With the return of semester one, I thought I’d take a similar approach to fellow USQ blogger Kara (see Kara’s blog “advice for my pre-exam self” http://usqedu.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/advice-for-my-pre-exam-self/).
Dear ‘nervous-final-year’ Jordan,
HAPPY ACADEMIC NEW YEAR! March came around so quickly and now it is time to get back into the swing of things.
At this point, it is important to set yourself up for success and turn over a new leaf with positive study habits. 2014 is a big year for you Jordan; Not only are you preparing for your final year of university, but you’re also going to have to juggle it alongside full-time work. It’s not enough to just set your new year’s resolutions; you need to think how you will actually keep them.
Build a study time table. Keep up to date with readings. I know these have been your academic ‘new years’ resolutions’ for the past few years, but you need to now more than ever. Finishing assignments the night they’re due is no longer an option for you. Start early, plan ahead and you’ll have plenty of time to edit without the pressure. Every opportunity to study should be taken – like your train rides to and from work.
After four years of full-time on-campus study I know that the idea of finishing university online can seem a tad daunting. Always remember, if you are ever concerned you have an amazing support network of family, friends and university staff you can call on. The lecturers have consultation times set aside for student questions and they’ll only be a phone call or email away. Speak to work about your studies and I’m sure they will be able to be flexible when it comes to exam time.
I know you’ll be missing the social side of university, but online study isn’t as lonely as you may think. You can be just as involved in social and discussion forums available on the course pages; if that isn’t enough, you can always set up study groups.
Finally, don’t forget to look after yourself! Not only will you have limited time for study during the week, but you’ll also have to make time for exercise, downtime and (most importantly) sleep! Take a deep breath. Stay focused. Eat well. Have fun. Set yourself goals for this year and work towards them.
Best wishes always and I cannot wait to see what adventures you’ll have this year!
From ‘optimistic-future’ Jordan