How to best prepare for tertiary study

by frank-stuart
30JAN

So you’ve chosen your degree, you’ve been accepted to study at your selected institute, and now you are waiting with bated breath for the start of your higher education studies. It can be a pretty daunting time. Well there are a few things you can do prior to first semester that can prepare you for the big year ahead.

Still unsure about a few things …ask someone!

Have you still got a few questions about your chosen institute? Why not make a list of questions and call the admissions or student services team. They can give you the answers you need and put your mind at ease.

Set yourself some goals

Take some time to think about what you would like to achieve in the coming year. Once the work begins it can be a little overwhelming and sometimes you can lose sight of what you are aiming for. Sit down, set yourself some goals and put them somewhere that will remind you of why you decided to study and what you hope to accomplish. This is also a great way to push yourself to reach your goals.

Organise your study area

Make sure you have a comfortable study area that is well lit, well-ventilated and free from distractions. A computer and working internet are recommended too. Once the work starts to pile in, you will be grateful if you have some processes in place to help organise your time. Examples would be a yearly planner on the wall or desk, a diary and to-do lists. Make sure you are stocked up on stationery as well.

Get your books and stationery ready

Ensure you have a notebook for each subject that is clearly labelled (both name and subject). Books should allow adequate room for taking notes.  You do not want to rock up on to class without a pen either, so make sure you have a pencil case full of stationery supplies.

Don’t over commit

Between classes, assignments and study you will find that large portions of your day will be taken. Don’t commit to extra-curricular activities before the semester begins as you might find you don’t have time to strike a healthy balance. Wait until the semester starts and then you will have a better understanding of what time you have for the extra stuff.

Getting there

Investigate how you are going to get to classes. Bus, Train, Ferry, Car, Bike….compare the transport options and then work out timetables, costs and parking. Be prepared as it would be embarrassing to show up late for class on your first day. Oh, and don’t forget to organise the trip home as well!

Orientation Week

Many institutions will offer some type of orientation, a common term for this is “O Week”. Whatever it is called, make the most of it. It’s a great time to get to know other students and the campus. Get a map and try to familiarise yourself with where everything is. It is a great time to ask any remaining questions you might have and it is designed to make you feel settled and comfortable in your new environment.

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