How to plan your semester

Simple steps to stay on top of your studies
Take some practical planning advice from the Library's Peer Learning Advisors (PLAs). As current students themselves, they know the magic of planning early so you're relaxed and ready when exams roll around.



Take advantage of free wall planners and calendars offered by the University

Get started by downloading the University's free semester planner and student wall calendar. The SRC and SUPRA also give out wall calendars to help you get in the planning mood – be quick, though, they go fast! You might prefer to use a wall planner, a diary or a digital calendar – choose whichever works for you.


Note down the key dates

It sounds obvious, but make sure you use your Unit of Study outlines in Canvas and the key dates page to earmark all the dates ahead in your semester that you can’t afford to forget about, such as assignment deadlines, census dates, study breaks. It's also a good idea to include application deadlines such as exchange programs, scholarships, careers and other things happening on campus. 


Stay active, sleep and eat well

These three are the holy trinity when it comes to managing your emotional and physical stresses that come with the busy end of semester. If you don't have access to gym and sports facilities, a walk or run around your neighbourhood can work wonders. Read up on mindfulness to help you stay balanced and calm when things start to get a little crazy.


Break down your work into achievable goals

Use the SMART goals method to plan and lock in our goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. It’s important that you work all your goals – whether it's assessment deadlines, learning a new language or yoga poses to learn – into the planner so you can visually keep track of the targets you’ve set for yourself.


Put away your phone

To make the most effective use of your time you need to limit distractions and break down your study into achievable goals. If you tend to procrastinate by checking your Insta feed throughout your study period, set yourself a 30-minute interval of dedicated study time, followed by a phone break. This is called the Pomodoro technique, which is used in the Library's Focus and Study sessions.


Make use of the study spaces on campus

Whether you have all your classes face-to-face, or your timetable is a combo of online and on-campus learning, when it's time to knuckle down the study spaces on campus are hard to beat. Have a look for one that suits you and your study needs. 

If you're studying online, check out our tips for setting up your home study space.


Don’t forget to give yourself some downtime

It’s okay to binge watch Netflix! Just make sure you’re getting everything else done, too. You should also add some fun to your planner so it's not all work and no play.

The Library offers lots of ways to enjoy some dedicated downtime, and a whole lot of online events are planned for while semester is online. Check out the Library's calendar for upcoming events, And don't forget about Clubs and Societies and the USU's social events.

Updated 18 February 2022

16 August 2019

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