Kickstarting Semester 2!
So, only one week left until we head back to uni! It always amazes me how quickly the semester breaks just fly past without me even realising, and before I know it, I’m sorting out timetables and getting my things together to head back to classes. Sometimes it can be difficult to transition from holiday mode to university mode, but there are a few small things that can help you get things going again!
Get to know your papers
I’m one for planning and I don’t really enjoy not knowing what is going to happen, so one of the things that I find super helpful for getting into the uni mindset and getting organised, is re-reading the paper descriptions and the briefs for my upcoming papers. Going back to read the paper description will remind you what is in store and what you’ll hopefully be creating in each paper. It will help you to get your head around the learning objectives and what things you’ll need to be focusing on when you head to class. Hopefully, the brief for each class, or at least some more detailed information will be out for you to read now. These will often give you some more in-depth notes on what will be required of you when, and what you will need. This is great to read so that if you need to do any preparation beforehand, or need to buy any specific books or tools for the paper, you know what is needed! You might start thinking about ideas or doing some research into understanding the topics you will be covering. Reading about key dates will also help you with your planning. I like to put all of the submission dates and any key dates in between into my calendar so that I know exactly when things are coming up and I can plan my time accordingly. I can also see the class times and plan my work and study schedule around that too. I think it’s always good to be prepared and know as much in advance as possible so that when class-time comes around, you don’t have to spend time catching up and understanding what you’re supposed to be doing when, because you already know!
Schedule your time
When you know what day and time your classes are going to be, it’s a good idea to put those in your calendar and start to schedule your time so that you know when you’ll be able to study and fit in other commitments. Start by putting your classes into your calendar, then add the times you’ll be working at your job if you have one. Add any other commitments like band practices, meetings, social events, holidays and anything else that takes up blocks of time. What you’ll hopefully be left with are some blank spaces in between all of the commitments. These are times that you have leftover to spend studying, relaxing, or whatever you want to do with them. It’s up to you what you do with your time but having a schedule lets you see how much time you have and what you can achieve with that time!
Prepare your technology
If you’re anything like me, even though you love having an organised file system on your computer, in the chaos of hand-ins and assignments, things can end up all over the place. Before I head back to classes, I like to re-organise everything and set it all up ready to go for my new papers. To do that, I usually organise, ZIP and archive all the stuff from the last semester that I don’t need anymore, and set up a new folder for each of the papers I’m taking this coming semester. Within each of those folders I have subfolders for each assignment’s assets, exports, process work, photos, inspiration, resources and readings. This makes it organised from the get-go and I can pop stuff straight in there when I need to without having to figure it all out at the time. This means that hopefully things stay organised and I can easily find things when I need to! You don’t necessarily have to set yours up like that; choose what works for you and go for it!
Get your creative on!
If you haven’t really been working on anything creative during the break, I would highly recommend getting your creative juices flowing before heading back to classes. People think that being creative is easy, but it requires a lot of thought and the right kind of mindset to produce truly spectacular work. Getting back into the creative process and way of thinking will kickstart your projects and help you make quicker progress than if you only started when you went back to class. Whether that means doing some more work on your major project that you started in Semester 1, doing some research for your upcoming projects, or just doing some fun, personal work, getting into the creative ways of working and thinking will be a huge help!
Spend time with your friends & family!
Heading into semester time often means less time spent doing fun stuff with the people around you and more time studying or doing uni work. This means that it’s important to make the most of the free or spare time that you do have now before heading back! Plan some time together, have some fun and let them know that you’ll be less free to hang out soon. It’s important to let people know that you’re going to be busier and why, so that if you have to turn down their invites or offers to hang out, they know that you’re busy with justified things, not just being a bad friend!
Get your things together!
Now is the time to start gathering workbooks, pens, pencil cases, textbooks and anything else you might need for your papers. There might be things that you don’t know that you need yet, but getting the things that you do know you’ll need will help you get organised and avoid the last minute panic the morning before class!
If you’re like me and have things like blog posts, freelance work, videos or other design work that needs to be done while you’re at uni that isn’t uni work itself, doing some in advance and getting it out of the way now can help you get ahead and avoid the stress of having to do them when you have a million other things to do! Start planning the videos now, film some in advance, do as much of the freelance work now that you can, and just do what you can so to ease the load later on!
Prepare your brain!
I guess this is a word of warning, haha. If you haven’t experienced the first week of semester before, I can tell you that it’s generally not the most fun thing in the world. A lot of time, it includes hours of tutors talking about and explaining the papers, presenting past examples and running through all that you need to know. This is all super helpful and relevant stuff, but sitting for hours listening can be a bit taxing on the old brain. I recommend just being prepared for this, maybe taking some snacks and a drink with you to keep you alert, and taking lots of notes because when you’re listening for that long, you probably won’t remember it all!
Those are just a few of my tips to help you get back into uni mode and head back to classes excited and hopefully stress-free! I hope that it’s helpful! As usual, I’d love to hear what you do to get your head back in the game; maybe it’ll help me too! Good luck with this semester!
Much love, Hollie! :