Tips for starting back at university

Long summer holidays are one of the best parts about being a student at university. But having such a long summer break makes it a real shock to the system when you plunge back into your studies in mid September. Whilst your settling back into your university routine, it’s important to get organised and plan out your semester. Here are 5 tips that I have found useful over my last 3 years as a student –

1. Print off your subjects module guide! Having a physical copy of your subjects module guide can be so useful. It allows you to make rough notes, highlight important dates, and keep on track with your course timetable. Also, the module guides are formatted in a way that makes it easy to see what you need to do to prepare for lectures and tutorials on a weekly basis. The guides have lots of additional information, such as the contact details of your module coordinator. If you’re stuck or if you have any questions, having a note of your coordinators office hours and email address is really useful 🙂

2. Take note of important dates! When your overloaded with readings and preparations, it can sometimes be difficult to see how different deadlines fit in which each other. By marking your deadlines clearly on a calendar, you have a visual time table which allows you to clearly see how much time you can allow for each deadline. If you plan ahead and prepare, meeting deadline dates will be less stressful, especially if they’re close together!

3. Read over your assessments before starting the course! By knowing what is expected of you, this will give you a clear focus, and help you to keep on track throughout the semester! It will also allow you to see which classes you need to spend extra time preparing for.

4. Find your lecture/tutorial room! Even as a fourth year student, I still always get muddled up the first day of a new semester when trying to find my classroom on campus. The first day of the semester is always chaotic as nobody knows where they are going! It’s a good idea to figure out where your class is before starting back to avoid stress on the day! If in doubt, the reception staff in any buildings will be happy to help you find your way!

5. Check your reading list. The online reading list is a fantastic resource which allows you to clearly see books and articles relevant to your studies. The reading lists are split into weeks, making it easy to see what you need to read, and when you need to read it by. Pay particular interest to the books marked as essential. It may be useful to borrow these books from the library. However, if they’re in demand you may struggle to get your hands on one in the library. Instead, you can buy books from Blackwells, or if you’re lucky, you might be able to find a cheaper second hand version.

Starting back at university is overwhelming, and is hard for everyone. Try and remember that everyone is in the same situation!

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