I love the start of a new term. The feel of opening a brand new notebook, delving into an interesting textbook and feeling excited to make new friends. This being said, new terms and new places can be intimidating. These top tips can help you navigate through this time!
The most important thing when starting a new course or being in a new place is to first ensure that you are happy and settled. These simple things often tend to be integral to academic success! This means making sure you know your surroundings, are doing things you enjoy and are making friends. Try going to some events: try a new hobby, join a club/society or pick up a sport! Walking tours are often a great way to get your bearings in a new place as well.
Next, get familiar with your course. Make sure you have all the materials you need – books, notepads, pens, computer programmes, so that you’re set up and ready to take on your course. Know what’s expected of you, and find a system that works for you to help you plan/manage your time. Personally, I like weekly to-do lists, and time-blocking on outlook calendar.
Get friendly with your course mates! They are often the first point of call if you need clarity with an assignment or help on a topic, and the people you’ll be spending lots of time with! Go to course mixers or sit next to someone new each lecture.
If you feel like you’d like some extra advice from an older student, look out for mentoring schemes. Courses and colleges set these up so that you can get advice and tips from older students on your course. This is also a great way to make friends too!
Amongst all this, find time for you. Find sometime alone – in your room, on a walk, over a cup of tea in the morning – just to be with your thoughts and process your time/meditate. This can stop you from feeling overwhelmed after all your new experiences, and help you unwind after a busy time.