Among the many sentiments university students share, a common one is how fleeting the end-of-semester break can be. One moment we are basking in the stress-free environment, released from the clutches of exams; the next, we come face to face with the second semester of the academic year.
Preparing for a new term is always a good idea; this way, you won’t be plunged into the worry of figuring everything out at once when yet another ‘Week 1’ dawns upon you. Treat this guide as a simple ‘plan of attack’ that will get you back into the swing of things post-break.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan!
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Planning ahead gives you an idea of what your semester will look like and will have you looking forward to the more exciting events of the term. Grab your phone calendar or a sturdy planner and write down key dates as well as any events that you can get the details of—this can be seminars, socials, or workshops.
You can even take it one step further by glancing at your timetable and structuring what a typical week in the next semester would look like for you. This way, you have an idea of when you can slot in your leisurely activities or even part-time jobs.
With a rough concept of the semester in mind, you will be more mindful of deadlines and less likely to be caught by surprise.
2. Crunch those reading numbers
It’s never a good idea to go into a class blindly. If you want to begin the new semester relatively stress-free, make time for course-related reading to familiarise yourself with the material during your break.
Depending on your module, your course outline will likely contain suggested readings that you can complete ahead of time to prepare for the class mentally. Doing this will give you a holistic view of what you can expect to learn in the upcoming semester.
To kick things up a notch, you can also opt for YouTube videos related to your upcoming classes—graphics make for a more entertaining way of learning and absorbing!
3. About that previous semester…
If you want to go all out and earn that shiny star student badge, go ahead and sift through feedback from the previous semester. This can be constructive criticism from lecturers on essays and assignments or tutorial questions that you didn’t get right the first time.
Reviewing your past work allows you to identify strengths and weed out weaknesses so you become aware of the areas of improvement you can focus on in the following semester. Plus, taking note of what you did exceptionally well and applying it will only benefit you!
If you have the time and energy to spare, consider revising the fundamentals of your course before they slip soundlessly out of your mind—your foundation has to be strong before you proceed to build more layers on top of it.
4. Clean space, clean start
This break is as good a time as any to get rid of clutters that have been accumulating in your living space in the past semester. Being caught up with university work and assignments
often leaves students with limited time to periodically spring clean their room, but now’s your chance!
Clearing up space will clear your mind and put you in the groove to get work done. Discard the belongings you no longer need and make sure your room is well-suited for the study sessions and midnight oils you will undoubtedly be burning in the second semester.
5. Kick back, you deserve it
Last but not least, this is still a break. Give yourself a pat on the back and take some time off. Making it through another semester of university is no small feat, and you should be rewarded for your work. Indulge in your favourite snacks and town eateries, or snatch up a new book if you’re an avid reader just like me. Catch the latest movies at the theatre or play a sports match with your friends—anything to wind down and catch a breath.
Before the new semester begins, remember to have fun and do what makes you happy. After all, you deserve it.