It’s not long now until you start or return to Uni. Looking forward to getting back to those early starts and hard work? Possibly not, especially after enjoying a few well-deserved months off or maybe you’ve been working hard over summer? The transition back can be a challenging one. This guide, by Ian Towle at University of Strathclyde, may help you get back into the swing.
1. Get organised
Try to get organized early – even before coming back. This may be as simple as reading over the year handbook, buying new stationary or looking at the reading list for your classes. Thinking about this sort of stuff puts you in the right frame and can make things easier for you before all the other new information hits you on Day 1.
2. Sort your sleep pattern
So you’ve been burning the candle at both ends for the last few months? Those late nights and later mornings may have got you into a certain routine. Try planning ahead a few days before you come back to get your sleep pattern back into the way it was last semester. It might lessen the shock when that alarm clock goes off at 6am! You’ll have some long days ahead, so you need to get your beauty sleep in.
3. List your goals
What do want to achieve this year? It can be useful to reflect on things you think you’d like or need to do this year. Try making a list of what you want to do and why you want to do it. Perhaps is to join a new club, spend more quality time in library or even just make more classes on time. Keep the goals simple, but make sure they are SMART.
4. Plan your budget early
Think about your expenditure early. You may be tempted to burn through those summer earnings or your new loan on nights out. Re-check you bank balance against expenses such as living costs (board, rent and utilities), public transport, food and entertainment. Keep an eye out for student deals, (lunch specials or discounted clothing). You can still eat healthy on a budget – it just needs a bit of planning. Part-time jobs can be useful too.
5. Find a balance
Lastly, Uni doesn’t mean all work and no play or vice versa! Again, with a little planning you can get that balance right, so you can get a good study/life balance. You can’t sustain 100 miles per hour all the time, so make sure you factor in ‘you’ time to relax, exercise and sleep! With a busy schedule, you may not find a lot of free time, but even just a quick chat with a friend, can let you disengage for short time. Enjoy your year!
Ian Towle MRPharmS, Senior Teaching Fellow
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences,
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow