Not much beats the university summer holidays. Long stretches of time with no deadlines, no early mornings, and lots of fun to be had. It can mean though, that come October, having to get your head back into the textbooks can feel like a bit of a shock. So how can you navigate the change of pace? Here are our tips on how to study more effectively to help you get back into the swing of things.


Get into the right headspace

Ideally, a bit of time off your course will leave you feeling enthusiastic about resuming your studies – absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. Reading lists are generally available before the start of term, so have a look through early and make a start. It means you can read things at your pace, rather than cramming before a seminar, and starting the term with some fresh ideas and knowledge will get you off to the best start.


Sort your stationery

If you’re anything like us, you will have a bit of a thing for nice stationery. A new writing pad, some good pens, a folder or two and some sticky tabs to mark your books may sound a bit superficial, but for most people, being organised is important to effective studying. When your stationary is all fresh and clean, it holds such promise for all the learning ahead, so you can’t help but feel inspired.


Uni studying advice

Most universities have study tutors who can advise on general learning practices, from using the online library effectively to compiling a bibliography and planning and writing academic essays. We’re not saying that you should be doing those now but have a look online at what is available and sign yourself up for future courses. Things like this can often get forgotten when your modules start but having a good understanding of some of the more general methodologies can make a real difference to your grades.


Set yourself some targets

Think about what you want from your course and why you are doing it. Remembering your reasons and your interests, and reawakening them, is an important thing to do throughout your university career, and especially at the beginning of a new year. Set yourself some targets for what grades you want to achieve and think about how you are going to get there. Then think more broadly about your university as a whole. Are there any new skills that you want to learn? Or any experiences that can enrich your CV?


Get inspired

It is easy to forget what an absolute privilege it is to go to university, so sometimes you have to remind yourself about why education is great. Read some books – Educated by Tara Westover is a brilliant reminder of the power of learning – and watch some classic films like The Dead Poets Society or the Mona Lisa Smile. They will leave you feeling excited about the semester ahead.


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