Getting organised for the uni year

Starting a new semester of university is a big transition, whether its your first year or your third, navigating new classrooms, meeting new teachers and tackling new assignments are tricky tasks for even the most organised. However with the right preparation and mindset, you can make the most of your time and achieve all your goals for the semester. Here are our most useful tips to help get you off to a great start and make the most of your university experience.

Make your own schedule

Each semester comes with a new and overly complicated timetable. Take the time to review your schedule and make your own personalised schedule with all the relevant when and where information. If you’re working, include any shifts or meetings in this timetable as this is a great way to see what hours of the day you have free to schedule study sessions and self-care activities.

In the same schedule or on a seperate list, make note of any and all important dates for the uni semester – this can include holidays, semester start/end dates, exam periods, assignments and any weeks where you might have no tutorials or extra lectures scheduled. Having easy access to your most important dates and an easy to read timetable is going to set you up for a productive and organised semester.

Streamline your studying

Establishing a good routine for studying, and a consistent way of taking notes is going to streamline your study experience in the best way. Find a comfy spot with minimal distractions, and a routine that works well with your personal study style to ensure you’ll stick to it as much as possible without experiencing burnout.

Your preferred method of note taking is up to you, your lecturers and tutors will let you know what they recommend you use and if there are any requirements for the course, however what you use to take notes is ultimately up to you, and sticking with one will be a huge time saver, and help you to stay organised with everything in one easy to navigate place.

OneNote is our favourite note taking app, it’s super versatile and allows you to create new notebooks and pages for every year, semester, course or class. You can import files to edit, write or draw over them and it has a range of other features you’ll find really helpful. Avoiding handwritten notes will save you a lot of time and not just in writing them, but searching through them.

Make your phone work for you

Your phone can be your best friend, and your worst enemy. If you’re like the good majority of us and you know you get carried away scrolling mindlessly, set time limits for the apps on your phone that you know you should stay away from while you’re studying. Download all associated university apps onto your phone, especially those with maps of campus so you don’t get lost, and set up a study focus on your phone which can be set to automatically turn on whenever you have classes or a study session. You can personalise a lock and home screen to have all the relevant widgets and apps you need, and none of the ones you don’t. This way your phone is working for you, not against you. For more tips on this check out this post on how to optimise your iPhone’s settings.

Schedule time for yourself

Uni semesters tend to be big ones no matter the degree, and in the midst of it all it’s easy to forget to schedule time in for yourself. The easiest way to schedule in some me-time during a busy semester is focusing on small and cheap self-care routines that you can easily fit into your routine.

This can look like:

  • A self-care hour → fill up the bath, light a candle, put on some music, bring out your favourite products and pamper yourself for an hour before bed.
  • Invest in some yummy tea → much more versatile than a coffee, a cup of tea is going to be your best friend during uni semesters. There are so many delicious teas that target energising, focusing or relaxation, so the next time you’re studying or winding down indulge in a specially picked out cup of tea (bonus if it’s in your favourite mug) to help you feel a little pampered and ready to jump into the day or night.
  • Date night → cook yourself or order in your favourite meal, put on your favourite pj’s and, trust us on this one, talk to yourself! Journalling also does the trick, but it’s important during a busy semester to catch up with yourself and give yourself a little pep talk. Doing so might be just the push you need to amend that schedule that wasn’t working out for you, or continue that essay you were so close to finishing but lost the motivation for.

Working out the right balance during uni semesters takes a lot of trial and error, but if you set aside the time to come up with a schedule and have some good habits in place, figuring it out will be a whole lot easier. Make sure to check in with yourself to figure out what’s working, change what isn’t, and regularly give yourself some pats on the back for all your hard work, good luck to all those starting university this year!