I am in no way an expert on how to prepare for uni, however after two and a half years of studying there are definitely a few things that I wish I knew before I started.
1. Set goals
Being PR students we are very aware of the saying “ A goal without a plan is just a wish”. Some of my goals go further than the end of the semester but I always try to make sure that my goals are action based so that I have some sort of a plan on how to come closer to where I want to be. Want to get D and HD in all your units this semester? Of course you do! What to do to get there? Talk to your teachers, make sure to turn up to the lectures and tutorials and one of the most important things; make friends in your classes! Not only may they be epic people to be around but that way you can help each other out when you have questions about assignments later in the semester. Want to get to know more people at uni? Absolutely! Join a club or sit down next to someone you don’t know in your class, or why not join PURE? We are always looking for people to join our committee and we all actually become great friends after just a few months!
2. Buy the books early!
The first couple of weeks at Uni tend to become quite expensive. I don’t like complaining but lets face it, most books are around $80 or more, and then you need a parking permit which costs an arm and a leg, and then of course – the coffee addict within you will force you to spend a ruthless amount of money on caffeine. Although I do love coffee, I personally believe that the most important thing to become motivated to do well in the semester is to get those books. I tend to get my books for the classes I am taking a few weeks before the semester begins and get a head start. This might seem a bit geeky, but I honestly believe that if you have manage to read a few weeks in advance, you will thank yourself later on in the semester. You will know what the unit is about, and you wont get overwhelmed when the first study break comes around!
3. Take care of yourself
This is the most important advice I can give anyone who wants a great semester ahead but it is also the one I have the hardest time following myself. I tend to exercise quite regularly, going for runs, hikes and yoga sometimes. I continue doing this up until about week four into the semester, and then I freak out about the amount of things I have to do for work, my internship and Uni. Week four is when it starts to get busy. So what happens? I completely stop exercising. In my head I make it up to be “that I don’t have the time”. This is absolute nonsense. Personally I tend to feel a bit anxious when I get stressed, and the best remedy against this (for me) is to go for a quick run. So it really doesn’t make sense that I stop doing this when I hit the first stressful moment in the semester. So listen to me when I say; don’t stop exercising just because Uni gets hectic! Before this semester starts, make sure you have got good habits in place, it will make it harder to break these when life actually gets a bit hectic.
When I say Take Care Of Yourself I also mean things like – avoiding drama. Boyfriends/girlfriends and friends in general that seem to live to make your life a mess need to be removed (or told off) before this semester starts. There is no room for people that do not support you a 100% throughout the semester. A good rule of thumb for me has always been to surround myself with people that give me energy rather than steal energy (and many of these ‘energy givers’ I actually met through my PR classes at University!).