Back to Uni
Friday, 2 September 2016
Since I've graduated in January, I haven't really given school another thought other than when I signed up for my upcoming Master's degree. For the most part, I've been enjoying the exam- and essay-free zone I've been finding myself in. Yes, I have been working for four days a week and that has been quite hard at times, but on my days off I was actually free to do whatever I wanted to do. And especially because I've moved not so long ago, I have loved doing my own thing on those days.
However, the little trips to the thrift store and hour-long Internet searches for DIY's will have to be pushed forward a bit since I'm starting uni again in two weeks *insert frightened face emoji here*. Nah, I'm actually quite excited to start again. It's been a while since anyone has required me to use my brain (in, like, an academic way, haha!) and to stick to a strict schedule. And to be honest, I quite enjoy studying (for the most part). The only strange feeling I have about going back is that it will be (if everything goes to plan) the last time I start a year at uni. After this year, or year and a half depending on a possible internship, it's out in the big wide (career)world I go. Now, that's a scary thought right there!
I find it a strange idea that I'm starting the last leg of my current academic journey, but I'm also very motivated and eager to see what this master programme is going to be like. To help me get back into the swing of things (after all it's been more than six months since I've last opened a book that wasn't a novel...), I've written up some guidelines for myself, which I thought might also be helpful to anyone else who is starting school or uni again.
1. Start early.
Like I said, I'm quite motivated to start this year of uni and what I feel like helps with that is to start well in advance to create the right mindset. I'm not starting uni yet for two weeks, but I'm already flicking through my study books, buying the right stationary (the horror! ;)) and looking up my schedules. Well begun is half done - as they say!
2. When in doubt, ask.
I'm starting at a new uni this year and after spending 3,5 years in Utrecht, that is quite the change! Different websystems, different professors (whom I've never met, I dare say)... It was so difficult at times to find the right way to sign up for a course or the right person to contact; however, every time I got a bit stuck I decided to email the person I thought would be relevant, and every time it has worked out. Even though uni can be daunting, most people there are willing to help you out if you ask nicely :).
3. Mark uni as your number one priority.
At least until you got your usual flow back, put most other stuff on the back burner for now. That doesn't mean that you have to immerse yourself in your uni work 24/7 (see point 4 as well), but since it's all going to be new, course work will be extra demanding and it's wise to invest most of your time in that until you, more or less, have learned the ropes.
4. If possible, allow one day in your week to be study-free.
Yes, it's important to do well in school, but it's also important to stay sane. Since I will also be working two days during my degree, I will be very busy during the week. However, I'm going to try my best to put myself in chill mode on Sundays. This is also the only day of the week my boyfriend and I are both off work and uni, so it only seems right to reserve that day for relaxation and a bit of fun.
5. Socialising is just as important as studying.
I think socialising is a huge part of the whole uni experience, especially if you just moved to the city (that's me!). Invest some time in getting to know your classmates - that will 100% pay off in the study department as well. It's always good to have someone to exchange notes with or to partner with for a presentation. And who knows, maybe you'll end up as friends.
Of course, I haven't started uni yet and I have no idea what is waiting for me. I'm very excited though, and I will make sure to make an updated version of this blogpost when I'm a couple months into the courses. I would also love to know if you are started school or uni again this September, and if you have any additional tips for me. If you're anxious about starting your uni life, maybe my article on 10 things I learned at uni will give you some new perspective as well.
For now, I hope you have a great weekend ! x