Refreshing Commitments: Studying

I don’t know how you feel about getting back into studying after the holidays, but for me, at times, it can be hard. The first few days of attempting to get back into any form of routine are difficult, and it seems to take an age to get anywhere with anything vaguely related to work. Here are some ways in which I get myself back into the swing of things after being away!

Remind myself why I enjoy studying!

At the start of a new semester I find it helpful to remind myself why I enjoy studying my subject. I spend a bit of time thinking about what it is that I enjoy most about my course, and then begin to think about some of the things I have to look forward to in the coming semester – the things I want to research more deeply, the books I want to read, the assignments I’m anticipating. One of the things that I find helpful is to spend some time wandering around the library stacks – it can be good to browse the shelves, not with any particular book in mind, just looking to see what is out there. I don’t usually have time to do this once the semester gets started, but my university department’s library is the place where I find exciting things related to my research, and this usually motivates me.

Get into a routine.

For the first week or two of a semester I try to get back into a decent routine. I try to go to bed at roughly the same time each evening and gradually try to get up earlier than I have during the holidays. This is most difficult after the Christmas holidays when it is so dark in the mornings but it really pays off once lectures start and I have to get up to be in uni for a 9am seminar!

Figure out what my timetable for the semester will be.

About a week before the semester starts I check what my weekly timetable will look like. I find out when my classes are and then try to roughly figure out a plan for the week. I’ll also look at the descriptions and reading lists for the courses I will be taking, and get all of the resources and books ready that I know I’ll need. This is also a great excuse for a trip to a stationery shop…!

These are some of the ways that work for me. What are some of the ways you find helpful for refreshing your studying mindset after the holiday?

Written by SCM Member Gemma King.