Once Freshers' Week has been and gone - you're fully registered, you've met five people called Mark and finally worked out where the laundry room is - it's time to get down to the serious and exciting business of studying for your degree. While there's no need to panic and place a huge amount of emphasis on the first term (you'll have at least eight more to come after all) it's important to get it right in order to set the tone for your time in higher education. Read on then for our suggestions on how to make your first few months both memorable and productive.

1. Wake up

We're talking metaphorically here: you've just come off the back of a gloriously long summer holiday and a largely fun-filled freshers' week, but now's the time to get your head down.

2. Eat properly

What? Your mum has mentioned this already? We're with her on this one. Five portions of fruit and veg a day, eating breakfast, avoiding fatty, salty food; it all leads to a happier and healthier you.

3. Stock check

Make sure you've got everything you need - certainly in the first few weeks - in terms of text books, pens, pencils, paper, and anything else that's specific to your course.

4. Question everything

Not in a "Why am I here?" way, but in terms of getting your head around anything you're not sure of. For example: don't understand something that's come up in a tutorial? Ask your tutor. Easy.

5. The write stuff



Early on it's worth making even more notes than you might usually, just to make sure you don't miss anything that you need later. As you progress you'll get a better idea of how many notes you need to make.

6. Compare notes

Once you have made those notes, why not discuss them with your course mates; it's a good way to get to know them better and make sure you haven't missed anything in the process.

7. Book early

The library is your friend. Be good to it and it will be good to you. It's that simple. Get to know it's set-up and layout as soon as you can, and start spending some quality time together.

8. Get involved

When you sign up for all those clubs and societies in freshers' week, don't forget to actually go along to them! A chance to meet new people, learn new things; what's not to like?

9. Phone home

Let friends and relatives know how you're getting on, while it's also good to hear from the people you love. However, don't go home on your first available weekend; settle in to your new surroundings first.

10. Go out

Yes, you're at university or college to work hard, but don't forget to have some fun in amongst all that as well. If you stare at computer screens and reading lists 24/7 you ºmight go a bit mad.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

As IEP (Independent Educational Publishing) magazines become increasingly interactive, don't forget to check out our online e-zines on the website below. You can also give us your thoughts on this article: e-mail us at whichcourse@independent.co.uk with the subject heading "10 tips" to give us your feedback and let us know what you'd like to see covered in the next issue. Don't forget to include your name, age and where you live too, in case we want to get in touch. So, get typing - we look forward to hearing from you!

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