Skip to Content


9 Tips for the Return of Term Time

As autumn rolls in you may be feeling a bit stressed out about going back to uni and while we can’t completely get rid of all your worries, there are a couple ways you can prepare. Here’s Manasa with her top 9 tips.

To-do list and laptop

The list down below may not apply to all degrees, but they can help you feel a bit organised so that your first weeks back are as easy-going as possible.

1. Buy a planner and a reusable calendar

A planner is obvious because it is something compact that you can carry with you and use to fill in important dates and activities for school. I find that getting a planner (either virtual or physical) is a good way to keep track of dates throughout the week. Now the reason I have the reusable calendar is because it’s a great way to have a big overview of all your important exam and assignment dates. I like to put the reusable calendar above my desk so that I can see all the dates at once.

to-do list

2. Make a rough study schedule

If you are someone who likes to stick to a schedule, then this a great way to factor in your favourite things to do during a school week while also getting your work done. However, if you’re like me and you’d prefer a general list rather than an hourly schedule, then I still recommend you make one. I don’t stick to mine by the hour, but it helps me put all my to-do things down on paper (or screen). I get more done when it’s visible!

3. Choose a study technique

For example; Pomodoro, Feynman Technique, Cornell note taking, Spaced Repetition, and mind mapping to name the big ones. If you haven’t figured out how to study then taking a couple days to try out some techniques might help! Choose a random topic and try to study it for an hour using one of the techniques.


The pomodoro technique is more of a time based one, its where you study for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break and then back to 25 minutes again. You do this 3-4 times till you can take a 20-minute break. This is great for people who feel like they have trouble focusing and the short intervals can help you absorb information. The Feynman technique is basically learning a subject and then teaching it to someone (the basis is that you should know the topic well enough to teach).

The Cornell note taking method is a certain way your note taking page is set up during class so that you can sort of study during it (there are tons of templates online). Finally, mind mapping (it’s in the name), is where you use more diagrams/maps to study and make sense of a topic (connecting bubbles). This may be a bit overwhelming at first, but you can cut down on a lot of ineffective study time if you take a little time to figure out what works for you.

Study Group

4. Make a study group

This might not work for all subjects or courses, but it can help to have a group of people to meet every week to study with. Some study groups are more individual (meaning that it’s a bunch of people doing individual study together), whereas others are a group dynamic where people take turns teaching, or everyone discusses a topic. For degrees like medicine where there is a lot of content, a study group with more group involvement will help more than individual study. I also know that it’s much more motivating/fun to study when there’s people around doing the same thing.

5. Make a study playlist

This one might seem very simple but having a certain soundtrack only for studying can really help!

Phone and headphones

6. Physical or Digital?

Some people love physical notes and some love digital. And others find that a combination helps. It might help to set a general plan on how and where most of your note-taking will happen. This will also help for your organisation of notes, assignments, and other papers. If you’re thinking of going all digital for notes, I recommend finding a few note templates to make note taking easier.

cork board with back to school note pined to it

7. Set up a Notion

What is notion? It’s this note taking/organisation platform that you can use to organise your entire life pretty much. You can set up a main page and then subpages from there (you can have as many subpages within pages as you want). Each subpage can be a normal page, a table or a gallery view, and the list just continues. It’s really a great platform that I recommend all university students use.

It can also come in handy for general living like finance and grocery lists and workouts. I’m still in the process of setting mine up but I already use it every day! (Here’s the link  – its free!)

8. Join a new club or society

University is supposed to be an enjoyable time to learn about life and yourself! Sign up for a new club or society so you have something to look forward to this year. It’s also a perfect way to meet new people and make friends!

smiley face on the ground and feet

9. Set aside some “you” time

University can get busy and hectic. And it’s easy to slip up on self-care but to do well in your studies, you do need to give yourself a break! Finding a special hobby or going to the gym or just for a weekly walk with a friend can be a great way to make sure you have some time for yourself in the new school year.

Find out more

Clubs and Societies

More Student Life blogs

Manasa Ramakrishna

Medicine | Undergraduate Student | Canada

I’m a 20-year-old international student from Canada and currently studying Medicine. I figured the best way to combine my love for science, travelling and working with people would be to do international medicine. Outside school, I do classical dance, sculpture and biking!

Manasa Ramakrishna