It’s that time of year again, September is well underway and we’re settling into a new academic term and getting to grips with all the adapting and planning that comes with returning to education. Of course, this year is bringing new challenges our way, making this September more unique than any before it, but as always, Way out West is here to look at a few ways to make the transition back to education as straightforward as possible.

Embrace your fresh start

After a long summer September can feel like a new chapter in our lives, especially if we’re starting something brand new, such as entering further education for the first time. This new start is something to be embraced, whether as a means of continuing down the journey you have already been on, or as a chance to explore something new.

Although COVID-19 restrictions and practices may mean studying part of your course from home, or spending less time on campus, you should still try to embrace a new routine in September and shake off any cobwebs from the summer.

Take responsibility and find a routine that works

It never feels like it at the time, but one of the benefits of school is that we are kept there from 9 to 3.30, Monday to Friday. It gives us a strict routine to work within and allows for constant interaction and attention from our teachers. Entering further education, it can be tricky to get used to the independence and dedication required to properly apply yourself to your studies. With fewer people telling you what to do and how to work, it’s important to find a routine that suits you. This will vary depending on your timetable, any part time of full time job you have, or extra-curricular and social activities you take part in.

If you can find a timetable that allows you to fit all these aspects of your life together, then stick to it; having hours designated to work will make it easier to concentrate, and you’ll enjoy your time away from the desk more if you know you’ve worked hard and are on top of things. Keep up to date with what SWC can do for you

Whether getting used to something new, or just acclimatising to life after a summer off, it’s important to stay stress free as you ease into the new academic year. Keeping on top of your work and staying positive about the journey ahead are a good way to try and avoid stress, but there are also student support services available at South West College if necessary, providing a safe environment away from your daily life where you can explore problems or feelings which are difficult to manage.

We are here to help when you are suffering from relationship difficulties, family issues, depression, addictions or anything else affecting you. To make an appointment with a Counsellor, please contact your Student Support Officer by calling into the Student Services Office or email:

If you want to keep up with everything that’s going on then it’s important not to let anything pass you by unnoticed, be it individual matters such as classes and assignments, college wide events and opportunities, or the latest rules and guidelines regarding COVID-19. It’s important to check e-mails regularly and stay on top of them, and useful to regularly visit the colleges Blog and Facebook and Twitter pages.

Pay Attention to Rules and Practices

South West College are delighted to be welcoming students both new and returning to the college, and staff have worked hard over the summer to ensure the return is as safe and familiar as possible. As such, respecting and following the rules should be straightforward, once given due care and attention. When navigating around our buildings we are now requesting everyone to “keep to the left of the corridors” and adhere to two metre social distance throughout campus. Sanitation stations are located at all entrances and
at key touch points around campus. We are adhering to a new set of guidance in the reopening of our campuses so we have updated our Student Charter to reflect this along with creating an easy to follow Classroom Management Guide for Lecturers to reference. Our new student charter references social distancing, advice on face coverings and traffic control. Additional signage and floor markings will help guide staff and students throughout the buildings such as keep left on stairways. Social distancing should be observed when queuing outside reception and toilets. Sanitising stations and additional PPE will also be provided and encouraged, this will all contribute to a safe, happy learning and working environment.

Please be assured that we are taking all necessary precautions to keep everyone safe at South West College, we encourage you to adhere to the safety measures which we have implemented and we thank you for your cooperation on this.