Making second semester better

In little over a week, the winter semester will draw to a close. You might be feeling pretty accomplished or in real need of a festive break. In either case it’s good to prepare for what’s ahead. With these tips, you will be sure to make your second semester this year the best one yet!  Review your progress


1. Reflect

This might seem obvious but we often forget to do it. Take a pen and paper and jot down on one half everything you feel proud of this last semester – you might be surprised at the length of the list once you get going. Give the other half of the page to acknowledge where you might have gone wrong. This will help highlight what needs improvement and will also give you a better understanding of what you want to get from the second term.

Stationary by FredAndBo Image from Pinterest.

 2. Re-organise

Even if your current action-plan serves you well that fresh-start feeling can really make a difference to getting going again. Plan to make the most of your weekdays whether you have class or not – you want those weekends free for fun things. Even treating yourself to some new stationary can restore some order to your lecture notes!

3. Participate

The first couple of weeks in the second semester are for (re-)orientation. There will be heaps of societies competing for your attention at clubs fair and loads of new students on exchange joining in – so you won’t be the only ‘fresher’. Edinburgh is blessed with variety when it comes to clubs and societies, try something you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity for – how about the Dirty Weekenders?

Image from Dirty Weekenders. 

4. Set goals

This ties in with our first point. When you are reflecting on your second semester what do you want to be writing on the positive side of that piece of paper? This will depend a lot on what stage of university you’re at. If you’re in first year you might want to have saved up for a fun summer holiday. If like me, you are graduating in May you might want to have secured a job or a postgraduate position. The world is your oyster!


In more general terms, successful semesters involve a good mix of work and play. Aim to be realistic and efficient, but remain ambitious and make time for your friends and your hobbies. Oh, and don’t forget to relax this Christmas.


Image for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay by Chris Watt.

Happy holidays!