New year, new start: 5 ways to kickstart your study

We all have great intentions at the start of the year but somehow we always seem to revert back to old habits. But here comes another opportunity for a fresh start; so here’s how to embrace your clean slate once again, so that you can fill it with less doodles and all sorts of productive scribbles instead…By Lillie Almond

Get a diary

If you don’t already own one of these, get one in your life. Paper is so much more pleasing than digital; you get to scribble out the things you’ve done, and can physically see your year ahead of you. With your diary, think of aims throughout the year- perhaps a ball-park date as to when you’d like to have a certain amount of your dissertation done? Throw in the exciting things, society dates etc, along with the important things to keep you on track from beginning, and to keep things in perspective.

Re-familiarise yourself with uni life

Do you sort of forget how university works when you’ve been away for a long time? This has a disorientating impact on your already hectic year. Take some time to get back into the swing of things – set your sleeping pattern back to regular working hours for example. You should also take this opportunity to get to know those things that you may have overlooked last term, such as your important local areas (ahem, library), so that you don’t panic when you really need them.

P-p-p-pick up a skill

One of the great things about being at university, is the infinite array of skills you can develop alongside your course. Take a look at the workshops offered by IT Services and Student Careers and Skills; the selection is wide, and most courses are free to attend and take part in. They prove something interesting to add to your CV, while developing academic and non-academic skillsets you might otherwise overlook.

Make the most of what’s on offer

Too often we end up finishing something, only to realise that there’s actually a super useful tool that could have saved us so much time. Make sure you make the most of the resources, facilities and help that’s on offer. Explore the hidden gems in the MRC or keep checking in with the Study Blog for any insider secrets about study tools that you didn’t know existed.

Be positive!

Remember that going in with a positive attitude really is half the battle. It is infinitely infuriating when people tell you that, “You’ll never make it with an attitude like that!” Yet there’s no smoke without fire. Make a point of talking through any negative feelings about the year ahead with a friend. Discuss what you think will be challenging, and where you want to see yourself, what you want to have achieved, by the end of this academic year. See if your friends can advise you about anything you might be concerned with- if not, tutors are helpful and experienced with pretty much everything you might want to talk with them about. Once you’ve cleared all that away, you can look forward with fresh eyes and a lovely bit of optimism. We’re all in this together!

Image: Happy New Year, everyone!/hehaden/CC BY-NC 2.0

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