Now that you’re already deep in the semester break, you’re probably feeling pretty relaxed. Semester two may be the furthest thing from your mind, but we think it does pay off to get a head start on next semester before your first day rolls around. Getting organised can help you prepare for next semester and save you from unnecessary stress later on. Here are five ways to get ahead on your studies for next semester.

Check your enrollment and timetable

The first thing to check when preparing for semester two is that you are actually enrolled in the units you want to study. Universities have different enrolment dates and census dates, so check when you have to be enrolled by, as well as the last day you can change a unit. Census dates are also important to know; they’re the last date you can withdraw from a unit without paying for it. Once you’ve checked that you’re enrolled, make sure you set up your timetable. It’s good to know what days and times you’ll be at university well in advance. This way, you can plan ahead for any public transport, or manage your shifts with your employer if you are working throughout the semester.

Sort out your booklist

Once you’ve enrolled in semester two units, it’s a good idea to organise your booklist. Ordering your books during the semester break allows plenty of time for them to arrive, and gives a bit of extra time in case there are delays. Many universities will put up recommended booklists, but if you’re not sure what books you need for the course, chat to your unit coordinator. This may also be the time to re-evaluate your books from last semester and sell any books you don’t need.

Start your readings

Delving back into your studies may not be high on your priority list during the holidays, but starting your readings early can make your first week back a little less stressful. If you’re studying English or any other text-based unit, reading that first book or watching that first film can help prepare you for the initial lectures and tutorials, especially if they jump straight into the text. With other units, it can be equally important to read the first couple of chapters. You’ll get more familiar with your studies and have a better understanding of the material when the new semester starts.

Create a study plan

Before the semester starts, you may want to organise a study plan that outlines key things such as important university dates, deadlines, and even personal events. Exams and other assessments may seem far away, but getting started on exam preparation now will mean you won’t have to prepare as much in the future.  Many course guides become available over the break, so you can access them to check out any assessments coming up, and when they’re due. You might even be able to start planning your assignments to give yourself a head start.

We recommend using a whiteboard or corkboard to organise your study plan. Hang up your board somewhere in your room or living space using something secure like Command™ Picture Hanging Strips, and write down any deadlines, important dates and notes that might be relevant next semester. This is a great way of visualising your schedule so you can plan ahead. Plus, Command™ Picture Hanging Strips are great for renters – they’re damage-free, meaning they can be easily removed without ruining your walls. Just make sure you pick the right size for the weight of your board!

Organise your materials

The winter break is the perfect time to organise your materials for the upcoming semester. Make sure you clean up all of your semester one documents and assignments – whether they’re hard copies or on your computer – and prepare a space for your incoming documents. You may also want to back up old files in case you need to access them again. It’s also a good idea to create new folders so that when the time comes, you’ll be able to find all of your documents. Take this time to organise your books and stationery – this will ensure you’ve got the right materials for day one and that there won’t be any running around the night before, trying to find a pen. It’s a lot easier to prepare for your studies when you have all the resources you need.