What's a 'UTS'?
Getting back into the uni grind can be hard, especially since UTS decided to switch to the trimester system. This means that for students who didn’t have exams (like the good folks in communications), the summer break was basically an almost-six-month-netflix-and-chill-extravaganza. The same thing can happen on a mere long-weekend. But whilst binging all the episodes of ‘Making a Murderer’ is great when you have the downtime, it’s definitely not conducive to a high distinction streak. Here are a few tips to get you back on track to a GPA that might actually make your outstanding HECS debt worth it.
1. Take things in one at a time.
Reading all the subject outlines in the first week and seeing all the impending assignments due can be really overwhelming. Instead of freaking out over the enormity of all the tasks that are due, focus on completing the assignments and homework tasks as they come.
2. Plan, Plan, Plan.
Having said this, it’s also good to have a general plan as to how you’re going to tackle your assignments. Make the subject outline your best friend and take note of the weeks where assignments are due. Mapping them out on a planner will mean there won’t be any surprises. However it’s also important to note that this should be a general plan and not a tightknit schedule. Sometimes unexpected things happen and you’re attention will be directed elsewhere. That’s okay. Giving yourself a general plan with some leeway will give you space for your assignments and for anything the universe may throw your way.
When it comes to facing the assignment head on, always do your research first. Reading up on scholarly sources will not only expand your knowledge of the topic at hand, but it will also provide a great bank of information which you can reference. The better you understand the issue, the more coherent your essays will be.
4. Study in intervals
After not studying for a long period of time you may find that your focus has dwindled. Powering through a 50 page reading or typing out an essay in one sitting is no longer feasible, and attempting this at the start of a new study year can be incredibly frustrating. Instead, study in 30-50 minute intervals with 10 minute breaks in between. This will help with your post-holiday attention span.
5. Treat Yourself
The transition from going out every night to spending your mornings in a 9am lecture is difficult to say the least. That’s why it’s important to give yourself a little downtime. Go out to the bar with some friends or revisit your list on Netflix. It’s important to counterbalance the stress of uni with some tender love and care.
6. Seek Help
UTS provides great academic support for students. This ranges from workshops to one-to-one assignment advice. While they’re not there to do the work for you, they’re there to lend a helping hand.
Using these tips will help develop a rhythm to your studies and get the ball rolling. Once you’ve got momentum, the weekend, and the mid-year break for that matter, will be here before you know it.
by Alyssa Rodrigo