It’s back to school season! People are arriving back on campus, buying their books and getting ready for everything to start up again. How can you make sure this fall semester is better than the ones before? How can you make sure you’re ready?
Here are a few steps to get you started!
Once you’re past freshman year, a lot of people try to avoid any sort of welcome week events but this time actually go to the club week activities on campus. Take a flyer or two or seven. Listen to each little spiel.
There are so many different awesome things you can get involved in on campus, and no, you don’t need to do all of them, but your next group of friends or your next fun hobby might be just around the corner. Try not to isolate this semester, there are so many ways to make sure you’re taking care of your own emotional and social needs on top of your academic ones.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first fall semester or you’re last: give this semester a fresh start. Get to class early. Make sure you pay attention to what you need to bring, actually read and even highlight the syllabus. Put the dates of assignments, quizzes, and exams in your calendar.
Set an alarm. It’s too easy to land yourself in a regrettable and totally unnecessary situation. Meet your professor, go to their office hours even if you think you don’t really need to. It’s better to establish a rapport with them now, and not when things get tough!
Make sure you give yourself enough time to study this semester. Have you ever used any of your school libraries before? Now’s the time to get familiar with them. The librarians there can help you find anything you don’t know how to find, and can often help you with any research project you might have going on, too.
Get Out When You Need To
Sometimes you need to get outside of those four walls and take a break. Make sure you find room for some “me” time in your busy schedule. Whether that’s a coffee shop or a local park or even the lawn in front of the sociology building, getting some time to yourself outside of the dungeon of the library’s depths or your dingy dorm can be so necessary. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery!
Utilize Campus Resources
If you’re sick, go to your campus health center. If you’re struggling in a class, go to the tutoring center. It may seem obvious, but so many of us have a hard time asking for help when we need it. We think we can handle it, whatever “it” is — our mental health, our anxiety about our major/other school requirements, worries about financial aid, secret hopes for studying abroad or even our future careers… but we don’t have to handle it alone.
There are counselors and advisors available for all of these areas at your school if you’re willing to seek them out.
The end of the fall semester will come sooner than you think. You blink and it’s midterms season. Blink again and it’s finals week. If you give yourself a strong start, seek help when you need it, and do your best to enjoy the time you have you’ll have a much better fall than you otherwise could’ve.
This is advice you can take with you no matter what semester or quarter you’re in. College will pass in a blink of an eye, so why not make the most of it?