I believe the true joy of university life comes in the second trimester (or semester, if you’re at one of those other unis). Why? Because it’s a second shot at everything you wanted to do back in the first trimester, but with even more possibilities for success!
Let me explain.
When you’re approaching the first week of the university year, it feels a lot like approaching the first week of the actual new year. You make a lot of promises about attending your classes, completing assignments early, making friends, getting involved in the clubs that you’ve been following on Instagram, and having a bunch of pieces published in WORDLY.
Then, as with actual new year’s resolutions, it’s suddenly Week 7 and your assignment deadlines are killing any remaining hope you had. Luckily for you, the year doesn’t finish after the first trimester! You get a few weeks to think about what’s happened, and then you head on over to uni for a whole new first day of classes.
For this new trimester, there’s a real chance of everything being different! You can do all your work in advance, socialise, and immerse yourself in student life.
Now, I know at some point everyone gets jaded and starts wondering why they thought this time would be any different. Why should Trimester 2 resolutions be any different from Trimester 1 resolutions?
Well, it’s because you have a whole different relationship with time.
At the start of the first trimester, you’ve had months away from study. It’s easy to make promises about how something’s going to be when you’re not experiencing it. But between Trimester 1 and Trimester 2 you’ve had, at most, just over a month out of student-mode. There’s no time to dream up a new reality there!
You know how quickly the weeks pass, you know what type of headspace you’re in, and you know what your bad habits are — because you just suffered through them! Trimester 2 is your real opportunity for change. You just need to start.
You’re going to tackle everything that stopped you just a few months ago. Be honest with yourself, admit what actions got in your way last trimester, and come up with some answers for them — anything from actually keeping to a schedule this trimester, planning out your classes so at least some are attended, or emailing a club to see how you can get involved.
The other reason Trimester 2 resolutions are different from Trimester 1 resolutions is that they are far more contained. If you don’t go to class in the first week of Trimester 1, that’s fine, because you have the whole rest of the trimester as well as the next trimester.
Trimester 2 is your last shot for the year to get it right. (Yes, yes, there is Trimester 3, but that trimester may as well exist in a parallel universe due to how differently time works during it.)
That means your time is contained to 11 weeks. Do you know how fast 11 weeks can fly by? (Of course you do — that’s what just happened with week 1!)
Okay, so 11 weeks (or 10—maybe 9, at this point) to take the place of your whole year. Actually, these 11 weeks get to take the place of this whole year, then set you up for next year. How can they set you up for next year when you get so many months as a break, you ask me? Two ways:
If this is your final year of university, then this is (probably) your final trimester. This is your final chance to (a) make some great university memories, (b) buff up the resume by getting involved in student-exclusive events, and (c) bolster your WAM. In other words: you have 11 weeks to take advantage of student life.
If this is not your final year of university, then it’s time for you to learn possibly your most important lesson: what you do this year determines a lot of what you can do next year.
You know how a lot of units have pre-requisites and often you’ll need to complete another unit the trimester before you get to do the one you want? A similar thing happens in the rest of university life.
So, my question to you is: What do you want to be involved with next year?
Trimester 2 is when a whole new executive team takes over for every club, leaving existing executive members particularly keen to engage with people just like you—and prepare you to lead the club!
Which club are you most interested in? If you can engage with them right now you could shoot all the way up their ranks to be on the executive committee for next year. With just a few weeks of work, you can set yourself up with friends for this trimester, and a great opportunity for next year.
It’s not just clubs that have these big leadership changes: DUSA has a similar change too! DUSA elections are held every year in Trimester 2, and it’s a great time for you to get engaged with the student association and be involved in the political process.
What I’m really saying here is: everything that you want to be involved in for this trimester, really wants you to be involved too. You just need to take your shot.