Getting back into the swing of things

While many of us have been dying to return to uni over the summer, getting back into the university routine and lifestyle can be difficult. We do not have our mums to plan and prepare our meals or do our laundry, and we are out of practice when it comes to planning our time and meeting deadlines. With the anticipation of Freshers’ Week building, it is easy to forget the practical things that require attention when moving to, or returning to, uni, so here are a few handy tips for getting back into the swing of things.

Although some people may be relieved to escape nagging and overbearing parents, it may be overwhelming to think about having to cook for yourself. However, feeding yourself does not have to be a monumental, time-consuming task. With a little planning, cooking can be quicker and cheaper than you might think, leaving plenty of time to focus on your studies.

Shop at affordable supermarkets

Although you may have become accustomed to eating Waitrose luxury granola at home, Aldi and Asda’s own brands are severely underrated.

Online orders are a great idea

It’s easy to pop into the local over-priced grocery store on the way back from lectures every afternoon to buy dinner, but taking half an hour to do an online shop each week can save you lots of money in the long run.

Make More, Save More

Finally, if you’re going to cook a meal such as spaghetti Bolognese or chicken curry, make enough for four meals and freeze three quarters of it. That way, you save money by buying and cooking in bulk, and you save time by only having to actually do the cooking once. Although these tips should help avoid ever having to deal with an empty fridge, make sure to scout out your local shops and cafes, and always have a take-out menu handy in case of emergencies.

Work, Work, Work

Another shock that going back to uni can bring is the thought of actually having to do work. Believe it or not, that’s the primary reason we’re here. However, finding the motivation to get back into studying and writing essays can be challenging after a long summer off. Start by buying a new notebook. You may feel more motivated to take notes in lectures if you have a clean, blank notebook begging to be filled with intellectual information.

Buy any books you need in advance

There is nothing more awkward than showing up to a seminar and having to share someone’s book because you’re the only person who has not got it. Buying in advance can also save you money because you can get cheaper copies online. And the final bonus… it allows you to get ahead on all your reading!

Mixing up your routine can help you be more productive

If you find yourself spending hours in the library late at night, desperately trying to work on your latest essay or your dissertation, you may not be able to be as productive as you’d like. Although some people work best at this time, it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. If you are sat in the library, bored and tired at 1am, chances are you are not going to want to be very productive, nor will you be able to produce your best work. Instead, try going to bed really early and waking up earlier. You could get a long sleep and wake up early feeling refreshed. If you started work at 8 or 9am, you could have at least three hours of productive work finished by lunch time. That way, you could reward yourself by taking the next evening off and doing something fun, like cooking with your friends or going out to the LCR.

Eliminate all possible distractions

If you are easily distracted by your friends, find a quiet secluded space in the library to help you focus, and then you can enjoy spending time with friends afterwards. If you don’t need Internet for your work, turn off your Wi-Fi and phone. Even if it’s just for an hour, you might be surprised how much you can accomplish without texts or social media websites there to distract you. The more you can do to make your time productive, the more time you will have to spend relaxed and not stressed about your work.

Make every day count

Getting back into the routine of university life can be difficult to begin with, but hopefully these tips will help you find your feet again in no time. We are only here for a few short years, so make the most of every day you have here at UEA!



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January 2022
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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