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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

It is that time of the year again – the nights are slowly getting darker, the weather is getting cooler, and autumn is finally upon us. Whether you’re a Fresher embarking on an exciting new chapter or a returning student looking forward to another year, it won’t be long until you realise you have left the long summer break behind you. The change in lifestyle can take everyone a while to adjust to, so here are my top tips to help you settle into the academic year completely stress-free!

Firstly, prepare for the term’s workload while you can. Where possible try to get ahead on reading and prevent leaving work to the last minute. As you start your course, make sure you fully understand everything before moving on. There is no problem in attending office hours; they are there to assist you and can help make writing end of term essays easier. Creating sustainable study habits and routines will also really help manage your time so you can get a perfect balance between your social and uni life. To prevent burnout and encourage productivity, it may also be useful to arrange study dates with friends so you can talk through your work and take regular breaks together.

On the subject of socialising, many societies offer taster sessions not only during Fresher’s week but in early weeks of term as well. Societies are a brilliant way to meet new people who share the same interests as you. It doesn’t matter what year of study you are in, joining societies is the perfect way to have a break from studies. It is also great to spend time with your flatmates, especially as a Fresher! Whilst it can be fun to go out, chatting and cooking in your kitchen is a perfect way to get to know each other. It can also help you overcome any worries, allowing you to develop cooking skills and recipes you can use throughout your years at Exeter. However, it is important to remember that not everyone is best friends with their flatmates and if you don’t establish close friendships that is fine – you will meet plenty more people on your course and by taking part in other activities.

It is not just friends who are vital to helping you settling into the new year, it is important to keep in contact with family as well. Try to set aside some time everyday, or a couple times a week, to FaceTime home. At the end of the day, your family know you the best so any worries, they should be able to point you in the right direction. Even if you are coping perfectly well, talking to a familiar face can be really beneficial.

Coming back to uni can result in nightmares about finance, budgeting and all the legal documents students have to contend with. Throughout the term, ensure all rent and any bills are sorted as soon as you get the chance. Unfortunately, pushing it to the bottom of the to-do list is not going solve it! You may also find it useful to download a budgeting app to keep track of your spending. Recommended apps include Squirrel, Yolt and Money Dashboard, but there are many to choose from and it depends on what works best for you.

The biggest piece of advice to help you settle into the new academic year is to get organised. Make a note of any deadlines for both financial transactions and uni work. This will help you be prepared as deadlines get closer and will ultimately make finding a balance between work and friends a whole lot easier.

Hello! I'm a second-year history student studying at Exeter Uni, who loves reading, travelling, baking, acting and a variety of sports.
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