As the summer holidays draw to a close, you might be excited about a new year or dreading the early wake-ups. Either way, it's a good idea to start your preparations early.
While you may be tempted to 'stick your head in the sand' and try to forget about the fast-approaching first week back, there are a few simple things you can do to ease yourself back into your studies and prepare for the year ahead.
Set some goals
Before you begin the new semester, you should set some goals to work towards over the course of the year. Try to set goals that you can realistically achieve and consider what you can improve on from the previous year. You might want to achieve a certain grade, get better at completing work on time, organise work experience or make more of an effort to make new friends.
Complete administrative tasks
While most students avoid going back to campus until they have to, organising administrative matters (such as student and public transport concession cards) ahead of time will help you beat the long queues in week one. Arranging your textbooks and course materials during the holidays also allows you time to source second-hand books or scope out prices online. If you have access to subject guides, you can start noting down assessment due dates and planning for busy periods in advance.
Think about ways to expand your learning opportunities
The holidays are a good time to start thinking about how you can build your skills outside of the classroom — before assessments start to pile up and your free time becomes an issue. You may decide to research potential internship and volunteering opportunities or ways to get involved on campus. Also consider refreshing your resume, adding any skills or experience you've gained since the last update.
Organise your study space
The simple act of clearing and tidying your study area, as well as sourcing new stationery and supplies, is a great way to ease yourself back into study mode and motivate you for the year ahead. After all, with the effort you've gone to, you'll want to make use of your new space.
Plan a budget and save some money
While the summer break provides ample time for work — and the chance to move back home for students living on campus — earning and saving money during the semester can prove challenging. If you're preparing to live on a student budget, now is a great time to start planning for the months ahead. You may also consider picking up some extra hours at work before classes start — you'll have a little extra spending money for the semester.