As ever, summer holidays fly by at ten times the speed that term time does, and before you know it the school bell will be ringing and you will be back behind your desk. You may feel a small knot forming in the pit of your stomach, but don’t fear – you are going to have an amazingly successful autumn.
Why is that you ask? Well by reading this blog and spending a little time this summer, you are going to hit the autumn term prepared and ready. There is one critical success factor that will determine how you autumn plays out and that is time management. Let’s face it, you are going to be very busy. On top of your normal school work you are going to be finalizing your personal statement, submitting your UCAS submissions, preparing for interviews and BMATs and TSAs and on top of all that, you are even supposed to find time for sports, music, drama and dare I say it, a little relaxation time too! So how to fit it all in?
Prepare a calendar
You can print out simple calendars from the internet for the remaining months of the year and you need to mark on them key dates, such as UCAS deadline for Oxbridge being October 15th. Not only that, but you want to work backwards from that date – when do you want to have your final version of personal statement ready for review. Always allow some buffer room – don’t aim to finish the day of a deadline! The same goes for entrance exams. Note the day of your BMATs and then ask yourself “how many practice exams do I want to have done before then?” Mark in potential dates into your calendar to do them, with sufficient spacing in between to allow you to further revise and practice the sections where you fell short.
Keep up your reading
Hopefully this summer you have been reading books, articles and blogs online. Even better, hopefully you have been keeping some sort of journal/scrapbook so that you can quickly refresh your memory on what you read a few months from now, right before the interviews. It can seem very tempting to drop all your reading once term starts, but this would be a big mistake. For all students, you might miss out on reading on a big news story in your specific field. The last thing you want is to go into the interview and to be asked “So what are your views on the recent Charlie Gard case? Do you agree with the final judge’s ruling?” and not be following the story.
Maintain your extra-curricular activities
Don’t stop playing sports or participating in plays. Make time for them, these activities stimulate different parts of your brain and actually increase your brain’s function, as well as allow the parts of your brain working on memorizing your last revision session time to recover.
Balance is key to success this autumn and by using your calendar, there should be no panics as no surprise deadlines will sneak up on you.