As the wettest summer on record draws to a close, students across the nation are packing up their belongings and preparing to leave the magical world of home-cooked meals and parents doing laundry. Although this might be an exciting time for first years, anticipating the drunken haze that is Fresher’s Week, those of us who are returning students have more of a realistic idea of university life – or at least we would hope. So what can we expect? Personally, after a hard summer of working to pay off my looming overdraft, I’m hoping to get back to university and live the typical ‘student’ life of sleeping all day and partying all night. Unfortunately, I know full well that now I’m a second year, I’ll have to get readjusted to waking up early and actually going to lessons – a strange concept after an entire year of doing the bare minimum to pass. So, just in case any of you were feeling the same sense of dread I am, here are three tips to get you readjusted to studying.
Firstly, work on becoming a time-management pro. This applies to second and third year students, as both are pushed for time and have a million things to do at once. This year, I plan to get more involved in everything, which means not only am I studying my eight history modules; I also want to write for the SCAN, get involved in as many clubs and societies as I can, as well as hanging out with my housemates and working part-time. It may sound as if having so much going on is going to burn you out, but with good organisation and a pinch of motivation, it’s not impossible. However, to get everything done and stay on top of your studies, it may occasionally mean waking up more than 10 minutes before your first lecture, so investing in a good alarm clock is essential.
Secondly, if you haven’t already, now would be a good time to reacquaint yourself with a pen. Head down to your nearest stationary shop and stock up on pens, notepads, and flashcards – because if the workload of second year is anything like my older friends claim it is, you’re going to need them. If you don’t like to do things the old-fashioned way, make sure you’ve got a decent laptop or tablet to help you get the work done and write down notes as quickly as you can. I quite fancy the iPad for its wealth of apps to help me write notes, record lectures and make the most of my time – sadly, to do that I’ll probably have to sacrifice an awful lot of booze money.
Thirdly, as well as becoming a top student, make sure that you make the most of re-freshers, and every other event that allows you to get totally trashed. Although it’s incredibly important to knuckle down and do well in your second and third year, it’s also important to get drunk on at least a weekly basis and behave like a student. All work and no play makes your housemates assume you’re a boring loner and they’ll probably stop inviting you out.
In summary, I think we all need to brace ourselves for the big bad world of dissertations, seminar work that actually matters and commuting into university on the bus from our new homes in town. This year may require a little more effort than last, which is probably a good thing because let’s face it – do we really want to spend £9000 of fees for nothing more than blurry three years of constant drinking? … Maybe … yes …