Welcome back!

Plan a flexible study schedule that will gradually chip away at that mountain of work while still letting you have a life

It's the middle of the year. The mercury is now spending a lot of quality time in the low teens and single digits (brrr!!!!). Short sleeves and open windows seem like a long-distant memory. But even in the middle of all this winter quiet, there's still stuff to look forward to...

Welcome to Semester II of your TAFE studies, which begins today.

Whether you're returning from a course you started earlier this year (or even last year) or whether you're starting at TAFE for the very first time, it's easy to feel just a tad intimidated by the months of study that now stretch out in front of you.

Don't worry, those first day jitters are all part of the journey. We've compiled a short list of tips and suggestions to not only help you get through the next couple of months, but to enjoy the ride as well.

Remember your goals

If you started your course at the beginning of the year, it's important to remind yourself that you're now a good six months down the track, and therefore six months closer to your original goal. Remind yourself of all the options you'll have once you've graduated. Think of a reward you can give yourself once you've finished Semester II.

If you're just starting at TAFE for the first time, hold those goals in your mind and let them motivate you. If they were strong enough for you to enrol in the first place, then they're strong enough to motivate you to start getting your hands dirty.

Plan ahead

This one sounds boring, but it's on the list because it's usually pretty effective. The beginning of the semester is when virtually all of the work is still ahead of you, and from where you're standing right now it can look like a big scary mountain of hard yakka.

But here's the secret - hard yakka is never quite so hard when you break it down into manageable bite size pieces. In other words, pace yourself. Plan a flexible study schedule that will gradually chip away at that mountain of work while still letting you have a life.

Enjoy the journey

An old Chinese proverb says; "teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself". Make the most of the wealth of knowledge and experience your TAFE teachers have to offer. Ask questions. Think about what you're learning. Keep your mind open and as absorbent as a sponge.

And of course, for everyone who now has a whole semester under their belt, you can always look back over your TAFE journey so far and see if there are any valuable lessons that you can take with you into Semester II. Perhaps you found a particular study rhythm or balance that worked well. Or maybe there were some habits you developed that aren't serving you. Were there any road bumps you encountered that could be navigated better? A little bit of reflective contemplation can sometimes be a very useful thing.