January. Just the name of this month has the ability to send chills down anybody’s spine.
If you’re a student however, January means the start of a new semester, which usually involves fun house parties, new classes and the promise of spring ahead.
But if you’re really going to make this semester a good one (better than your first), you’ve got to know what’s required.
Take a look at these steps for making sure your second semester is full of success, growth, and general awesomeness. So much, in fact, that others will be jealous.
1. Check out anything you missed in first semester.
This might seem like a bit of a backwards step, but hear us out.
First semester – particularly for a fresher – can be overwhelming. There’s so much to keep track of already, like your new timetable, settling into accommodation and learning your way around the place.
In second semester however, that stuff has usually calmed down and most students will feel more at home within their uni surroundings.
Therefore, it’s the best time to turn your attention to societies, hobbies and events you may have missed out on in first semester.
Most universities hold a ‘Refresher’s Fair’ in the first couple of weeks back, giving you ample opportunity to sign up to societies you may have missed.
Check out the following resources for tips on how to dive into societies this semester.
7 Reasons to Go to Refreshers Fair – Liverpool Guild of Students has seven very convincing reasons why you shouldn’t miss out on the Refresher’s Fair action.
It’s Never Too Late to Join a University Society – Graduate-jobs.com has some god advice to ease any nerves about being a society late-comer.
Hobbies You Should Take Up in College/University – EasyUni has some great suggestions for de-stressing hobbies you can work into uni life.
2. Shop the sales and grab deals.
One of the best things about January is surely the January sales. Most retailers and services have discounts this time of year on all kinds, from food to internet to clothing to household items.
However, this isn’t a excuse to go crazy with the spending. The main reason to take advantage of this is because if there’s anything you need – like a new hoover; new stationary or or a new gyn bag – now is a great time to get it.
You might also be able to pick up some food vouchers to keep you going through those first couple of weeks of term. Whatever can help you ease the strain on your wallet, consider if it’s something you really need and spend accordingly.
Save the Student: Student Deals – Check out this page regularly for the latest student deals and savings on the high street.
January Sales: Top Picks for 2018 – MoneySavingExpert round up the best of the January deals, so you can be sure you’re getting the best value.
Student Beans – These guys have all the best student deals, available through the website or by downloading their handy app.
How to Get the Most Out of Daily Deals Sites – Daily deal sites can save you a fortune, but only if you play them right! This insightful article will show you how.
3. Create a new schedule.
If you’re going to have an enjoyable second semester, that involves being organised (yep, we said it).
You’ll likely receive a new class timetable, but that’s not enough. You want to devise a new schedule for when you’ll fit in study periods, socialising, workouts, and any extra-curricular activities and hobbies you have.
Plus you’ve got to think about including some down-time in there somewhere, so you can give yourself a little leeway and don’t get burned out.
Take a look at the resources below for creating a schedule you’ll love…and stick with.
How to Create a University Class Schedule that Doesn’t Suck – If picking your new classes is still to come, this article shows you how to get the right balance and avoid screwing yourself over.
How to Create a Daily Routine that Works for You – We all know there are an endless number of things we need to do in a day, and in a week. This useful guide shows you how to fit in all the essentials, in a way that’s accessible to you.
Understanding the Design & Power of a Personal Schedule – If you’ve got a bit more time and want to learn all the intricacies of creating the best schedule for you, give this article a read.
4. Re-organise your desk space.
New semester, new desk space! Or, rather, new desk layout.
It’s amazing what you can get done with a cleaner, more revamped work area and so re-organising your study space is one of the first things you should do once you get back to your student accommodation.
Did you know that you can set up your work space to aid productivity? And that having the right stationary can help with memory and learning?
Check out the links below to see how you can make your desk space work for you.
Small Desk Organisation Ideas – These tips and pictures from Clean & Scentsible will give you serious desk envy. Just look at those drawer separators!
How to Organise your Office for Maximum Productivity – These strategic tips from business mogul Neil Patel himself will have you on the way to a more focused mindset.
21 Tips to Organise your Office and Get More Done – These valuable ideas from Lifehack will serve you throughout uni and into your working life.
5. Revisit your budget.
Regardless of whether you’ve been conscious of spending so far, now’s a good time to revise your budget to take into account the new semester’s circumstances.
For example, you may have added one or two new monthly expenses that you didn’t have in first semester. You might have lost a job, gained a job, changed your lifestyle, or have a particular savings goal you’d like to reach.
Either way, giving your finances a quick once-over will ensure that second semester runs nice and smoothly.
Student Money: 10 Things to Remember to Budget For – Don’t forget about these important (yet easily missed) things when devising a budget.
How to Draw Up a Student Budget…and Stick to It – If this is your first time creating a budget, This Is Money has all the info you need. Plus, some handy tips for actually sticking to it, which everyone can benefit from.
Survive as a Student Without Blowing Your Budget – The Money Advice Service has some helpful tips for making your funds stretch that bit further.
Save the Student Budget Calculator – This article has some brilliant tools for helping you work out how much to spend on rent, bills, going out and other necessities. There’s also some great app suggestions as well that’ll help you stay money-conscious on the go.
6. Search for new student accommodation
If you haven’t already figured out where you’re living next year, then second semester is a good time to start.
Though there’s still plenty of time for finding a new living space, most people tend to begin looking now. This allows plenty of time for you to find a place you really like, rather than settling for something out of necessity.
Check out these resources for finding your dream student accommodation.
An Expert’s Guide to Viewing Student Houses – Become a house-viewing pro with this handy guide, which tells you everything you need to look out for, plus what to do when you’ve found the right fit.
The Students’ Guide to Finding Accommodation in the UK – UniBaggage have all the lowdown on the different types of accommodation to choose from and how to conduct your hunt.
A Student’s Guide to Private Rented Accommodation – Whether you choose a shared house or student apartment, this piece lets you know exactly what to expect, as well what’s expected of you.
7. Spruce up your CV/start looking for work
Second semester is also the best time to start sprucing up your CV and getting it employer-ready.
This is especially true if you’re a third year about to graduate, but even if not, now’s a good time to start reeling in that much-needed work experience or summer internship.
There are many ways to make your CV stand out, and there are also lots of creative ways you can search for work opportunities (that others may not think of).
Check out these resources below for kicking your search off with a bang.
Out-of-the-box Approaches to Job Search (That Actually Work) – Read the annoyingly clever tricks that work to impress employers, from the people who’ve done it themselves.
Getting Experience Without Experience – It’s the age-old frustrating conundrum, isn’t it? Steve Rook explains some innovative ways to get out of this pesky rut.
28 Most Creative Ways to Find a Job – Social media. PR stunts. Giving free advice. Touring the building. These are all just some of the unusual ways to get yourself noticed by employers.
How to Get your Resume Noticed By Employers – This article breaks down the must-have essentials of a crowd-pleasing CV.
How to Impress an Employer in 8.8 Seconds – Did you know that it takes an employer just under nine seconds to decide if your CV is worthy? Ensure you lure them in with these proven tips.
What else have you got planned for semester two? Let us know by tweeting at us, @CaroStudents.