The exams are over and by now you will know just how you did. Doubtless you are looking forward to a December break, to seeing your family and taking some much-deserved rest. Did you know, however, that next year’s success can already be put into motion today? We aren’t talking about big things, after all you still need to relax, but doing these small tasks at some point over the holiday will take pressure off your first weeks back and give you the preparation you need to achieve your best levels next year.
The first step to preparing for next year is to properly clean out your accommodation and make sure you aren’t dragging things you don’t need from year-to-year. Clear out your desk and recycle any unnecessary paperwork, sell the textbooks you don’t need on Facebook Marketplace and file away any notes you think may help in future. Look seriously at your wardrobe and give away the clothes you never wore this year. All that done? Then it’s time to…
You have had a busy year. Sit down somewhere quiet, close your eyes and mentally go over the year. Think about your successes and failures and emotionally allow yourself to disconnect from the exam stress and ask yourself two questions, “What went well this year that I would want to repeat?” and “What things would I like to change next year?”. Asking yourself these questions now may seem irrelevant but putting them in your mind in this determined way will mean you think about them during the holiday and go into the new year with a considered approach.
After a week or two of holiday, with the past year properly considered, it is now time to set goals for next year. There is a reason why we do New Year’s resolutions as this is the perfect time of the year to think about bettering yourself and going for all you want to achieve. Even if you don’t make all of your goals, you will meet some of them, and that’s a lot better than nothing. Don’t be afraid to write your goals down, laminate them, and bring them with on your new year to hang inside your wardrobe door.
It might be a good idea to break them down into categories e.g.:
Join a gym
Get an internship
Set aside Friday afternoons to file all notes from that week in an organised way
Go out. See your friends. Take a day trip. Spend time by yourself. Do whatever it takes to recharge and relax. Your brain needs a proper break, and this long holiday is the perfect time to do all the little things you wanted to do over the year, but didn’t manage to achieve. Spend time with your family. Help with Christmas dinner. And most importantly try to forget about studies. Even if it’s just for a few hours or days at a time.
Having spent at least one year at university, you will now know exactly what you need to make your life easier and more comfortable. Making sure you have the stationary, paper, and even home comfort snack foods ready to take back to university with you, will mean you don’t spend the first week back stressing about the little things.
Go one step bigger, download your course notes, calendars, professor contact details and schedules now. Mark the dates for exams and assignment deadlines in your calendar or on your phone. Set up alerts for weeks in advance. Do this with time to spare and find yourself easing into the new year like a professional.
If you are a current resident and returning to The Fields, read our article on levelling up your accommodation and think about the things that will make a big difference to you. Bringing just one or two of these things can make a house feel like a home.
If you aren’t yet a resident, take a look at the many apartments on offer, and you will see that if you are studying in Pretoria, there is no better accommodation when it comes to transport, convenience and facilities – apply now.
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