It’s odd to think that I’m in second year of university already. For the longest time, uni has been my goal in life; the place I wanted to get to. Many people have jobs or something in much later life that they strive for (maybe travel, family, or career for example), but uni for me was where I wanted to get to. It’s scary to think I’m almost halfway through.
I thought then, after finding study based youtube channels and study grams, that I should plan a bit more, and work out exactly what I want to achieve this coming year.
- Be organised and don’t turn up to a seminar not having finished the book. Okay, so I’m pretty sure everyone is guilty of this in some way, and in the first semester I think I made three seminars (in twelve weeks) where I had actually read the book. If that. No, I’m not proud of that at all, and I will say that my second semester was very different – I think there may have been one or two where I hadn’t completely finished a text, and I usually had a good reason too. This year though, I’m reading longer books, especially in my 19th Century Russian Literature module, and there is no way I can read Anna Karenina or Crime and Punishment the night before the seminar – or even the week before for that matter! The improvement I made in the second semester can still be bettered in the new academic year.
- Start early with extra reading. I don’t actually mind extra reading and going to the library to find resources, in fact, it’s quite interesting. What I don’t particularly enjoy is reading five books one after the other about Père Goriot because I hadn’t read any previously. I’m thinking even if I’ve read one or two short essays on each book in advance, then it’s something I won’t have to do when I have three summatives due in within three days of each other.
- Focus on my health more. Having an autoimmune condition means that I need to keep an eye on my health as best I can. I guess I’m lucky in an odd way in that I get mouth ulcers when I’m run down, so I know when I’m not paying my body enough attention. I’ve recently focused a lot more on healthy eating (I went through a phase of eating so well but this went downhill at uni) and I have felt so much better. Getting enough sleep is a big deal for me too, as I get horrific headaches that border being migraines if I don’t. I also want to exercise more so that I’m not out of breath from walking a short distance, but that’s purely so I don’t look even more like a fool when I’m undoubtably late for a seminar. The final part to this is that I want to focus on my mental health. I’ve had all summer to work out what made me stressed or anxious in first year, and second year I’m going to avoid these things as best as I can.
- Make more time for writing. I study a creative writing degree but somehow it’s always the lowest priority. Why? I don’t know. But this needs to change. I’m hoping for an hour a day, but at the moment as much as possible is what is working.
- Be more organised. This probably goes without saying, and though I try to be organised, it usually fails. I’ve invested in a bullet journal and it’s already resulted in me making the conscious effort to try and do as much work as possible so that my productivity tracker looks more impressive… I improved massively last year regarding organisation, and this I want to further so that I can have more time for myself and my hobbies, as well as uni.
These are just some things that I’m hoping to focus on when I’m back at uni, and to be honest I’ve already started working on them (I’ve nearly finished the first book for the Russian Lit module🎉).
I’m looking forward to getting back to this gorgeous place – this photo was from an afternoon that I spent reading by the lake on campus.