Hey there!!!

I hope your 2021 is off to a good start. For those of you in Australia, most of us are in the process of getting organised for the start of semester 1. It’s either going to be online, or back in the classroom or a combination of both.

For those working online, we’ve now had a year to figure it out. For those who are new to university things are going to be a bit different to school!

Regardless of whether you’re a first year or a final year students, here’s a few things you can do to get ahead and make sure your first few weeks run smoothly…

01 | Get organized – It’s a good idea to get yourself organised with all the administration and tedious tasks you need to do, as well as some of the academic stuff. Make a list of everything you need to sort out before you enter a class.

This means sorting out your university “stuff” such as fees, enrolments and specific requirements of your university or department for training or logins and passwords and access to all your classes.

Check out each subject to confirm your timetables, your teachers, any books or resources you need to purchase such as books, specialist equipment or materials – and then go buy them.

02 | Plan your first week – Before you get to campus, plan out your first week. Add all your lectures and classes to your diary and include travel time as well as enough time to find the room either side of the class.

If you’re catching public transport, check the timetable and give yourself an extra few minutes.

Find the room number on a map, and mark out how to find it on campus. Don’t just leave it to chance when you get there.

If you know anyone taking the same class, maybe agree to meet ahead of time or right after, so you can start to organise a study group.

03 | Be prepared for class – Check your emails daily in the weeks leading up to semester and don’t leave it until the night before. Email is the most likely way that teachers and other people are going to be contacting you with any requirements or changes leading up to the start of class.

Most subjects now have some sort of online content or component. Jump online for all your classes and check out if there’s any announcements or preparation work required. If there is, schedule in a time to do it, and do it!!!

You need to start the semester strong. If you take the first week or two to get going, you’re going to start falling behind, especially in your later years.

04 | Plan your semester – As you start to attend your first week you are going to be given more detailed information about assignments and assessments, due dates, exam dates and expected hourly workloads.

During the first week it’s a great idea to take some time to plan both your semester and your typical week so that you can see both the big picture of what needs to get done when, and when and how you’re going to do the work each week.

Figure out a clear workflow and review it as you go. Avoid starting the semester without a plan, as you may waste a lot of time, get into overwhelm and chaos quickly and struggle to get out of it.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over time is to take the time to plan.

It’s going to make a heck of a difference in the long run.

Ask Liz

I have recently written an article to help you with your productivity. You can find it HERE.

Watch out over the next month or so as I’ll be putting together some more tips on semester and weekly planning, specifically for architecture students!!!

In the meantime, if you have any specific questions about study, design or anything else architecture, then… CLICK HERE to Ask Liz >

That’s it for now. Good luck starting your next semester if you haven’t already!!

Liz at ArchiMash