It’s that time of the year again. The summer days are coming to an end and the impending workload of autumn term looms on the horizon. It is not unusual for new and returning students alike to struggle with the transition between a (hopefully) restful summer and the start of academic study, but there are ways to ease the shock to your system.
Firstly, it’s important to refamiliarize your brain with work and start planning ahead. The last thing you want is for assessment deadlines to sneak up and surprise you out of the blue, or to be the only one in a seminar who hasn’t done the required reading. The idea of prepping during freshers may not be appealing, but it’s an easy way to reintroduce yourself to some light work. Glance at ELE and note down deadline dates, skim through the required reading, and set up a dashboard on a platform like Notion to keep your notes in order. This may seem tedious but trust me it will decrease your stress levels later on.
And if you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to summer just yet, during the first few weeks try working outside on campus or even taking a laptop to the beach! There’s nothing more depressing than being shut in the library on a sunny day and this will only dampen your motivation further. Leave intense study shifts for deadline season, put on a motivational study playlist, and work in a relaxed environment or meet up with friends to coordinate a group study session to help you feel less overwhelmed.
The idea of prepping during freshers may not be appealing, but it’s an easy way to reintroduce yourself to some light work.
The beginning of the term is a balancing act. Don’t try to learn or prepare everything at once, or else you risk burning out before your first deadline. Finding motivation can sometimes be near impossible, but to make it easier try setting clear boundaries between work and rest throughout the day. For example, study in the library or a coffee shop and go home to complete lighter tasks or unwind. This way, you’ll begin to associate different spaces with different ‘modes’, allowing you to be more productive when you need to be.
So, whilst planning schedules and establishing a routine is important, catching up on the next episode of a favourite series or going out to TP is equally essential for a positive back-to-work routine. Make the most of it!