The best way to… survive the second term

For many of you, the second term will be more difficult than the first. Courses are generally harder and you’re already beat after the first term. But it can be a great time to bounce back - here are 5 tips on how to survive the second term.

Peace, I’m out: Think back to December and how much time you spent studying in that season to be jolly. Even though you officially had vacation, it probably didn’t feel like it as exams loomed on the horizon.

To up your energy levels, treat yo’ self and go on a short trip with some friends. Maybe you know somebody on exchange in Spain – sounds like a good excuse to chow down on some tapas. Eelde Airport has tons of cheap flights to southern Europe, and it’s much closer than Schiphol.

Change your environment:If you had a tough time in the first semester, consider that your study environment may be bad – perhaps even non-existent.

Personally, being in the UB for three days straight made me very sad, so my favorite study remedy is for the free-OV people out there: take a random trip somewhere in the Netherlands. While on the train, break out the highlighter and study. When you get to your mystery city, have a walk around, snag a stroopwaffel and then stroll back to the station. On the return trip, hit the books again.

What a long day: Since the Winter Solstice in December, your days have gradually started to feel longer. No more waking up in pitch-black darkness or heading home from a party in the wee hours with no sight of the sun. Knowing that your days will only get longer as summer approaches is a good reason to adapt your study pattern accordingly.

Unless you’re a total night-owl, you should naturally be feeling more energized throughout the second semester. Even though you might be stuck in the confines of the UB, the natural light streaming through the windows will help you along. But don’t use the sun as an excuse to not study and head for a terrasje too early – otherwise, this natural balance will be ruined!

He got game: For you superstars out there with aspirations to do Nobel Prize-winning research, hold your horses! The second semester is a good time to decide if what you’re doing now is really what you want to do for another two years, and many students consider becoming a Research Assistant far too late into their studies.

As an RA, the University pays you to help other first year students to pass their classes. If you did well in a course, why not offer to teach a Capita-Selecta next year? The salary is far from a return on investment – damned tuition fees – but it beats washing dishes, right?

What do you do? Consider an internship! Some studies require their students to do an internship as part of their BA, but most don’t. Many students finish their bachelor’s degree with a lot of theoretical know-how but lack the practical skills to screw in a lightbulb. Looking for an internship for next year now makes a lot of sense!

Your chances of getting hired will soar because you, my friend, are cheap labor! Many internships also require that you are a registered university student – it saves employers money and time to work with students, and you can build up a sweet resume early on!