Yes! It’s that time of year. As I go off to uni this year, after a few years’ gap from education, I can’t describe how excited I am to be doing back-to-school prep again. Planners, stationary, lists, to-dos – I’m deep into the new academic year prep, YouTube wormhole included, and I have to say, it’s been a really fun thing to focus on. So, if you’re going back to school, college or university at the end of the Summer, join me in beginning to prepare for a new academic year.
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” – Oscar Wilde (I intend for this to be my uni motto)
1. Complete your applications
Moving to a new school? Starting uni? Make sure you’re up to date with your applications. Ensure your place is confirmed, your documents are submitted and that there’s nothing else you need to do before you head off. Universities tend to start reaching out around this time to get the enrolment processes going, setting up emails, making ID cards, etc, so make sure to do those things as soon as they’re sent through. Plus, if you’re moving away, you might need to look into other things, student bank accounts, rental contracts, etc, do all the prep you can early, so you can sit back and relax.
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2. Get your stuff ready (anyone get as excited about stationary as me?)
Especially if you’re moving to uni for the first time, as I am, you’ll likely have a long list of things you need to get before you go. Start purchasing these things to spread the costs out and look for deals. Lots of back to school stuff increases in price in September, so get in early to save some money! But also know that you don’t have to pick up everything before you go. Starting out with the essentials and buying other things as you need them can be a smart way to save money, space and figure out what you really need!
Check out these uni essentials resources:
- The UCAS Uni Essentials Checklist
- The Save The Student Uni Essentials List
- This helpful and fun uni backpack video by YouTuber, Hannah Elise
3. Pick up helpful habits early
Why not get into the swing of things already? Swapping out your 3am bedtimes for 6am rises on the last day of the Summer will be quite the shocker, so prepare for a new academic year by easing yourself in with some early changes now. Studying can sometimes be stressful and difficult, so having good, simple habits that keep you happy and healthy are really valuable. Not only will they keep you productive and successful, but they’ll also give you the chance to really enjoy your time, learn deeply (rather than just to pass a test!) and be able to balance your studying with the other important parts of your life.
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4. Find new organisation & concentration tools
I’m excited to be getting back into the world of studying, but after being away for so long, I know I’m going to have to work to get my mind back into shape. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying out some new methods of organisation, concentration and planning. I recently switched to a Google Pixel so I needed to find some new apps – Google Tasks (for to-dos), Google Keep (for notes) and Google calendar all sync between my phone and laptop, which is really helpful and will be especially when I’m on the go at uni.
Otherwise, I’ve been continuing to use my agenda as I usually would, filling it with preparation to-dos and making sure I check in with it throughout the day. Having everything laid out in front of me helps me feel in control and on top of things, even when I have a lot going on.
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5. Set your goals
What are your goals this year? Write out some aspirations and set your mind on what you want to achieve. Make sure your goals are achievable but give you a good challenge. Challenging yourself will help you stick to your goals and stay focussed and motivated throughout the year, not to mention helping you concentrate and focus on the things that are most important to you. Your goals don’t have to just be academic, they could also be social, for personal growth or hobby-related.
Maybe it’s cliché to start goals at the beginning of the school year, but a new year really does feel like a fresh slate, so to me, that’s inspiration worth utilising.
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6. Focus your ideas on you
When setting goals and starting to prepare for a new academic year, it’s good to have a think about how you, personally, work best. What’s gone well for you before? Where do your weaknesses lie? What would you like to work on? What style of learning suits you best? All these questions are important so that you can tailor your study style to how you work best. Going into the year trying to study like someone else might bring you interesting insights and I would definitely recommend trying new things and taking advice, but you are an individual and hopefully know yourself quite well – invest in what works best for you, don’t try to be somebody else.
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7. Get inspired!
I’ve been deep in the YouTube wormhole of study inspiration. One YouTuber I’ve really fallen in love with the last few weeks is Hannah Elise, who although she’s recently finished studying, has a great catalogue of school-related content to get you excited for the new academic year.
Get the inspiration flowing however you like best, make a Pinterest board, speak to friends and family about it, watch inspiring content, whatever you enjoy the most. Going into the year excited and positive will give you a massive boost. Speaking of which…
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8. Be optimistic
School isn’t everyone’s favourite place, but as you prepare for a new academic year, you’ll create the chance to go in optimistically, looking for the opportunities and trying to make the most of them. Like anything, it can be stressful and difficult to do on those days when your bed’s cosy, but as someone who’s already left education once, let me tell you there are definitely parts of it you’ll miss.
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May you have a successful, happy, healthy year. Love, Ella-Rose xx