Starting uni can be a real shock, especially when you’ve grown accustomed to the structure of high school. Back then, your days were divided evenly into 50-minute blocks and your progress was tracked with worksheets that told you what you needed to be doing and when.

Nowadays it’s up to you to be on top of your shit, and you have to organise your own time to fit in uni and work and everything else you want to do. It’s pretty easy to get a couple of weeks into the semester, realise you haven’t done anything you set out to do and frantically try and catch up.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, and does get easier to manage (I promise), you just need to get some structure back into your life.

1. Clean your room

This may seem like a procrastination method for some, but it’s the first step to feeling like you’re in charge of your own shit. Having a clean room can help you out in heaps of different ways, especially study. Knowing where all your books and readings are for each subject saves you loads of time and being able to actually work in your own room means you can be productive whenever you’re home.

Most importantly, having a clean room does wonders for your mental wellbeing meaning you’ll be more likely to approach your work effectively.

2. Leave the house

Sometimes not even a clean room can save you from your own bad habits (like giving up and watching Netflix whenever it all gets too much), and that’s when you need to leave the house and start studying in a library, café or even a park. 

It’s heaps harder to take naps in public and the feeling of being surrounded by people will help you get into gear. Even use a public computer at the library so that everyone can see if you decide to start fucking around on Facebook.

 3. Have a weekly schedule

It can be hard when you’ve got a casual job with irregular hours, but as soon as you get your roster you should decide how you’re going to spend your week. Don’t be unrealistic and schedule loads of study when you know you’re going to need some time to hang out with your mates and nap, but make sure you know when you have the free time for it.

Having weekly commitments for things you enjoy–like sports or even pub trivia–can also help you follow the schedule you set for yourself. You’ll be more likely to see your commitments through if you’re having fun and soon enough the entire schedule, including study, simply becomes routine and gives you the structure you need.

4. Stay back at uni for a little bit

Last semester I decided to stay back at uni every time I had class, even if I was just there for an hour. That way I could get my readings for the next week out of the way, as well as any homework tasks. It made so much sense–I already had all my resources with me since I had to bring them to class in the first place, and all the content was fresh in my mind from having just attended a lecture or tute.

It meant that I was on top of my shit just by doing a little bit every day, and when I actually did get home I had the free time to do whatever I wanted, win-win.