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How to get back into study mode after the summer: 8 tips for students

How to get motivated and what to do for a successful semester start?

We all know what it is like. It is not exactly easy to get back to university life after a summer of lazing about (or at least having a less strict daily routine with no study duties). How to get motivated and what to do for a successful semester start?

1. Organize your schedule
Even if all courses look interesting and inspiring at the beginning of a semester, the truth is that you are also expected to complete them by the end of it. Think ahead about what courses you will register for and how many you can manage – fewer is sometimes better. Take full advantage of the first week: go to the first lectures, ask older students, compare schedules and then start registering. It is better to have fewer credits than to have a mental breakdown during the exam period.

A little tip: This semester, register for a course that has nothing at all to do with your study program to expand your horizons. The offer of courses available to all students of the university is very rich, even if a number of them are probably already full: what they can give you is not only new knowledge, but also new contacts and friends.

2. Have a plan
Everybody loves a surprise, but chances are that you will not like at least some of the ones presented by your study program. Try to awaken the organized part of you and prepare your own schedule of the semester where you mark all your duties, such as deadlines for projects, papers and scholarship applications, dates of a study visit abroad and so on. We would also recommend to pick a nice color to highlight the credit week. If you do that, there will be no more unpleasant surprises.

Motivation tip: Add rewards for submitted papers or exams to your schedule – studying will suddenly be much more fun!

3. Start reading before it is too late
The heaps of compulsory reading scare the living daylights out of most students. But not you. You are a step ahead, as you have read the first book on your syllabus during the summer break. Not really, you say? All right, it is a rather unlikely scenario. But what about starting to read right in the first week of the semester? Reading will remind you why you are so fond of your subject of study, you will be proud of your efforts and, moreover, you will be ahead of your classmates who will all start fighting over the compulsory books at the end of the semester, when you will long have read everything.

You cannot access the syllabuses yet or they do not contain too much reading? The books you read do not need to be included in your compulsory reading list – pick a book that is the “Bible” in your field. It will help you get into the study mode.

4. Find a role-model or an opinion leader
Find a blog of an important expert from your field, your favorite author or another authority. Each discipline has its star and a lot of them use Twitter or you can follow them on Facebook. In this way, you can quickly get to interesting information that others might miss or find inspiration.

Do you have scholarly ambitions? Register on research social sites such as ResearchGate or Academia.edu and connect with authorities not only from Masaryk University, but from all around the world.

5. Keep your dreams and goals in plain view
It is easy to lose sight of the reasons why you chose your field of study in the everyday routine (and if that happens, you might lose your nerve or the resolution to go on with your studies). Be a step ahead of yourself: write them down!

Pick up a pen, find a nice colorful paper and create a motivational mind map that will include everything you like about your studies or your field, everything that you enjoy and that keeps you motivated. These may be books that you liked or you want to read, an interesting idea or a piece of information concerning your field or your dream job or goal that you want to achieve. Simply put, when you feel overwhelmed by studying and you do not feel like getting up for the lectures, keep your reasons in plain view.

6. Meet your friends
Throw a party or at least organize a small gathering with colleagues and classmates at the beginning of the semester. And you might invite people that you did not really get to know yet at the classes. It is quite nice to be surrounded by people that you already know when you come to the first lesson or when you are waiting for a lecture to start. And, most importantly, a good crew is a basic prerequisite for a successful completion of a semester.

7. Start your day with a treat
The first days are usually the hardest, when you try to muster the will to get up from the warm bed and run to a lecture. Why not try a different approach and turn an unpleasant duty into the best part of a day? Think of something that will make the beginning of the day more pleasant and will motivate you to only snooze the alarm two times rather than five. Get a coffee and a croissant on your way to the class or take advantage of the last warm days of the year and arrange a pre-lecture breakfast in the park with your classmates.

8. Relax by working out
Occasionally, a student's life is really challenging, so think about an escape plan – and no, this does not mean interrupting your studies. At the very beginning of the semester, find an activity that leaves you relaxed, refreshed and full of energy. The sports courses and lessons offered by Masaryk University can be great for that. You will get some exercise, meet new people and your classes will surely feel a bit less demanding afterwards. If all the courses are full, have a look at the closest sports facilities, fitness centers or yoga and Pilates lessons. There are a lot of options around the university faculties. Or find a few friends and rent one of the MU gyms.