How to move on from last semester…

Written by Learning Skills Advisor, Ellen Lyell

With the disruptive first half of the year officially coming to a close, it’s time to shift our focus to the next university semester. Unless you predicted a global pandemic impacting your study in unprecedented ways, last semester was probably not what you were expecting.

Here are a few tips to help move on from last semester and set yourself up for this new study period.

1. Be kind to yourself

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all aspects of our lives. We have had disruptions to study, work, childcare, finances, our social lives, the list goes on and on.

It is important to recognise the impact this uncertainty and stress has had on our ability to focus and achieve our goals for the year. You may not have achieved the grades you expected, maybe you couldn’t maintain your usual workload or perhaps you had to take a complete break from your study. That is okay.

Acknowledge the strength and resilience you have shown throughout the past few months. Whatever the results you achieved or sacrifices you had to make, know that you were doing the best you could do at the time.

Please consider seeking help if you are struggling. If you don’t know where to go for help, please contact centre manager Erin or LSA Ellen.

2. Put last semester behind you

The last few months have been a challenge for everyone. Think of this session as a clean slate and a chance to re-focus and get your studies back on track.

Firstly, clean up your study space.

You can’t beat a tidy study space. Get your procrastination cleaning out of the way early by sorting your desk and storage. File or throw out the pile of last semesters readings that are still sitting on your desk.

Secondly, clean up your laptop or computer.

Make sure you have filed all your assignments properly and have saved them into an appropriate storage folder. Double check you don’t have 50 copies of your final assignment still saved to your desktop. Get them filed safely away in a folder where you hopefully never have to look at them again.

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the evidence of last semester…

3. Get your admin done & dusted

Use this time early in the semester before assignments start to get the admin out of the way.

  • Ensure you have enrolled in all necessary subjects
  • Read your subject guides
  • Find your referencing style and download your universities referencing guide
  • Check if you are eligible for any mid-year scholarships
  • Make note of the census dates (the last date that you can withdraw from a subject without financial implications)

4. Get prepared

You know the awful feeling when you realise your major assignment is due the very same weekend as your trip away?

You can avoid that by creating a semester planner. You can keep an eye on what assessments are coming up and prepare accordingly.

  1. Print out a semester planner. Your university may have its own version.
  2. Go through your subject outline and identify your assessments for each subject. Note what it is and how much it is worth.
  3. Write these due dates on your semester planner
  4. Add any other key dates or events into your planner (E.g. weddings, birthdays, holidays)
  5. You can also add in your lecture/tutorial or other study commitments
  6. Print that out and have it somewhere visible

You can use the planner to identify ‘hot-spots’ (unrelated to COVID – thankfully) or busy periods.

5. Ask for help

If you want help getting organised for semester two or just want some free pizza, register for the Time Management and Wellbeing Workshop with Headspace next Wednesday night (15th July) here.

Or you can book a one-on-one session with Ellen here.