Back From Vac

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Written by Annet George

Getting back into work mode after a long summer vacation is often challenging, especially if you’ve got those dreaded 8 a.m. lectures. Most people suffer from a vacation hangover for the first couple of days, and that is completely normal. It’s hard to switch gears from sleeping in and watching series all day to attending lectures and keeping on top of a massive workload. However, these helpful tips should ease your transition into the new academic year and get you up and running full speed in no time at all.

  1. Plan your week out: Keeping up with tutorials, assignments and tests from all your different courses can be a nightmare if you haven’t got them written down somewhere. Some may like having their calendar on their phone or laptop, while others may prefer a good old-fashioned dairy. Whatever your preference, writing down important deadlines and test dates will help you plan your time out better.

2. Check your emails regularly: Any student at UCT should know how important their myUCT account is. Whether it’s lab sign-ups, or changing venues, the most common way of communication is via email. Keeping track of emails will allow you to pick your preferred lab or tutorial times, and will prevent you from having to run across campus to a new lecture venue at the last minute. So, get into the habit of checking your emails regularly. It’ll give you a valuable advantage.

3. Good Work-Life Balance: Studies have shown that taking short breaks in between study periods aids concentration. Don’t overload your brain with information if it is clearly tired; take a break and watch a YouTube video (be careful not to go on a video watching spree…) and let your brain rejuvenate. Try and do something every week that you genuinely look forward to and that keeps you motivated. It’s often easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of work you have, but it is very important to take a step back and breathe sometimes.

4. Procrastination Kills: We’ve all heard it time and time again and yet, few escape the magical powers of procrastination. The easiest way to battle the feeling of putting things off for later is to focus on long term gains rather than short term pleasure. Trust me, you’ll feel a whole lot better about having fun if you’ve already completed your work. Staying on top of work from day one is the key to success at university; as the tuts build up, so does your stress level!

With these tips, you should be able to tackle this new year with renewed energy and turn this into a personally and academically fulfilling year.


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