Yep, it’s that wonderful time of year again.
*Yawns thinking about the next few months of lectures and all nighters*
O-week celebrations and the start of semester are well upon us. While the free food, fun activities and club sign-ups are still going strong, it is also a fantastic time to start planning for the coming weeks and get ahead in all departments.
After two and a half years of full time study and now working full time and studying my last few units part time, I have tried and tested many different methods of getting through the semester with marks to be proud of. So, here is my quick guide to make sure that you see success being a student in Australia this semester.
Get your diary out
Keeping track of your life and university deadlines is probably the best advice I can give you, whether in an app, a good old paperback or Google Calendar. At the beginning of each semester when the subject outlines are uploaded online, I sit down at my desk at home and put in when each assignment was due, as well as important dates to note, like STUVAC for example.
Keeping a diary is a great way to get an overview of what your week or month looks like, manage your time better and and allows you to figure out when you’d complete your assessments, around work or social activities.
Bonus tip: most 2019 paperback diaries are on sale now because it’s March - so have a look around the shops or online and get yourself a bargain.
Set your goals early
Knowing exactly what you aim to get out of university and jotting down these goals early in your degree is really beneficial to your long term success. For me, I had the goal of averaging distinctions in all my assessments and completing two internships by the time I finished my third year. I can proudly say that staying on track with these goals allowed me to allocate energy into where I know would benefit me. I completed three internships and successfully kept up a D average, securing a full time role before I had even graduated.
Have a think about a few specific goals that you can work on during your time at university. What is your motivation for getting up and heading into class each day? Keep them written in a place you see often, like your diary or phone screensaver to keep them front of mind.
Be proactive and start assignments earlier
Look, I get it, you’re busy and starting an assignment a few days before, or on the day of, has gotten you through in the past. But after trying and testing a few different methods, I have come to the conclusion that giving yourself as much time as possible to get an assignment done is your best bet. I know that this is difficult but by planning your semester out early (see tip #one above) you have the best chance of getting started earlier. I found that my productivity rose and I was able to get the assignment done in smaller, but more frequent sittings - keeping on task and giving myself longer to really get my head around the subject and academic readings.
Focus on healthy eating and exercise
Eating a balanced diet and moving your body are great ways to keep your energy levels up, procrastination tamed and emotions in-check. Try looking for some discounted gym glasses (hello uni discount) to get sweaty before or after a class or even swapping out the bus for a walk into campus is another great option. A highly nutritious meal brought from home will not only save you money but is the best self love you can do to keep your body functioning at its best. Foods that are heavily processed and highly saturated in fat can leave you feeling tired and drained - not the best for long stints in the library.