Why do you study? 

If there is one thing you should spend some time thinking about as you set off into the new academic year, it is your motivation: why do you study? It can be anything, from wanting to create the world’s smallest laser (done at ITMO, by the way) to winning a contest, or going abroad for exchange (and you need good grades for that). You can also change this question to Why am I at university? Or even Why am I at ITMO?

With a clear goal in mind, it will be easier for you to set up the right systems and routines. The habits that brought a straight-As student to their goal of graduating top of their class and winning several personal scholarships will not likely help a young athlete reach new heights in sports. And you will need yet another system if you want to both get excellent grades and perform well in sports. 

So think about what it is you want to accomplish – and then start setting up your routines.

Create a structure

  • Make a plan. Decide when you are going to study and for how long, where you are going to keep your notes and other study files. 
  • Get organized. Keep track of all the key dates for any assignments, career fairs, club meetings, etc. Make sure you know where to jot down a new idea or task that comes your way. Check out this article for our take on staying on top of your to-do lists.
  • Study smarter. Simply rereading your notes is less effective than trying to remember everything you can from the last lecture. Adopt new memorization hacks now to make your life easier come the exam season. A pro tip: try to teach someone about what you’ve just learned to grasp the subject better yourself.
  • Set up your study space. Keep your desk clean and tidy at all times, so that it’s practically inviting you in for a study session. You can also study different subjects at different locations, so that even the place itself will contribute to your study mood.
Credit: Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Credit: Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Don’t miss out on socializing

Sometimes your next opportunity is just a conversation away, so making networking a part of your routine can turn into one of your most beneficial habits. We’ve written at length about the benefits of building your network and compiled a guide on using social media to help you along the way. At ITMO, you will have a great number of networking opportunities, from student clubs to special events and conferences

Resting is a part of your routine!

Maybe you’ve also heard it time and time again that you need to schedule your resting time just like you would any other task – and then guard this time with your life. Even if we aren’t as dramatic as that, we will reiterate it: treat your resting time as an important investment into your future productivity. Let it be at least a sacred half an hour every day, where you allow yourself to do nothing, absolutely guilt-free. And by all means, don’t treat “do nothing” as “scrolling your feed” – in fact, here are a bunch of ideas of what to do in your free time without a screen in front of your eyes.

Credit: Sasan on Unsplash

Credit: Sasan on Unsplash

You can also pick up a hobby that is not study-related and will help you unwind at the end of a particularly busy week. And even simply journaling in whatever form you prefer can help you process your feelings or unleash your creativity in a space that is free of the pressure to achieve something.

And do you know what else can be a part of your recharging routine? Exploring the unique city you now happen to be studying in! St. Petersburg’s diverse cultural scene definitely has something to suit every taste, be that obscure sculptures or grand palaces. You can start with this must-visit list and then find out more about other destinations here.

If you are looking for more back-to-school articles, you might like the following pieces: 

We wish you to tick all of your goals off the list and savor your free time this year!