• Chiara's Studies

How to get ready for the new academic year - part 1

We’re close to September, and we know what this means for us students…

August is about to end, and with it we can now see the end of our beloved summer break. It’s time to get ready for a new academic year. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be your first year in university or the last and you can see the end, we all like to start the year well, full of hopes and good resolutions.

I’m about to start my third year of university, and every summer I get all excited about the possibilities that the new year brings, and the will to do better and to learn from the mistakes of last year.

If some things need to wait for the time to be closer to the actual beginning of the classes, there are few things we can already do at the end of August to be as prepared as possible:

- Check your email. For any real important event and/or task you have to do the university will send you an email, on your uni email or your private one (or both for the very important stuff), and every year there is at least one person who didn’t know what there was to do. A very general example is the enrolment or re-enrolment, which is really just confirming your data, and reminds you to update anything that changed in the meanwhile (as it could be your term address for example). It’s easy and you can be sure to have done all it was required.

- Make the university website your best friend. The university websites sometimes can be very confusing and with a structure that let us wondering who projected them. However you can find so many useful pieces of information, both for the present and to get started getting organised ahead for the whole year. Spend some time on there and find all about the Welcome week events, Freshers fairs, or where you can go to ask documents, or even opportunities for some student jobs.

- Read the description page of your classes. You probably have already read it when you chose what classes to attend (in case of optional ones), and you might have skipped completely the ones on the mandatory classes. But now it’s a good time to go back on those pages or those documents, and go beyond the simple description and the name of the professor. You want to be sure to arrive ready the first lesson. Some things to look out too are:

- Do you need to buy a book? Some books are just very hard to find and it might be necessary to order them in advance.

- Is there any suggested introductory reading? Let’s be honest year: the moment we ready that it’s just suggested, a big amount of us (included me) forget about it. However if often I didn’t regret it, the past year I found myself in difficulty when in front of a topic I had never studied before, where others already had a general idea of what’s going on. So for this year I have decided to choose the classes where I know I have no previous experience and do at least some introductory reading to learn the basic notions, so I will be able to focus on more advanced aspects and understand better in class. You will be super grateful when exam season comes and you don’t have to go through the basics to understand your notes.

This can really be general tips that did a huge difference for me though! Maybe your university will require something else as well, but checking your email, or knowing the website, for example, you should find it out easily.

I study in the UK, but if you study in any other country and there is more to do at this stage share your experience and tips in the comments! I can’t wait to find out if there are any big differences or not!

See you next week to find out what we can do instead, not just to be ready and prepared with all the necessary, but also to be organised and at our best!

Un grande abbraccio


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