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August 1st, 2022

New Students! Key Learnings From Michaelmas Term


Estimated reading time: 10 minutes


August 1st, 2022

New Students! Key Learnings From Michaelmas Term


Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Here are some tried and tested study recommendations, and some common but not-so-common advice.

Thinking back to December 10, 2021, the last day of a whirlwind of a term (aka Michaelmas term) that goes by faster than we can imagine but teaches us all something new every week.

Personally, a key learning from this term was to realise at the term’s onset, that while everyone around you may be in different boats, we’re all still sailing through the same storm. Thus, the inhibitions, experiences may be similar too, and worth sharing!

Learning #1: Don’t second guess yourself!

If you’re reading this as a prospective student or as a current student, there’s a well-thought plan of action behind this! There’s a reason you are here.

Whether you are researching on your preferred course at LSE, or browsing through our website, your efforts and your learnings brought you here. So relax, put on your seat belt, and embrace the ride!

Learning #2: Plan, but also go with the flow

One day while aimlessly scrolling through social media (yep, need to work on it), I read this –

Write down your dreams with a pen, and your plans with a pencil.

As the pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe, it re-shaped our thought process on change. Instead of celebrating ours wins, we constantly think about what changed and affected our game plan.

For instance, I thrive on lists and plans. Before even starting my masters’ my plan was to finalise my dissertation topic by a certain date. As you would probably anticipate, it did not pan out as I had imagined, leaving me overwhelmed, anxious, uncertain. Instead of celebrating my growth through the term, I ended up feeling disappointed and disheartened.

So learning #2 – please avoid doing this, it would only slow down the process of bouncing back on track!

Let’s face it – Michaelmas term is going to be crazy- everything is new! You’re away from home in a new environment, meeting new people, building new relationships- all in a bid to survive and thrive. Steer clear of feeling overwhelmed and set your routine as early as possible!

Recommendation #1 : Engage with your cohort during the induction week

Proactively engage with your peers. Before you know it, you would probably be sitting in one of the LSE bars, engaging in some beautiful, meaningful conversations with soon-to-be your people.

Recommendation #2: Choose your ‘high productivity hours’ and plan your day around it

An early riser? A night owl? Pick and choose your hours and a spot on campus. I spent most of this time in the post graduate silent room in the LSE Library. This room gives you the space and the environment for such high focus hours.

On a related note, please carve out time for a non-study activity during the day- while it may seem difficult, but try and plan some recreation time – you deserve it!

Recommendation #3: Get a head start on your readings and use your office hours!

  1. Try and form a study group within your seminar groups early on. As early as it was suggested, some of us only managed to form one towards the end of the term and recognised how immensely helpful they were. Without a doubt, there is an overwhelming count of readings, and by dividing it amongst your study group, you can:
    Reduce the number of readings you have on your plate per week
  2. Be more focused and thorough with the your set of readings, as you can individually devote more time on your respective readings

There are three platforms where you can engage with your professors – lecture, seminar, and office hour. While the lecture is focused on the topic, seminars provide an opportunity to discuss the readings for that week, gain additional practical knowledge and work on cases and related questions. For any unresolved queries, or questions, or to even discuss how you’re getting through the term, booking an office hour with the professor of choice is possibly the best use of your time at LSE. Choose wisely, come prepared and you would be surprised to see how much you can achieve in those 10 minutes!

Recommendation #4: 3Es of a journey that are super common but seldom adopted – Embrace, Experience and Enjoy!

Time flies by quickly at LSE- before you know it, the term has ended and you’re set for the next. Be proud of what you’ve achieved- your achievements, your spaces for improvement, the relationships you’ve built, and the intense yet humbling experiences.

Take a break, recharge and gear up for the next term! It’s going to be a hell of a ride.

About the author


Kalika is pursuing her masters at LSE in Human Resources and Organisations. Her academic background is spread across Economics and Consumer Research and prior to LSE, she worked for close to 4 years in the field of marketing research and employee experience, based in India. Been trained in Indian Classical for a few years, you would often find her singing and grooving to the music that's playing in her mind. She loves musicals, art fairs and architecture and thoroughly enjoys long walks and runs, especially on paths that run through food markets and spaces!

Posted In: Student life | Study: Masters | Study: PhD | Study: Undergraduate

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