It’s that time of the year again. Days are getting shorter, the air is turning crisp and as their summer break is coming to an end University students all around the UK are scrambling to prepare for the next semester. You might be one of them.
Though spirits are running high, as goals and resolutions are written out for the upcoming year looming is a shared sense of not-knowing. Not knowing what modules to chose or which friendships to continue, and above all: not knowing how to best prepare for the madness that is University.
So I took one for the team…
…and wrote a list of ten things I wish I had done last year and will do this year to help me have the best term yet.
1. Sign up for Welcome Week Events.
No matter what year you’re in or how many friends you have: sign up for welcome week events your Uni is hosting! Last year, I made the mistake and only signed up for a single event. Nonetheless, it’s where I met some of my closest friends.
2. Get a Planner or Calendar
Though it might not feel like it now, once Uni starts, you’ll be busy. So invest in a planner early on and make sure to use it throughout the year. That way, you can make the best possible use of your time.
3. Join a Facebook Group
Though I am not the biggest fan of Facebook and rarely use it, joining the main Facebook groups related to my course and University helped remind me of important deadlines and events I didn’t want to miss. Plus, apparently, many friendships started off in Facebook groups.
4. Plan five quick meals to make throughout the year
Having meals I can whip up in under 15 minutes has turned out to be a lifesaver in between classes, after long work shifts, or before a night out. My top five are beans and avocado on toast, chips with frozen veg. And scrambled tofu, blueberry pancakes, a bean and vegetable chili, and a stir-fry of whatever left-over food I can find.
5. Plan a Week of Outfits
As some classes are moving back to in-person teaching, wearing pajamas and fuzzy socks no longer seems appropriate. I found that planning a couple of outfits in advance ensured that I didn’t pack unnecessary clothing, or spend money buying things I already had. It’ll also make getting ready for lectures in the morning a whole lot quicker.
6. Figure out the fastest way to Uni
Whether you plan on cycling, walking, driving, or taking public transport to Uni- make sure you know the quickest way to and from campus. Ideally, before you have your first lecture. It’s just one thing less to stress about.
7. Set up folders for each module
Ideally, you’ll know what modules you’ll be taking next year. Though I don’t believe that spending your summer going over upcoming content and doing the extra reading is essential to your success, setting up a folder on your laptop for each of your modules will make it easier to stay organized throughout the year.
8. Decide on a note-taking method
This is hardest to do if you’re a first-year student because you don’t know what to expect from your modules. However, to avoid spending the first couple of lectures focused on how you’re taking notes rather than what you’re taking notes off, do some research now and decide on a note-taking method that appeals to you. Just keep in mind: this can change throughout the year as you figure out what works best for you.
9. Make your room feel like home
For many moving to Uni also involves moving into a new accommodation. To avoid getting homesick and help you settle into your new environment, I recommend dedicating some time to make your new room feel like home. It’s something I didn’t do but very much regretted throughout the year.
10. Set a weekly budget.
When I first started University nobody told me how many unexpected expenses were to come my way. Worse, I had no idea how much I was actually spending and avoided checking my bank statements fearing the numbers I might see. Don’t do that. Instead, figure out how much money you are willing to spend and find ways to cut your expenses to fit your budget. Though it may seem tedious at first, you’ll benefit from it in the long run!
And last but not least…
…expect the unexpected. Nothing will prepare you for the surprises this next year has in store for you. That’s because things don’t always turn out exactly the way they were planned. And that’s okay! If you want help preparing for the unexpected, click here to see more blogs written by university students, providing you with insights into the experiences of student life and more.
Finally, navigating the online world of university in current times can be tricky, click here to see some of the features that makes Active-Class the right choice of learning management systems for university students.