Emerging from the haze of the holidays (holiday haze... holi-haze?), it can be tricky to get your mindset back into 'study' mode. Here are five ways you can start to prepare and set yourself up for a great year ahead.
1. Write down your goals for the year
You can have a few big, overarching goals for the whole year, and then smaller, more bite-size goals for the term or semester, or even per subject. A new year is a great time to be clear with yourself about what you'd like to achieve - and not just in grades or marks, but in terms of habits you want to develop, or projects you'd like to complete.
Remember to be realistic as well as ambitious; finding that balance is what goal-setting is all about. Pro tip: Put your written goals somewhere visible, where you'll see them every day and remember why you're doing what you're doing!
2. Plan it out
Get yourself a good study planner and start scheduling in your study for each of your subjects. Be sure to find and note down important dates, like assessments due, exams or holidays. Don't forget to also make space on your timetable for 'downtime', relaxation and fun stuff, too.
3. Get ahead on your reading
Find out what texts you need to read this year, and get started! There's no such thing as doing your readings too early. If you end up needing to re-read things later, all the better for your memory.
Also remember to write down and save any articles, podcasts, books or journals you stumble across that relate to your subjects - for referencing purposes later. There's nothing more annoying than remembering 'something you read somewhere', but not being able to find the source. Browser bookmarks are your friends.
4. Start a study group
If 'social study sessions' suit you, why not start a study group yourself? You can post on your uni or school noticeboard, start a Facebook group or a meetup group and cultivate either an online or physical space where you can ask for help, support one another, discuss ideas and motivate yourselves to get study done!
5. Stock up on supplies
The new academic year is the perfect excuse for stationery nerds to re-stock on all those highlighters, notebooks and desk accessories that are, obviously, essential for good study sessions. Even if you don't particularly care whether your post-its match your highlighters, it can be a good opportunity to get a new diary / planner, or source the textbooks, apps or gadgets you'll need.
Pro tip: shop the sales, look for discount codes, check your uni or school noticeboards for second-hand textbooks, and always buy from shops that offer a student discount.
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