Getting back into the swing of university life, straight after a month or so of relaxation and celebration over the Christmas period, can seem like quite the struggle in the first few weeks of term. However, here are some things that may reduce that struggle (just a little bit!)
Yes, we all indulge a little over the Christmas period with presents, going out and generally, just having a good time! Once the student loan enters the bank account in January, it can be tempting to splurge but having a budget and sticking to it will save you money and give you something a little extra to look forward to. Apps like ‘Fudget’ are really good for this, you can enter weekly or monthly budgets as well as any income and expenditures and it shows you how much money you have left to spend. Perfect for the splerger!
2. Planning ahead
Whether this be academically, or what meals you are going to have each day, planning will save you time in the long run and will help you feel organised and motivated. At the start of week, maybe try planning out your meals so you know what food you need to buy – this will save you money and wasted time wondering what to cook! Planning out your work and how much time you have, is also worthwhile.
It can be really easy to forget to check emails or just want to avoid them (I know the feeling!) But checking your emails just once or twice a day will save the build up of stress if you leave them for weeks unattended. And emails are the main ways to communicate information at university, so you can’t really afford to scrimp on this.
It can be easy to feel stressed at this time of year, there’s a lot of deadlines and assessments in January and the exam period is slowly creeping up… It sounds cliche but a bit of gentle exercise, even just going outside for a short walk will help you feel more at ease. Just taking yourself away from something and returning back to it a while later will hopefully make you feel more refreshed and relaxed. It’s good to make time to take breaks!
Whether you are a first year in your second term, a second year or a student in their final year – second term is the perfect time to get involved in those society’s you signed up for ages ago but haven’t done anything with yet! It can be easy to get so involved with the academic side of university and forget that there is another side too! This is a perfect opportunity to encourage you to join the Yorker! We are always looking for new writers, particularly at the moment with a new magazine coming out soon! Stretch and challenge yourself, it will be worth it.
6. Invest in comfort
Now I know I just said you all should budget but… it really is worth investing in some comfy clothing or shoes that make those long hours spent in the library feel more bearable. Especially as the weather is so cold at the moment, it can be a welcome comfort to have some nice jumpers, warm shoes and a cosy scarf.
If you are a second year – you may have already signed for a house or are well on your way! If you are reading this and begin to panic, do not worry! Although a lot of people sign for their houses in first term, there’s still plenty of time in second term – just make sure you make it an effort to get it done this term as there will be very little available in term 3.
8. Student Hours
If you are like me, a history student who has about 5 hours of contact time a week, you’ll be wondering what your tuition fees are actually paying for! Last term was the first time I took the time to go and see a tutor in their student hours and it really was one of the best decisions I made, rarely getting one to one time with tutors in the week really made this more valuable. Remember you are actually paying your tutor’s salaries, so make sure you use their student hours if you have any queries!
Many of you will have the pleasure of attending seminar’s this term. It can be hard to manage the amount of reading some weeks, and I am not advocating not preparing here, but if for one week or another, you have been short on time and find yourself unprepared do not worry! The best thing to do is to get in first at the start of the seminar with something easy just so the tutor can acknowledge your contribution and you’ve made an effort. Or you could just keep your head down and look like you are engrossed in your notes. Both work really.
10. Exams just around the corner
Some of you may already be thinking about the looming exams just around the corner. It can be a stressful time but if you can, start your preparation and revision early. Maybe, just do a little everyday to keep things ticking over so its not a massive rush at the end of the Easter! Short library sessions are probably more effective than longer ones as you’re attention span will drop!