Whether you’re diving into Fresher’s Week or heading back to campus for another year, setting up some healthy routines is a great way to get the best from your time at uni. And the real pro tip? You can start prepping right away. Here’s how to get your new academic year off to a flying start.
Sort out your sleep schedule
Studies show that resting up and sticking to a consistent sleep pattern is the best way to protect your physical and mental health. After all, the last thing you want to be doing is yawning your way through lectures or heading home early from a night out.
We know grabbing an early night might sound dull, but it’s hard to argue with the science: invest in a good night’s kip and you’ll also improve your focus, memory and mood – all handy stuff, especially when you’re getting used to new surroundings.
And to help you into the land of nod? Think about bringing a weighted blanket or cosy mattress topper, or simply your fave bedding. This way, you’ll create the comfiest environment you can, and adjust that bit quicker.
Learn to cook some cheap, cheerful uni meals
Let’s not pretend you won’t be checking out your local restaurants – especially when exploring your uni city is all part of your new-found freedom. But cooking in digs doesn’t have to mean beans on toast, either. By learning recipes for a few basic meals, you’ll be able to save money and enjoy some healthier options – and you might even have some fun while you’re at it.
Top tip: why not mix it up and rotate meal planning and cooking between your housemates? Taking the cooking (and washing up!) in turns is a great way to explore new dishes and cuisines, and a sure-fire way to bond with new people quickly.
Stock up on stationery supplies
There’s nothing quite like a fresh notebook – or a brand-spanking-new laptop. However you like to plan, revise and take notes, being well-prepared for lectures and seminars is essential. So, now’s the time to stock up on essential stationery, including pens and highlighters.
Alongside a trusty laptop, you might also want to look at comfortable chairs, so you look after your back and neck. Then, for maximum study focus, why not take a look at a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, paired with some study-focused playlists on your favourite streaming service? It’s also a great time to get yourself a pair of walking-friendly trainers and a rucksack with plenty of storage.
Explore new hobbies!
Between learning and socialising, uni life can be demanding, and a little stress is a natural part of the experience. With that in mind, you’ll want to find a hobby you enjoy can be a great way to unwind, burn off some energy, and chill you out.
University societies offer up plenty of opportunities to discover new passions and hobbies – from sports teams and outdoorsy stuff like climbing or hiking, to gaming, yoga, painting, music and more. Most will offer trials, too, so you can see what works best for you.
Replace bad habits with good habits
Nans love to say that change is good as a rest. And they aren’t wrong… With a new start – or at least a new term ahead of you – you’ve now got a rare opportunity to work on some personal development, and think about losing some old habits.
Replacing a bad habit with a good one is the best way to approach it. New friends, studies and socialising can go a long way to help, but being consistent is the best road to success (alongside staying clear of things that trigger you). Most important of all is being kind to yourself. Slip-ups and wobbles might happen, but they’re also human!
Last but not least…
Always remember that whether you’re nervous or excited (or both), you’re never alone. If you’re worried or stressed about anything, check in with your uni’s own mental health support teams, or try advice from charities like Student Minds