Welcome back to another Schooling Sunday! Over the past week since starting up my blog can I just thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read each of my posts especially those who took the extra time to like and follow my blog for your support it really makes me feel like I am on the right track here on The Hazardous Minds Blog considering it is my very first time running a blog and with it also being a solo project too.
In last weeks Schooling Sunday I discussed how my university journey began and changed my life for the better and so I thought what better topic to make this weeks schooling sunday about the pre-school year mayhem and what I personally do each and every year from around two months before the school year is due to begin. In this post we will discuss the enrolment process, physical preparations and how I organise my study space each and every year before I close with what I do on the monthly run up before the school year begins.
So let’s get into it shall we?
As I mentioned in previous blog posts I originally decided to enrol in University back in 2016 and it truly wasn’t an easy decision to make at that time in my life and at the time I was extremely nervous to begin my university journey not only because at the time I didn’t have much support about my decision but due to the fact that it had been a very long time since I had done anything academically and so I felt like I was a fish out of water before enrolling in the course, however, the university that I decided to enrol in specialises in making the transition a little easier compared to a regular university and so let me briefly review what University I decided to enrol with and what they offer for their students.
The Open University offers countless different levels of study from bachelors degrees to even higher levels of studies such as Doctorates in many different varieties of topics from modern languages and teaching to history and psychology. I myself at the time was torn between two different degrees before enrolment as I was torn between studying for a degree in criminology or forensic psychology to which as you can all gather I opted for the degree in forensic psychology eventually and began my enrolment process in September of 2016.
Signing up for the mayhem (Enrolment Process)…
I am unable to comment the comparison between the enrolment process that I personally went through compared to that of other universities around the world as each individual university has their own individual process for enrolment and so in this section I will be discussing my personal experience with the original enrolment process and if it has changed over the years with going through the whole degree of enrolment now and I can say beforehand that it has changed in different ways but we will get into that shortly.
In the initial enrolment for the first time I had to go through a lot more than what I have over recent years including signing up for student finance to fund my degree, pass on personal information to the university as well as undergo a mental stability test to ensure that my mind was able to process the information, however, I received full support and guidance from the university throughout this process and so I was never alone in this and whenever I was a little confused about what I was needing to do all I had to do was send an email to student support or call them and an advisor would sit and speak with me through the process to ensure that I only had to do each stage once to save on time.
So, the process for me was rather smooth taking and even though I was definitely overwhelmed at times wondering what I had gotten myself into the support that the university provided for me especially because at this point I had not told anybody in my life what I was planning to do it was well needed and made the initial process so much easier for me to process with the busy life I was leading at the time. However, over the next 4 years after the initial process things were a lot less overwhelming as all I was required to do was click a button to re-enrol on the next school year before reapplying for my student finance which during the first year it took me the best part of an hour to apply and submit all of the required information whereas the rest of the years have been around 5-10 minutes in total and the finance letter has usually arrived within a week to ten days showing my acceptance into the next year of study.
So overall not much has really changed from year 2 to present when it comes to the enrolment process, however, from the first official enrolment there was a lot less that needed to be done bar this year when I had to also start preparing for the graduation at the end of the year with it being my final year of university study for this degree in question but I am unsure at the moment if I will be studying a further degree in the future as that decision will be made in time but when that is made you guys will certainly know and now that the initial enrolment process is discussed let’s move onto discuss how I personally prepare for an upcoming university years…
Preparing for the mayhem to begin (Organisation)…
Its safe to say that my preparation for upcoming school years has definitely changed over the years since I first started my degree so let’s start right at the beginning and how I prepared for my very first official year of being a university student. After making the announcement once I received the official email that I had been accepted on the course and the date that I would be starting which was sometime in February of 2017 I started to prepare by watching countless university videos on YouTube about what supplies I would need and ways to prepare and so I wrote down my shopping list before deciding on where I was going to conduct my studies in my bedroom preparing my study area.
My shopping list included the following (just in case you’re curious):
– A4 Sized Notebooks
– A4 Sized Folders
– Folder Dividers
– Polypockets (Plastic Pockets that hold documents)
– Erasable Pens
– Correction Fluid
– Sticky Notes
– Academic Diary
– Academic Journal
– A new desk
– Desk Decorations
And so I began to ask for some supplies for christmas as well as bought some supplies myself before spending the best part of a month before my university year was due to start to build and set up my desk and study area and organising my area in a way that I could keep things where they needed to be also buying two plastic storage units and a coffee machine that would be built either side of my desk for easier access and access to brew myself a coffee whenever needed especially after learning how once a month I would be needing to attend a lecture that usually lasts between 2-4 hours in length without any breaks that give you all the information required for assignments I would be completing.
If you would like to see my university area set up please let me know in the comments and I can post a picture of how I organise and set up my whole year of study in a smaller area to my social medias as well as start a gallery area here on my blog where I can post pictures for my readers if you so wish but getting back to it.
I spent the best part of the month running up to my first university year setting up my study space except for the weekend before the course was actually due to start to which I had decided to take a trip away for the weekend to visit a friend of mine who lives outside of my area to relax before the chaos of my university year was due to begin. The weekend was a quiet one as we spent most of time at her home with her children as I sorted through my university books for that year placing sticky note tabs on the appropriate chapters writing on them what assignments that they would be used for to be organised in advance which I have done every year since but instead of doing this the weekend before I now do this the moment that my books arrive and make a document that goes on my wall that lists all of the appropriate materials needed for each assignment before sticking it to my wall for when the study year begins.
However, This year has slightly been different and even though I don’t know the reason as to why I think it is due to the fact that this is the final year of my degree and so let’s get onto discussing how I prepared for this year and what I am currently doing to prepare before the course officially begins for the final time in September 2021.
Much like with previous years I reviewed what school supplies I needed to replenish for this year of study and the only thing that I really needed to purchase was a diary luckily as I had a lot of supplies left over that I need to work my way through with it being my final year and so I personally decided that if I run out of any supplies this year that I will just buy them as I need to. However, usually we get the full summer period off to relax and recuperate where this year has definitely been a little different than what I initially expected it to be.
You see usually until around 4 weeks before the new school year is due to start I spend the time catching up with my friends and family enjoying the summer holidays in every way that I can knowing that the moment that university kicks back in my time will be more limited and so I prefer to make the most out of things. With each school year generally ending either the end of May or the beginning of June we have a total of pretty much 3 months off of school work in total as we don’t usually officially start the following school year until the beginning of October, however, I start to prepare for the school year from the beginning of September usually to get myself ahead and prepared in anyway possible which we will discuss now and also how this year has been slightly different to the others.
The mayhem begins (Preparation)…
So usually around a month before the school year is about to start the course website opens up and we all get access to all of the materials including the assignments for the year ahead including the deadlines we need to meet. And I always note down the date of the website opening and try to have that day off as much as possible to be able to spend the day browsing through and writing down a list of everything that I want to get done by the start of the year but what do I do that day to get ahead on my preparation?
The first thing I do is I note down the deadline dates for all assignments which usually are released on the day the website opens up, however, this year I received my deadline dates a few months in advance and so they were noted down in my diary and on my calendar the moment that I received these as well as set up on my whiteboard that is located over my bed with the important dates of each school year such as the assignment deadline dates and the lecture dates for each of the assignments but this part has not been released this year as of when I am posting this.
After the assignment dates are written down I go on to create my assignment folder on my computer which usually has three individual sections named guidance (for assignment guidance), drafts (for all of the first drafts of my assignments) and finally feedback for the feedback that I receive from my tutor once the assignment is marked and each of these sections are reviewed whenever needed and then I go on to download my assignment guidance for each year placing them in the appropriate folder ready for review later in the preparation process and all of these downloads can usually be found on the resource section of my universities website for easy access to all students.
After that part is done I will return to the resource section to further download any materials that I need for the year ahead such as any methodology leaflets and more which as mentioned previously is usually available around a month before the course is due to begin and once all the documents that I need to download for the year are completed I will go on to review my assignment guidance to prepare my university folder for the year please bare in mind that this stage has not happened so far this year due to them not being available at present but if you are interested when that time comes I could film a short video of how I prepare my university folder for my final year if you would be interested in these?
But anyway, I usually choose what folder I am going to use at the end of summer each year but with having one spare folder even if it’s not all that pretty compared to previous ones that I used I decided to use the final one for my final year and I go on to label the folder at the front and side with the name of the course that I am undergoing that year before getting out my dividers and splitting it into the sections that I personally prefer. So for me I have individual sections in my folder for the following which is in order and bare in mind this is for this years set up but it is a general way that I set up my folder and what I store in each section…
1. Study Week Notes: Notes I make each week of study.
2. Assignment 1: Assignment Guidance and the resources that I need to complete the assignments.
3. Assignment 2: Assignment Guidance and the resources that I need to complete the assignments.
4. Assignment 3: Assignment Guidance and the resources that I need to complete the assignments.
5. Assignment 4: Assignment Guidance and the resources that I need to complete the assignments.
6. Assignment 5: Assignment Guidance and the resources that I need to complete the assignments.
7. Assignment 6: Assignment Guidance and the resources that I need to complete the assignments.
8. Other resources: Any other useful resources I need for the year are stored here.
However, even though this is my generalised folder for the year of study that I am due to undertake this year is slightly different as I also have a secondary folder which is specifically for my end of course project which I will do a separate blog post about once I know more about this which will include this folders set up as well as how I have prepared for the project with regular updates on schooling Sundays when they need to be made but the reason that I decided to make a separate folder for the project instead of setting up a section inside my general school year folder is because I am unsure how much documentation and work it will hold and so I decided to be safe and have enough room to set up a different folder instead.
But after the documents are printed off and organised into my folder its usually around 2 weeks before the school year official starts and at this point we usually get informed who our tutor will be for the year ahead as well as sign up for the lectures for the year and so I will note down this information and make my personal introductions in the courses forums to start getting ready and contact my tutor with an introduction as well as ask any questions that I have and then the school year tends to begin and with that let’s go on to wrap up this weeks schooling sunday post and I apologise with how long this is in advance.
Anyway I hope that you enjoyed reading how I get myself ready for the school year and if you liked this post don’t forget to like, comment and follow my blog and social media’s. If you would like both a gallery set up on my blog and/or a video of how I prepare my folders and things like that please let me know in the comments as this post comes to a close.
Have a good week everyone and I will see you on Wednesday for another Wednesday Wonderings Post!