How does one have the best semester possible? By its nature, uni can be stressful. The workload can seem overwhelming and implacable. Getting through all the required work in the time given to you can seem Herculean, the entire experience difficult or even boring. Here’s how to make the most out of it.
Devise a Plan of Attack and Stick to it
Planning is key. You’ve probably heard that before, but for good reason. Nothing makes a big workload more manageable than breaking it up. You’ll be given an outline for each of your subjects. A timetable, basically, detailing what you’ll be doing week by week. All the assessment due dates will be here. Use this to make a schedule for yourself. See where those rough weeks will fall on. They’ll usually be around the same time for your various subjects. The same applies to exams.
So you plan accordingly. You look at the big picture, but you don’t get overwhelmed by going at it week by week, day by day. Set personal deadlines and benchmarks. Force yourself to have certain tasks completed by certain dates. This will hold you accountable to something other than your actual end of semester deadlines. This way you’ll be able to self-assess. Are you on track? Are you behind?
The best semester is one where you feel satisfied with your accomplishments when you finish. Uni’s essentially about working on a series of projects. You can look at a semester as a project, or the year, or the entire duration of your course. Just go about it methodically. Your preparedness will reflect in how you deal with unforeseen problems.
Involve Yourself in Events Offered by your Uni
All uni’s offer days of fun activities throughout the semester. Attending can give you a nice reprieve from all the work while still keeping you close to campus. You may also meet new people. The more friendly faces you have on campus, the more welcoming the environment will be. To that end, making friends with classmates and hanging out with them will help a lot, naturally.
Keep up Your Social Life
Keeping up your social life plays an important part in having the best semester. You can’t be doing work all the time. It’s necessary to unwind and have fun. This sort of thing will sustain you throughout the semester. And with the planning that you’ll have done above, you’ll be able to pick your moments, as it were. You’ll know what weekends you can afford to spend out.
Completely isolating yourself to focus on work will undoubtedly have a negative effect on your mental health. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
University’s about starting to take those big steps towards realizing your chosen career path. In the last two or so years of high school, you started narrowing down what your interests are. Now you keep going, smaller, smaller until you find your niche. You’ve worked out the field/discipline/industry you want to step into, now it’s about making that happen. The best semester is one where you do that.
To make things move, you have to talk to people. Building connections with people in your chosen field will prove invaluable. You may have to for a subject but even if you don’t, get out there and make yourself known. Apply for internships. Volunteer at companies you want to work at.
It’s a very good look if you show that you’re willing to do what you want to do for no money. Or even if it’s not exactly what you want to do. You may start off as an assistant or errand person, making coffees and such. That’s exactly where you want to be.
If you’re diligent, you’ll make the right impression on the right people. This can lead to positions before you’ve even finished your course.
Take it seriously, but not too seriously
You may have been dreading uni before you starting it. Heard it was like school, but worse, no one holds your hand. It’s true, you have to be far more self-reliant than ever before. Embrace that. Keep that in mind and you’ll have the best semester. It’s your own life that you’re embarking on. You’re steering the ship now. Yes, things will get tough, so whenever they do just say this to yourself, as many times as you need it – “I wanted this”. No one’s telling you what course you have to pick. In this way, it’s more freeing than school ever was.
With that in mind, it’s ok to be unsure of things. You one’s expecting you to act with total certainty. You may find yourself not acquiescing to your chosen course. You can change it. Money stuff aside (that’s a different article), you don’t have to commit to something that’s not working. That process of finding your niche, of narrowing your field of vision, it isn’t always linear. Jump around.