Don’t we all dread the first day back at school? Half the time the night before is spent finishing all the homework we avoided on the holidays and wondering what the term or semester ahead has in store. Thankfully, my last night of freedom won’t be spent stressing over assignments or homework. The best part of university is there is no homework between semesters and thus, the break can be spent relaxing and revitalising before another 12 weeks of study.
This week my siblings and many of my friends began their second semester of school/university. It got me thinking about the feeling I always get a week or two prior to commencement. Excitement and an eagerness to prepare and get organised. In my opinion, the best thing you can do (if you’ve finished all the required holiday work) is reflect on the term that has just passed. What did you do right? What did you do wrong? Once you have established what worked and what didn’t, you can focus on improving your approach to study and managing the university lifestyle.
I don’t start university for another two weeks, but already I know what my goals are.
1. Attend/listen to more lectures
Once the novelty of going to lectures wore off in the first few weeks of university, I stopped going all together. Bad idea! Not only did I miss out on important and interesting content for some of my subjects – but listening to lectures online (especially ones that go for two hours) is mentally draining and it’s almost impossible to stay focused.
2. Write down notes throughout the term
This is particularly important for the subjects being assessed with a test or exam. Unfortunately when I lost motivation to attend lectures, my note writing fizzled out too, and I was left rushing to learn the content before my exam. NEVER AGAIN!
3. Do not be deterred by public transport
I catch two buses to my university. Honestly, I’ve got it pretty good. There are some people in my classes who drive almost TWO HOURS to get to La Trobe, yet they attend every tutorial and every lecture. For me, the thought of waking up early and spending an hour on public transport – especially in winter, is enough to keep me in bed. However, I am going to try my best to brave the cold weather this semester and go for it. I can’t wait for the seasons to change so I can feel some warmth on my face and in my toes when I’m walking to, or waiting for the bus – it makes the whole ride far more appealing.
Aside from learning a few lessons from last semester, have fun in your preparation for semester two! Get your study space organised and looking pretty, buy new stationary and become accustomed to your timetable. Last but not least, enjoy your last days of being able to do whatever you want without thinking something along the lines of “I can’t stay out late, I have to wake up early to catch the bus tomorrow” or “I can’t come out this weekend, I need to finish an assignment.” It will be three months until you get to enjoy this much freedom again – so make the most of the time you have left.
See you all at uni!