After a long and well-deserved Christmas break, getting back into the swing of things at university can be difficult. Whether it’s mental health, productivity, or time-management you struggle with, here are some top tips to make the transition back to university as smooth as possible.

1. Set realistic expectations

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Take things one step at a time; you can’t expect to come back to university and instantly fall back into your old routine. Doing a few hours of work a day consistently is better than cramming it all in one day and taking no time for yourself. While getting back into studying, a lot of students begin goal setting. It’s important to ensure your goals are realistic and achievable. Don’t pile too much unnecessary pressure on yourself and instead, give yourself time to fall back into the swing of things.

2. Organise your space

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A cluttered room can lead to a cluttered mind. Take time to organise your space at university and get rid of what you no longer need. It’s good to distinguish between your workspace and your personal space, so you can’t get easily distracted. For example, keep your phone away from your desk while you’re studying and try not to do work in bed.

3. Familiarise yourself with what support is available

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Going back to university can be daunting and a lot of students struggle with their mental health at this time. Make sure you find out what support you have available to you if you need, such as university student support services. There are a lot of free websites and app such as the ‘Calm’ app which helps to reduce anxiety and help you sleep.

4. Keep in touch with family and friends

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With exam season around the corner and studying back in full swing, it can be easy to accidentally isolate yourself. However, it’s important to ensure you maintain a support network. Whether that’s a regular trip to the pub with friends, or a daily facetime with your family back at home, make sure you are keeping in touch with the people that are important to you. Sometimes, all you need to relieve some of the stress is to unwind and have a laugh with those around you.

5. It’s okay to say no

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No one knows how you’re feeling except you and sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed by agreeing to more than you have time for. Don’t sign yourself up for too much extra work if it’s going to stress you out. Similarly, if you don’t really feel like going out or drinking with your friends, it’s okay to say no. You don’t have to be available for everyone all the time. Self-care and time for just yourself is important.

6. Invest in a journal or planner

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When you’ve got deadlines, socials, and exams, left, right and centre, you can struggle to keep track of even what day it is, and overdue work can crop up quickly. Invest in a journal or planner so you can get all of the information down on paper and keep it as a reference point for whenever you need to see how your week is looking. A journal can also be beneficial for your mental health. We love these ones available on the Journal Shop. 

7. Explore new hobbies

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If you’re looking for something to do to take the edge of studying, why not take up a new hobby. Universities have a multitude of sports clubs and societies for you to choose from. From sport such as rugby and netball to more niche societies such as a Harry Potter Society or even a Beekeeping society, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone.

There are so many great things to look forward to about going back to university. Whether you’re counting down until the first big night out of the uni term, or just looking for a chill start to the year, the future is in your hands.

What are your top tips for getting back to uni in the new year?