Since one of my very best friends is doing a student exchange program in Edinburgh, and is starting her semester now, I thought it’d be a good idea to do a “back to school”-series for all the students starting school in September.
The theme of this entry, as you can probably tell from the title, is what to do before school starts.
Figure out when and where all the classes are, and plot them into your calendar:
- This will save you a LOT of headache in the mornings. If you simply place them as repeat events in your calendar until the end of the semester, and include the room number/address you’re supposed to be at, you won’t have to pull up a map, or check the class itinerary every morning until you learn the schedule. Oftentimes your school will have an option on their website to sync the class schedule with your calendar, so I highly recommend you take advantage of that feature if available.
Do the same thing with the exam location, and figure out in advance how long it’ll take you to get to where the exam is held:
- The last thing you want is having an exam sneak up on you. So rather than worrying about when and where the exam is, figure it out way in advance, so that you can do this next step in my back-to-school-preparation program…
Look at old exams, and see which topics are repeated:
- If something has a tendency to be on every exam, it is probably something the professor thinks is essential that all the students know after taking the class. Be proactive, and be sure to take special note when the professor talks about those specific topics in class. Perhaps write down a few questions regarding the exam questions, and email your professor about them if it doesn’t come up in the lecture. Or better yet, use it as an opportunity to ask the question out loud in class. If you’re confused by something, there is probably one or more students wondering about the exact same thing.
Make a study plan:
- Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with your lecture schedule, you can begin planning when will be the best time to study. Are you going to study in school, or do you prefer to go to a café or an off campus library? Do you study best in the comfort of your own home? Take a second to think about how you want your days to be scheduled. And don’t be discouraged if you can’t stick to a fixed schedule in the first few weeks. Settling into new habits takes some trial and error, and soon enough you’ll figure out what works best for you.
That’s pretty much it. If you feel like I forgot something, or have a good tip for how to best prepare before starting uni, be sure to leave it in the comments below!