Do you wish you could start your next university module or year feeling refreshed but also prepared?
This blog post will share with you 7 ways to prepare for university and get ready for studying.
Whether you have a few weeks or a few months, these simple tips can help you make the most of your break so you come back to studying relaxed but also ready to achieve some great grades.
1. Relax and have fun
Make sure you spend some time winding down and doing nothing. It can feel odd at first if you’re used to spending most of your waking hours either working or studying. I always felt guilty sitting down to watch a TV show before realising I didn’t have any studying to do.
Spend some time with your friends and family who you may have missed out on seeing as much as you’d like during the year.
Go on a holiday or plan a day trip somewhere you haven’t been before.
Go to a salsa class…or spend an evening making pottery…or hire a bicycle for the day.
Read a book…for fun!
Whatever you do, spend time with the people you care about and perhaps even try something new.
2. Get more supplies
Who doesn’t love going stationery shopping? (I’m a sucker for a nice notebook and always on the lookout for the perfect pen).
Make sure you have enough notebooks, pens, sticky notes, flashcards…etc.
If you were thinking of investing in a new computer or laptop do it now so you can have time to get used to it before your studies start.
3. Plan your time
Most modules or courses give you an estimate of how many hours you need to study each week. Use this to plan your study time but also judge whether YOU need less or more time than the guide.
Once you have the dates of your assignments, group projects or exams put them in your calendar and work out if any clash with trips, appointments, occasions in your personal and work life.
If you have a two week group project could you rearrange some appointments around that time?
Could you take some time off work before your exam? I always try and take the week of the exam off work to really immerse myself in revision.
Could you arrange for a cleaner a few times a month or start ordering your food shopping online to save some time?
See if there are any plans you can put in place now to make the next module or year easier.
4. Schedule in some fun now
Starting studying again after a break can be overwhelming as you forget what it feels like to work so hard.
So…make sure you have some fun scheduled in for the first few months to get you through it.
Organise a dinner date with friends.
Pre-order that trashy novel you’ve been looking forward to.
Book yourself in for a massage a few days after one of your essay submission dates.
Plan a day trip or weekend away (not when an essay is due though!).
Buy tickets to a concert or play.
You’ll feel more motivated to study if you know you have exciting things to look forward to.
5. Look at your new materials
Once you have your reading list or module materials you could flick through and get a feel for what you’ll be learning. Some of you may want to get ahead and start, especially if you have a holiday or busy period at work coming up.
Some courses suggest other books you might want to read.
If these are cheap then perhaps buy them, but if not, try and borrow them from your local library. A lot of these books are optional or you’ll only need to read them once.
6. File away your notes and materials
It’s not a great idea to start a new academic year with a desk covered in old notes.
However, notes from a past module may help you in a new one if similar concepts are covered.
So, buy some folders and file your notes in the right order along with your marked assignments, feedback and any other related documents. Keep these nearby so it’s easy to access them if needed.
7. Reflect on your past performance
This is probably the important thing you can do – to prepare you for your next module but also to help you improve and gain higher marks.
Have a think back to how you’ve felt this year. Every student feels tired and goes through bouts of panic but, overall, was studying a positive or negative experience for you?
Did you keep up with the reading or were you always playing catch up?
Were your notes useful when it came to revision?
Did you manage to submit your essays on time (or early), or did you feel rushed and have to pull all-nighters?
Did you feel nervous but prepared going into your exam or did you wish you’d left more time for revision?
Also look back at the feedback from your tutor on your assignments. Are there any issues that keep cropping up?
Look for places you could make some improvements such as:
- Schedule in your study time each week to make sure it happens
- Try out some different note-taking techniques
- Set a fake deadline for the date you need to start the essay, and the date you want the first draft finished
- Start revising earlier – don’t leave it to the few weeks before the exam.
Leave a comment below and share 2 things with me – 1 fun thing you’re going to do before your next module starts, and 1 thing to help you prepare for university.
Sign up to my email list and grab your free productivity guide