1 week down, 11 to go…
Having a massive essay due my first week back this semester really threw me in the deep end. It’s nice to be able to ease into it a little, but by Thursday last week, I’d already had more than one late night in the library. Getting excited and motivated about another semester can be pretty tricky when you’ve just had a luxurious break cuddling up with hot chocolate and mince pies, so I thought I’d share some ideas I try to use to avoid the semester 2 slump.
Join a Society!
If you’re not already in a society, a sports group, or volunteering somewhere, do it! It’s so important to have some goals and passions outside of your degree at university, so you don’t get dragged down doing too much of the same thing. Edinburgh has an amazing range of societies you can join, incredible volunteer opportunities, and a pretty smashing sports reputation. There’s nothing quite like a bit of archery or kickboxing to work out your stress and get energised. Societies are also amazing places to meet new people. Coming back to uni for the second semester is so much more fun when you’ve got amazing people to come back to.
Most of us will find that the first week back gives us some room to ease back into things. You have a little extra time on your hands, and you’re not quite swamped with readings just yet. Use this time to see what’s coming up for you. Whether it’s assignments, readings, a society event, or summer job applications, note down when it needs to be done NOW. As the semester really gets going, we all know how easily our lofty time management goals can fall apart. If you put some thought into the semester before you get too busy, it will make your life so much easier when all your assignments seem to be due at the same time.
Learn from your first semester. No matter what year you’re in it’s more than likely a step up from the year before. You’re learning new knowledge and skills non-stop. Take time to reflect on how your first semester of the year went. What did you do that went well? Did anything not work well for you? Do you have any regrets? If you’re dreading the second half of the year, take steps to change things that aren’t working for you. There are many ways to make your experience at the university more awesome. If it means having to read some painful feedback from that tutor you weren’t so fond of, it’s still worth it. Don’t forget all the services offered at the university that help you out when something isn’t working for you!
Second semester shouldn’t feel like a dragging painful experience you’ve got to crawl through to reach summer. It’s just as enriching, entertaining, and interesting as ever before. Never feel like being half way through the year should stop you from trying new things and doing your best. I wish you all the best for the semester ahead. Study hard! (But also, like, have fun)