Vacation is over and it’s time to head back to school to finish off the spring semester. Before you get into that second semester slump, there are some essential things you must do in order to really rock the spring semester.
Go out with a bang
Just because school starts in two weeks doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun before the stress of the semester arises! Meet up with your friends one last time before you all head back to school, go out for a night on the town, or go out to get a pedicure — just make sure to make the last weeks count before you take the onslaught of college for the next 4 months. College can still be fun, but you don’t want to regret not seeing your pals or not having enough time to binge watch your favorite shows.
Start by cleaning out the old to make room for the new! Decide what papers are worth keeping, what books should be sold back, and start cleaning up your room. Your papers may be a medal representing the struggle of getting through last semester, but keeping tons of papers over the course of your college years can clutter your life! If you’d like to keep your papers, consider keeping only your favorites or ones that may come in handy later in your career. The most efficient way to save these are electronic copies. You can invest in a flash drive or external hard drive to save all the painstaking memories of the late nights spent behind the keyboard.
During all of this organization, hopefully you’re also sorting through all of the stuff in your room that you no longer need. Take this time to throw away all of the red solo cups cluttering your room, wash your sheets, and, dare I say it… DO A LOAD OF LAUNDRY! Having a clean area to work can have many health benefits: physical, mental, and emotional.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
At the beginning of the semester, or end of break, we feel that we can take on the world and that we’re invincible. Unfortunately, after a few weeks, a couple essays, and a group project, we come to find that is no longer the case — we start falling behind, our laundry is piling up, and our stress level is maxing out! Keep in mind, when registering for classes, we are just human; we can only handle so much before we break!
Just remember, when registering: NOTHING STAYS THE SAME!
Ok, maybe not ‘nothing,’ but things will definitely not be exactly the same — in fact, don’t expect much to be the same. There will be new professors to get used to, new work loads to tackle, new classmates to meet, and don’t forget that with progress comes new difficulties; next semester is expected to be more difficult than last semester. If ever you feel overwhelmed by your choices or you just need some guidance along the path, don’t be afraid to reach out to your campus resources!
Be smart when purchasing textbooks.
When it comes to book requirements, the term ‘requirement’ is thrown around rather loosely. In case you didn’t notice last semester, often times a professor will list a book as “MANDATORY” and then fail to use it. The easiest way to avoid buying a book that you will not actually use is to shoot your professors a quick email! Just a short, “Hello, I’m taking your course this semester, just double checking that we will need all of the books listed on your website/syllabus this semester! Thanks,” will save tons of time and money in the long run.
After you have a list of the necessary reading, you might consider renting textbooks or buying used textbooks for a discounted price, but you already knew that. If you find yourself struggling to pay for the reading materials, reach out to a fellow classmate and share, or even the professor to help facilitate; he may have an extra copy or know of an even cheaper way to get the reading material. While you’re out shopping, don’t forget to stock up on materials like pens and notebooks, too!
Keep a planner.
To start off the new semester, whether it’s your second, or fifth, or you’re in your last semester of grad school, I HIGHLY recommend keeping a planner. There are so many options when it comes to keeping a planner. There are always online formats, such as Google Calendars and iCalendar that ensure that you will never lose your appointments and can even be synced with phones other devices for mobility. You can also set reminders and alarms through these programs to keep you on track during the semester. For those of us that are a little old school, paper planners work just fine too! In my experience, investing in a nice planner is well worth the price. I can always justify buying a pricier planner by promising myself to write in it everyday and keep track of all of my assignments and important appointments—it’s worked thus far!
After you have decided what planner you will use, make sure to sit down with your syllabi, and write down ALL of the important due dates and campus event for the semester; this includes: holiday closures, major breaks, Sorority Formals, and anything else you don’t want to forget!
As with everything, there will be some nerves on your first couple of days… or weeks. Whatever, it’s fine! These are to be expected! Take a deep breath and keep pushing on! What an incredible time to be alive! Take each mistake as a learning experience for next time, and don’t forget to enjoy the little victories in life.
Here’s to a great semester!