University resumes in a little over a week and I am beyond excited. A new semester means five new papers to sink my teeth into and a whole new schedule to get used to. Yes, I am a nerd. In this post I’m sharing the five things I am doing to prepare for university this year.
#1 Updating my calendar.
I love seeing all my classes sitting in my calendar. It gives me a sense of what my days will look like, plus I am very happy with my timetable this semester (no early mornings and only one late afternoon!)
But, once all my classes, work and volunteering work is on display I do start to feel a little stressed. With five different courses this semester I am a bit worried about how I am going to fit in all the preparation and revision required. This is definitely going to be a semester of studying smarter not longer!
To help alleviate my stress, this week I am working on putting together a weekly schedule that enables me to get in enough study, as well as ensuring I have some downtime for myself and to spend with friends and family.
#2 Creating an assignment list.
I haven’t done this in the past but after seeing it on Kirsten Horton’s Organized Charm blog, I thought it was a great idea (especially for this semester of busyness). Like Kirsten, I created my list on Microsoft Excel because it is easy to re-order assignments according to due date or class.
#3 Buying all my books and stationary.
If there is one thing that frustrates me at the beginning of each semester it is the delay in getting textbooks. I try to pick them up as soon as possible from the university bookshop so I can get to work tabbing and reading them.
Each semester I treat myself to a new pack of pens, highlighters and sticky tabs. In the case of highlighters and sticky tabs, its necessary (any law student will tell you they don’t make highlighters that last long enough!). In the case of pens, I just like having new writing implements. My bank account, however, does not.
#4 Tab my readings.
This is where my organising tendencies go into overdrive. Using sticky tabs and a colour-coding system, I tab each of my course-books by topic or due date. Its not an essential task , but it does make things easier to flick through during class and study.
#5 Starting my readings.
My aim is to get at least two weeks of my readings done before semester begins so that I can start ahead of the game. Since I try to do my readings in advance, I take notes on the readings or create outlines/ briefs of their content so that when it comes closer to the time the reading is required I can just look back at those rather than the chapter or case itself.
I also use the time before semester begins to download and print any online readings. This way they are on hand when I need them during the semester, making it harder for me to come up with excuses not to do my readings.
Those are my five tips that I use to prepare for a new semester. What do you do to prepare for a new term or semester?