How to Get Back on Track and Stay There

As we kick off term two at Warwick, blogger Lucy gives her top tips on getting back into the swing of things and keeping going.

Welcome back to Warwick! You’ve made it through term one, and hopefully have had time over the winter break to relax, unwind and get set for term two. I say hopefully, but I’m pretty sure that lots of us haven’t quite got the idyllic, calming break we would’ve liked. With the general busy nature of holidays, the fun but exhausting time spent socialising, and for many of us, sadly, assessments left to finish, it might’ve felt like a bit of a whirlwind that’s left you feeling underprepared and overwhelmed by the thought of a new term. But don’t worry! However much you feel like you might have fallen behind, the situation is salvageable. Here are some of my suggestions of how you can get back on track and stay calm for 2022.

Tip One: Lists lists lists

As someone who is chronically forgetful, lists have become my best friend over the years. The simple act of writing down or typing out the things you need to get done can help clear your mind, calm you down and let you make a plan of action. I prefer to write a to-do list each day, so that I can keep track of my daily tasks and make sure that I’m not missing anything. Long-term lists can also be helpful, to keep track of more distant deadlines and weekly or monthly tasks.

A lined notebook with the words 'Today' and a list of the numbers 1 to 4.
To-do lists are a student’s best friend!

Tip Two: Set up your space

If you’re feeling disorganised, chances are your workspace is reflecting that. Although it might seem like another form of procrastination, clearing your workspace and making it somewhere pleasant to be can really help focus your mind. Personally, I like my desk to only have what I need at the time on it, and I always try to keep the area around me tidy. Out of my eyeline the room might be a bit of a mess, but if I can’t see it while I’m working then it’s out of my mind! Ideal workspace layouts are different for everyone – it’s always good to try a few different techniques to see what suits you best.

A desk with a plant, lamp, computer, tablet, keyboard and mouse.
A good workspace can be important for productivity

Tip Three: Balance things out

A common response to feeling overwhelmed by work is to throw yourself into academic life at the expense of everything else. But it’s so important to keep a balance between your degree and other aspects of your life. If you’re forcing yourself to work for hours on end without breaks, you’ll burn out far faster than if you take up a friend’s offer to go for coffee, or even just go for a walk to stretch your legs. Don’t shut yourself off from opportunities – this will just lead to regret and a resentment of your work, neither of which help absolutely anything.

A brown-haired woman facing away from the camera on a swing. Rocks and a waterfall are in the background.
Remember to take time for yourself

Tip four: Find your routine

Getting back into the swing of university can be hard. Holidays are long, and after spending time away from its structure, returning to seminar schedules and reading deadlines can be a struggle. Finding a routine that works for you, where you can fit in all that you need to get done whilst staying as happy, relaxed and on top of things as you can be is something that’s definitely worth investing time in. Try not to overstretch yourself, and make sure that you leave time in your days and weeks to spend time with friends, try out new activities and do things that make you happy. Of course, getting your degree is important, but it’s also important to enjoy your time at university!

A notebook with a calendar for January drawn out, with various brightly coloured tab sticky noted around the side. It is sitting on a piece of orange cloth with some pens.
Find a routine that works for you

Hopefully having a read of these tips will help you to stay calm about term two. Everyone feels overwhelmed at times – life often gets in the way of the best laid plans, but a bump in the road doesn’t have to be the end of the world. And remember, everyone has their own way of doing things, and even if it takes you a while to find what works for you, it’ll be worth it in the end!


If you’re looking for ways to study smarter, check out our post on The Science Behind Studying, or take a look at how to Study Happy and Stay Mindful. Also, all of our posts are on the Contents page.

What things do you to to set yourself a routine in the new term? Let us know in the comments below, on twitter @warwicklibrary or by emailing us at libraryblogs@warwick.ac.uk.

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