The New Academic Year and its Opportunities I Oxford Open Learning


    The New Academic Year and its Opportunities

    Around this time each year, up and down the country students of all ages embark upon a new academic year. Many will be starting their GCSEs or A-levels, or perhaps beginning their university career. Any new academic year offers an unrivalled opportunity for students to make fundamental changes to the way they approach their studies. It allows them to start out with a fresh, invigorated approach to work.


    It’s important that students research their course or subjects and make sure they know exactly what they are getting themselves into, so they are not caught off guard once their studies have begun. This is particularly true if it’s a subject they are new to or have not formally studied before, as expectations can differ widely from reality. Students should make sure they are familiar with things such as course content, structure, and assessment methods. They need to be confident and properly informed when heading into a new academic year.


    Although to some it might seem tedious, as a student it’s certainly worth making sure you have all your supplies, stationary and anything else required for your course ready before you start. There’s nothing worse than having to hunt down a raft of books or realising you’ve run out of pens and highlighters a few months down the line, when you will no doubt have more pressing matters to focus on, such as deadlines and assessments. Sorting out all these logistics now will alleviate a degree of stress later on.

    Consider changing your habits

    We often consider the start of a new calendar year the time to make resolutions and alterations to our lives. However, it could be be that, in fact, making changes at the start of a new academic year could prove more useful, more timely, and longer lasting for many students. These changes could be to do with the specific way you approach your work. You may want to meet deadlines as soon as they are set rather than leaving them to the last minute?

    You could also make broader changes relating to your lifestyle; perhaps you would like to start exercising more regularly? Maybe you want to take up a new sport you’ve always wanted to try? You could want to kick an unhealthy habit which you feel is holding you back or you don’t enjoy anymore? Achieving any targets, big or small, work-related or not, can give you a boost. You’ll find that making changes which might not seem related to work can have a big effect on your studies.

    Ultimately, a new academic year offers students a clean slate and the opportunity to make a fresh start. It gives them the chance to alter the way they approach work beneficially, and perhaps their broader lives too. Given that this opportunity comes around only once a year, it should be seized wholeheartedly.

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