Back to uni/school!
For many young people this is the first week back at university for the second half of the year and I think this is a time to stress the importance of staying organised and motivated while also looking after your mental health!
Like many others, I always struggle at the start of the semester. I find that I don't need to pay much attention in the early weeks of uni and then before I know it ... it is week 4/5/6 and all assessment is due! I've learnt the hard way that it really is best to stay on top of your work as early as possible, so that upcoming deadlines do not surprise you.
The beginning of a new semester can also be very stressful ... you've just come back from a long holiday break spending time with friends and family and for some, coming back to uni can negatively impact your mood and make you feel down - especially if you are someone who lives away from home to go to uni.
I thought it would be a good idea to share our ideas on not only to stay organised in preparation for the busy semester ahead but also to share tips on how you look after your mental health when you may be experiencing the beginning of semester blues.
My number 1 tip for staying organised at the beginning of the semester (and the whole year):
- Keep a diary!
I find I am able to stay more organised if I put in each class, assessment deadline, meetings etc, right at the beginning of the semester to avoid any surprises of due assessment.
In terms of mental health, I find ensuring that I stay on track of my fitness, along with meditating can help with feeling down, especially at the beginning of semester. Exercise and mediating have many amazing benefits and I find these two things help keep me grounded and as stress free as possible when I need to stay organised and have a clear mind for the semester ahead.
I look forward to hearing everyone's tips or even just hearing about how you are feeling about heading back to uni. Good luck everyone for the semester ahead! You got this!
Re: Back to uni/school!
What an awesome thread idea @lr8991! I personally start uni again on Monday, and I can't wait, because I am normally at my best when my mind is occupied. However, I also know that when I don't handle my stress well, this is a serious OCD trigger that can impact my mental health.
So, here are my top tips for uni:
- Organise your study space - today I cleared up the clutter on and surrounding my desk to reaffirm that this is a space for clear and focused thought
- Make a meal plan - I find that when I am at uni, I start skipping meals because I have failed to prepare. So, at the beginning of each week before I get my groceries, I make a meal plan. This includes not only what I am going to eat each week, but when I am going to prepare and cook these meals.
- Don't be afraid to seek help - last semester, I registered myself with Disability Services at my university, and it was the best decision I ever made as a student. It means that rather than struggling through and constantly seeking ad hoc support from my doctor, my university is aware that generally I will need a little extra time than most people.
These are just a few tips that work for me. I can't wait to hear how everyone else stays on top of things, hopefully I can learn something new.
Re: Back to uni/school!
Hey @lr8991, great thread idea!
Like @queenP, I too registered with the disability services at both uni's that I went to. I must say that I had a mixed experience dealing with various university staff in the service, but it meant that I did at least some support from the university if I needed it.
Probably my top tip for uni is to not be afraid to reduce your study load if you need to. From my experience, particularly at the undergrad level, this was frowned upon by many of the staff (and fellow students) at my particular institution. It was only when I looked at my entire situation in context that I realised that part-time study was nothing to be ashamed of. At the end of the day, you graduate with the same degree!
Keen to hear what others think!
Re: Back to uni/school!
I love your tips guys!
Making a meal plan is such a good idea @queenP , I imagine it would be a lot easier not having to plan and make meals at the last minute when you are already so busy so I love that tip to stay organised.
Definitely agree @mrmusic there is no problem at all with reducing your study load especially if it will help you do better in classes or simply to look after your mental health and reduce stress. I have many friends who have done part-time uni throughout their degree and if anything they have benefited from it more as they have more time to focus on the classes they are doing, along with having more free time to themselves or to work a part time job. It is disappointing to hear that it is frowned upon by staff at your university as I think it is something that should always be an option for students who may be struggling or simply want a break. And you are definitely right, we all end up with the same degree at the end so it shouldn't matter how long it takes us to get there!
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