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Habits I’ve started at the beginning of the year (that I wish I’d started sooner)

5 December 2023
Photo by Estúdio Bloom on Unsplash
Photo by Estúdio Bloom on Unsplash

Getting into the right routine at university is key to your academic success and general well-being. The habits that you pick up at the very beginning are especially important for what you sustain throughout the year, consequentially, in this blog I explore the habits that I’ve implemented this year that would have really helped me, had I started sooner.

Attending every lecture and seminar 

It has been proven that there is a direct correlation between university attendance and academic success. In previous years I would make up excuses or prioritise working over a lecture, which defeats the objective of being at university to study. Consequentially, this year I have made an effort to attend every lecture and seminar and make every effort to catch up in the event that I can’t attend. This can be a challenge when it comes to balancing everything to do, especially when working on essays, but I believe that it will pay off in the long run.

Going to office hours 

Specifically in the case of missing a lecture or seminar or not fully understanding a particular concept, attending office hours can be really helpful in keeping you accountable and staying on track. This year I’ve made it my goal to attend whenever I need support or guidance, which I was always too shy to do before.

Bulk cooking 

Making ends meet while at university isn’t easy, but cooking in bulk is a great way to eat healthier while also saving money. In my first and second year, I got caught in the habit of buying meal deals and frozen pizzas which can work out to be expensive and unhealthy. This year I have got into the habit of making one large meal on a Sunday or Monday evening which will give me a delicious meal to eat the leftovers of throughout the week. This is really great for saving time, energy and money – I really wish that I had started sooner.

Planned nights in with my housemates

House wine and cheese night

In my final year house, my housemates and I began to arrange semi-regular get-togethers to debrief on what we’ve been up to, relax and maybe even watch a movie. This has been really great for giving us time to relax and making our flat more homely and comfortable. It’s really nice to have something to look forward to while saving money on a night out. I’ve also been learning chess from my housemate who is conveniently a competitive chess player. Had I arranged this in my previous accommodations, it would have been much easier to settle in and have a better routine.

Writing a daily to-do-list the night before 

During my first two years at university, I would often struggle to get to sleep with my head full of my to-do list for the next day. In my final year, I have a dedicated notebook for which I will brain dump all that I need to do the next day. This helps me stay organised and keep on track while improving my sleep quality while stressing less at night.

Dedicating a few hours a week to working towards careers 

Recently, I’ve begun dedicating a few hours a week to making efforts in my career prospects. During this time, I research opportunities, work on my CV and even do activities such as taking an online course or completing the Cardiff Award. Making this time each week can be a challenge but I’ve found it really helpful for improving my employability and confidence for what I will do after I graduate.