easier if you start the new year prepared for classes and up-to-date.
Work out your budget.
Unfortunately, going back to uni means cutting back on paid work and tightening budgets. You may need to re-assess your weekly income against expenses such as living costs (board, rent and utilities), public transport, food and entertainment… and cut back on the not-so-necessary.
Make a list of goals for the year.
Although many students cringe at the idea of goal-making, this is a good way to get motivated before classes start. It might mean researching activities you’d like to try (writing for the student magazine, for example) or vowing to improve on results achieved last year.
Re-consider your sleeping routine.
It’s a good idea to rethink your sleeping patterns. Sleeping in until midday or staying up all night can be a difficult habit to shake once the semester starts. If you can, attempt a trial run before your first class and that first early wake-up may be a little bit easier!
Graduate classes often integrate more discussion than lecture; however, you will still need to take notes on important points your professor makes. Also remember that graduate professors tend to be stricter about class absences. Many take student absences personally as if it reflects a student’s disinterest!
A big part of graduate study entails coming into contact with professors. Because the apprenticeship model of graduate study relies on student-faculty interaction. Finally, don’t neglect your grad student peers. Your colleagues can offer help now but also in the future. You will find that the professional world is very small indeed and in the future you will encounter grad student peers at all levels of the professional ladder.
Starting a new semester shouldn’t be stressful, so come back to these tips if it becomes a little too hard to manage. Wishing you all the very best success! InsyaAllah.
Saniyah Al Muhsin
Secretary of Academic Unit PCZ 2012