The Unibox’s tips and tricks for getting off on the best foot possible at the beginning of the new academic year – and owning the socks off it.
A bit like making New Year’s resolutions for January 1steach year, only better. Polish your resolve and make yourself a few good promises this autumn for the best possible start to the new university year.
Ease yourself into study – and be kind to yourself
Just like mountaineers need to acclimatise to altitude, you need to get used to your new environment. We’re not saying uni life is going to be an uphill struggle, but it is going to be full of new experiences. Allow yourself time to adjust and go easy on yourself in weeks one and two.
Set your weekly budget before term starts – and don’t go over it
Another night in with a bowl of Cornflakes for dinner and Netflix for one? Running out of funds isn’t just a major buzzkill, it can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing if you can’t socialise or eat properly. Pre-paid bank cards are a great way of managing how much you spend each week, and if you do reach your limit, you’ll only have a few days to sit out until your weekly budget refreshes again. Have some low-cost and no-cost activities on standby so that you’re not bereft of sanity-repairing entertainment and a healthy meal if funds get lean.
Set some attainable goals for the coming year – and kick ass achieving them
Whether it’s joining the choir, running a half marathon or embracing a module you’re going to find challenging, working towards realistic goals is empowering. Figure out what you’d like to aim for, write it down, and jot down a few notes about each and every little achievement as you go. You’ll find our gorgeous goal planner in our September ’18 box, ideal for getting some serious goal-setting down. You’ve got this!
Line up a few trips away in advance – and look forward to them
Planning your breaks for the year will give you some serious tangibles to look forward to. A visit home to see family, a weekend trip to another city, or even a cheap and cheerful holiday abroad with friends from home. Not only are train, road and air fares cheaper when you book in advance, getting some dates in your diary will really help you through thoseickdays; especially if you get homesick from time to time.
New stationery, new bed linen, new underwear – the holy trinity of new term resolve
There’s something about writing in a cute new notebook, luxuriating under an awesome duvet set, and donning new pants that does amazing things for your sense of get-up-and-go. Flying Tiger stock affordable and spot on stationery; you’ll wantto take lecture notes. Urban Outfitters win at bed linen which may even tempt you to hit the hay at a reasonable time. And then there’s the ‘I’m invincible’ brand new underwear feeling – the modern version of the superhero cape. We can’t explain the magic powers of these three things, but magic they will make you feel. Go get.
Get geeky – and get reading ahead of time
If your reading list is available before terms starts, awesome, but if not, crack on with getting your hands on course text at first opportunity. Your university library should have everything you need, but second-hand bookshops, online used booksellers, or digital texts are a great option too. Getting in early will give you more of a chance of striking while titles are in stock, and a little head start on a bit of reading can make a noticeably big difference. Eyes down!
Get geekier – and reference as you go
We’ll keep this one short: add your text references as you go when writing your assignments. It’s a special kind of hell doing this at the end.
Exercise and/ or meditate – and feel all the good
Join a gym – there are some great student discounts available if you look – sign up to a yoga group, or take regular runs around a park. Exercise needn’t cost you anything but a well-invested bit of your time a few times a week and the payback you’ll get from it during your studies is immense (we’re talking better sleep, more energy, improved concentration, increased positivity, not to mention a spectacular health offset against student life inevitables like fast food and alcohol). Equally, meditation is the new everything: just 15 minutes a day can have unbelievably positive effects on your general wellbeing. Download a meditation app that strikes a chord with you, earmark a comfy spot in your room, and make meditation part of your morning ritual.
There’s nothing to stop you pressing the reset button at any point during term time, but the beginning of the year is a great place to start. What are you doing to make sure you rule at school this year?