How to Start Your Semester Right
While summer is still ongoing, we have to admit: The next semester is definitely coming! Read everything about starting perfectly into the new study year.
Preparations to Make Your Semester a Walk in the Park
Haste makes waste and Rome wasn’t built in a day (hey hey hey!): When it comes to classes and exams, students never get tired of finding excuses… uhm… reasons (!) for procrastination. Sorry, for taking their time in ambitiously mastering their studies, of course. Anyway, your new or even first semester should be planned thoroughly – in advance! Why? It will save you a lot of stress, problems and will leave you with more opportunities for procrastinating.
#1 Your Class Schedule
Yes, we DO know that some classes only exist in theory and you won’t enrich the professor’s life with your presence. Still, you need to sign up for ALL classes and associated exams. So here is what you do:
- Inititally, check the curriculum. At University of Vienna, for example, you will find all courses
- Find out which classes you want or need to take this semester.
- What about admission? When can you sign up? Any requirements?
- What if you can’t join a class? Any other options? Plan B or C?
- Find out about the scheduled dates for these classes. Any conflicts?
- Eventually, sign up, check your admissions and create your final schedule.
This already seems like a lot to do and, indeed, it is! But once you managed to arrange your semester effectively and reasonably, half the work is done. Most universities provide special guides for you. Also, you can turn to student service points or counsellors in case you need help with organising your semester.
#2 Exams, Exams, Exams
When sorting out which classes you will take (and attend or not), you simultaneously need to keep an eye on the respective examination dates. Are there any conflicts? Do you need to split up and take two exams at the same time? Hopefully not. Also keep in mind that some exams need more preparation than others.
#3 Make a Plan
Even if you are just about to start your student life, you surely have seen all the memes on the internet about student problems. (Side note: There is even a called like that.) How funny they may be, they are also true – real life illustrations and your deadlines will be coming to.
So here’s the basic but also ultimate tip:
ORGANISE YOUR SEMESTER!
- When are your classes and where?
- When are your exams?
- How much time do you need to prepare?
- Do you need a time buffer? (Rhetorical question…)
- Which books do you need and are they available at any time?
- Are there any private commitments/events? (No, a hangover doesn’t count.)
- Have a break! Schedule your breaks and use them as motivation.
- Talking about motivation… sign in positive stuff that will keep you going (vacay time!).
#4 Increasing your monthly budget
Being a student is most fun if you can afford all the fun things and experiences with your friends! You don’t need to be rich to have a good time but having a little cash set a side each month to have drinks or go to dinner makes things a lot more enjoyable. Most of us can’t rely on an neverending flow of cash from our parents or our loan so having a side job can work wonders! A steady job can help your student life in many ways: your monthly budget gets bigger and you can afford more fun thing, you can so many new people and make new connections, and you can collect super valuable work experiences. Many students get their first jobs in restaurants or cafés, where you often only have to work a couple hours a week while earning a salary and good tips!
#5 Stick to your plan!
*We know this can be hard sometimes…
#6 Preps for Freshmen
Plans, plans, plans may be all well and good. However, most of you FIZZies join us when starting your studies. So you are new to your university and maybe even the city. We have some more tips especially for you guys:
- Check out our guide on how to arrive in Vienna.
- In case you already haven’t: Pay your future campus a visit and get acquainted.
- Simultaneously: Find out how to reach your university the fastest way.
- Join freshmen parties, events or orientation tours! Besides the welcome party at THE FIZZ, this is your chance to make friends.
- ENJOY STUDENT LIFE! Ideally find a balance between being an ambitious student and a (cliché complying) party animal.
#7 Things You Don’t Need to Worry About
You made it to the best part of our semester checklist – things you DON’T need to take care of when you are starting your semester/studies living at THE FIZZ Vienna:
- Furnishing your apartment
- Getting highspeed internet access from Day 1
- Finding an affordable close or even in-house gym
- Meeting locals and people from all over the world
- Making friends even before classes have started
- Meeting your new friends regularly
- Attending the best parties
- Buying a PlayStation and games
- Finding a place to study when libraries are overcrowded
- Finding the next post office
- Buying a vacuum cleaner, iron board, …
Depression averted? Motivation back?
Moving to a new city, starting your studies and all the challenges involved cause enough stress and pressure. At THE FIZZ, we can at least take away some of your worries regarding settling in. Just feel at home and enjoy the company of students from all over the world (:
However, if you still feel overwhelmed and swamped, don’t forget that there are loads of other students facing the same daily challenges as you. Ask them for help or turn to your university’s students office. Also, don’t hesitate to go to the reception at THE FIZZ and ask your house managers for advice.
With that said, we wish you great success for the upcoming semester!
All photo rights by International Campus GmbH.