Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Back to Uni Prep

Now that we've reached September, I, as well as many, many others, are getting ready to go back to uni. I will be going back into my final year - which feels very daunting - at the University of Birmingham, where I'm studying English.

I thought I'd have a little ramble on here about what I'm doing/what I have been doing to prepare for the new semester.

Reading is the big one for my course, as it's centered completely around text. Therefore, my preparations for the end of this month have been going on pretty much since breaking up for summer. I received my reading lists a week or two into the summer, and was quick to order the books and get reading.

Doing only two modules per semester, as well as an ongoing research project (dissertation), I'll actually have less texts to read during each term than in previous years. However, with all the extra reading I'll be doing for my dissertation, I'm sure it will end up being more work. As a result, I've gotten right into the reading for semester 1, having already read about half the texts on each module, and I'm making an extra effort this month to do as much reading as I can fit in before starting back. Essentially this means freeing up more time during each week of term to read criticism and research the texts in other ways, as I'll only need to read back over the main plot, themes and theories, because I'll already be very familiar with the texts.

In terms of organisation, I've got a new planner/diary, a notebook for daily to-do lists, some folders for lecture/seminar notes, and a new-found determination to really stay on top of things (desperately hoping that lasts for at least a month). Generally with to-do lists I'll just make a list of things I need to do and tick them off as and when I've done them. But I've recently started putting times on things, as lectures etc are at specific times and then I can build my day around that, as well as driving lessons, volunteering and that kind of thing. Anything that doesn't need to be done at a specific time can still be timetabled so that if I know I'll have time to do x, y, z between two timed events, I'll make sure I'm making the most of that time.

I'm trying to start the uni year with a positive mindset, with great intentions to keep it up (for as long as possible). I'm someone who easily ends up feeling bogged down by one thing and another, so I'll be doing everything I can to see the best in stressful situations. I'm hoping to plan one day, or at least one afternoon during the week where I don't need to do anything, as where I'll be working at the weekends that time is now unavailable. Along with that I'll be taking regular breaks, even if they're only very short, from reading/writing, which will hopefully make me feel more productive in the long run.

I'm quite excited to go back to uni now, and I'm look forward to having more structure to my days, and something to plan the days around.

What are you doing to prepare to go back to uni? Do you have any plans to stay productive and to stick to your intentions?

Until next time.

Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour

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