It would be so easy to simply surf along, still on the high left from the summers sun, to go from night out to night out and from lie-in to lie-in. However, the fact is that the new term is well and truly underway, and it is time for all second and final years to crack down. The freedom of freshers is over. Your deadlines are fast approaching and this time they count.
This whole year counts; remember that. Going into your final year without any hope of achieving your aspired end grade would be a sickening feeling. Avoid it. Even those students who, after a care-free summer, sit contently on a comfortable 2.1, this is not time to get complacent and watch your sparkling grades lose their shine. Here are a few top tips to help you get motivated for a year of success.
1. Build a routine. Welcome Week is always pretty chaotic, so you can be forgiven for not having found your way by the end of week two. But now it’s time to find what works for you. Make a timetable or a ‘to-do’ list. It may sound a little childish, but it really works. It’s good to know what you are doing and when you are doing it, then you’ll know what free time you have.
2. Limit nights out. A declaration of ‘I’m never going to the LCR again!’ is indisputably more than a step too far. However, would it be so unreasonable to suggest only going out once week? Maybe go out more when you have reached your deadlines or it’s your best friend’s birthday. At the very least, aiming to be absent of a hangover the next morning is also a great idea if you want to avoid writing off an entire day.
3. Get up early. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you decide to get up before midday. ‘Ten more minutes…’ is a phrase uttered by all of us, but forcing yourself to get up may be all it takes to get that essay finished. Even starting your work an hour earlier than you already do could make a huge difference.
4. Leave Facebook for later. Logging onto any social network site early in the day is a sure-fire way to slip into a dark abyss from which there is no return. Once logged on, you will be forever clicking refresh to see if your friend who you haven’t spoken to for three years has uploaded anymore photos of her new puppy, or you’ll be glued to Youtube searching for videos of Hitler-like cats. Maybe leave the joys of the internet for an evening activity, and concentrate on managing your growing workload in the day.
5. Reward yourself. Whatever your treat may be, be sure to get enough of them. Whether it’s deciding that you can have a cup of tea and a biscuit once you’ve read to the bottom of the page, or allowing yourself a trip to the cinema if you get your essay plan finished, rewarding yourself can be an effective way of completing your work. Set targets, reward yourself. Easy.
Everyone has their own ways of getting motivated and avoiding procrastination but this is a good start. The best piece of advice? Remember, this year counts, don’t let it pass you by.