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Terry Hua

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How to get back on track when you have a break in your studies


No matter how long you’ve been away from study, it’s never too late to get back into it. While returning to learning may seem a little daunting at first, conquering your fears is simple and easy with a few good tips and a little know-how!

With this in mind, below you will find 4 tips to help you get back on track after you’ve had a break.

Get organised

When it comes to balancing study and life commitments, organisation is the key. Getting into the habit of using a diary or planner to schedule in things like study, meetings, play dates for the kids or social events is an effective way to keep track of what you need to do.

There are also a great range of online organisation apps, like Things, Google Now and 24me, if paper and pen is not your thing.

It’s easy to lose focus when the demands start piling up and this is when we let things like our studies slide. Approaching your studies by as being organised as possible is a great way to stay on top of things, decrease stress and ensure you’re not constantly pushed for time.

Utilise support services

It’s understandable that you need a little extra help getting back on track – and contacting your online support service is a fantastic place to start. Your trainers, assessors and student support officers can work with you to answer any questions you may have.

If you’ve been away from study for quite some time you may be introduced to new concepts you don’t understand, a simple email to your trainer or assessor can answer your course questions and clear up any confusion. Alternatively you can make use of student forums to ask questions and gain insight and inspiration from other students.

Having difficulty managing your time or planning study sessions? Call to the learning support team, they’ll help you out with some key time management and study tools.

Whatever your needs are, getting in touch with these services can help minimise feelings of stress and make staying committed to your studies as easy and pain-free as possible.

Set realistic expectations

There’s nothing wrong with expecting a lot from yourself, in fact, this drive can actually help you to achieve your goals. It is important, however, to keep your goals realistic and achievable.

It’s only natural to want to give it your all and follow things through, but putting unnecessary amounts of pressure on yourself can be counter-productive to this. Being kind to yourself and allowing yourself time to get back into the swing of things is the best way to keep calm.

Try to judge yourself not by your results, but by the amount of effort you’re putting in.

Set up a functional workspace

Creating a functional work space is a must when you’re getting back into study again. Your environment has a direct affect on what you get out of your study time, so creating a space that is quiet, clean and distraction-free will help you to study effectively.

Look for an area of the house that gets a lot of natural light, invest in a supportive chair and purchase a desk with drawers or storage to help reduce clutter.

Personalising your study space with a poster or picture that motivates you, a desk plant or a photo may also help, as it ensures your study space is inviting and motivates you to spend more time there.

Returning to study can seem overwhelming, but with a little knowledge and support there’s no need to be afraid. Remember what you are working towards. Imagine how rewarding it will be when you finally take the plunge and get the qualifications you’ve always wanted!