It is always a challenge to return back to student life after a great summer break, but the fact is you need to learn to adapt to the change pretty fast if you want to get the most out of your course. University is notorious for throwing you in at the deep end once the academic year kicks off; there is more to do and less time to do it in! So here are some tricks I have learnt over the last couple of years about returning to student life… Be Well Rested: Most people sleep in over the holidays, which means going to bed later and slowly altering your sleeping pattern. Try and break out of that before you head back to Uni. About a week before you return start setting an alarm again, it does not have to be 6:30am, try a little later like 8am. By doing that you can get back to some kind of routine, and find yourself better prepared for when you are in at 9am! Be Positive: Summer is over, the weather is chillier and the sky is darker, it is going to make you that little bit more skeptical about getting back to work. However, that is no reason to be down! Get yourself motivated by something that excites you. If joining a society or regularly attending a pub quiz keeps you in high spirits, then do it. Your work performance will benefit from your good mood and you will be able to beat the winter blues with extra energy. Be Prepared: Do not walk into your first lecture without any of the standard essentials. Make that trip to W. H. Smith's in advance for goodness sake! A good workman knows he cannot do his job without the tools, and a good student should know they cannot get the most out of their degree without the required utensils. It might seem trivial, but nobody is impressed by a 20 year old who does not own a pen. I know it seems like this advice is actually just common sense, but you would be surprised how many people think that it is okay to rock up to the new academic year still half asleep and cranky. Using your head and being prepared is a life skill that you can carry with you well past University too. Employers want people who can maintain themselves, people who can stay positive and driven when times get tough, and who are not caught napping in the stationary cupboard because they stayed up to watch repeats of The Big Bang Theory. (Great show, but maybe not at 3am with work in 4 hours). You do not need to dress professionally to be a student, but acting like a professional will do genuine wonders for your results and for the impression that you give to the people who matter. Sleep well. Keep smiling. Be prepared. That is all there is to it.
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