Starting at Oxford in October? Congratulations! Michaelmas term 2020 will likely be different from Michaelmas terms past in many ways, but everyone at Oxford is hard at work to make sure we offer our students the best possible student experience. The Oxford Study Skills Centre is excited to welcome you in the autumn and looking forward to meeting you, virtually or face to face.

Perhaps you are wondering how to spend your summer and whether there is anything you can do to prepare for your course? Many tutors will send along a reading list over the summer, and this is a great place to start. A reading list shouldn’t be cause for stress––it’s a great opportunity to dive into your subject before the start of term and to foster the right headspace for academic study. Even if you don’t receive a reading list from your tutor, it’s a good idea to pick something related to your subject to read over the summer.

The most important thing you can do to prepare for your course is simply to be aware that the coming term will involve some transitions as you adjust to university life and your course. One of the biggest changes will be how you manage your time. Oxford terms are short, cover a lot of material, and involve a good deal of independent study. You’ve got into Oxford, and so there is no question about whether you can handle Oxford terms––you absolutely can!––but nevertheless it’s a good idea to be aware that the way you manage your time at Oxford will probably differ from how you’ve managed it before.

You might also want to use a bit of time this summer to prepare your student budget so that you can minimise the time you have to spend thinking about money while you are on-course. UCAS has a handy student budget calculator and some useful tips for budgeting as well.

Most important, let yourself be excited for the new experience ahead of you! Keep your expectations open and be ready to transition into life and work at Oxford! See you in October!