The spring semester can bring stress and anxiety over trying to get everything done on time since it’s usually shorter than the fall semester. Here are six tips on how to make the most of this hard time and ways to not stress out so much.
1. Don’t overload yourself
The spring semester tends to be a little shorter than the fall one, so make sure that you don’t put too many classes on at once. A way to manage this is to take the ones that you know won’t come again for another year or two.
Another tip is to make sure that they are spread out. You don’t want to have five classes back to back without any break in-between. Been there, done that. I highly recommend against it.
The more spread-out your classes are, the more you will thank yourself for thinking ahead when you are trying to schedule time to prepare for finals.
2. Stay ahead of the schedule
At the beginning of every semester, the professors give out the syllabus which outlines the rest of that spring semester. Stay ahead of the schedule by seeing what needs to be read and when it needs to be read by.
If there are a few papers that are scheduled and you get a few ideas while reading and discussing early in the class, write them down just in case they fit in with what the professor later explains.
By staying ahead, you can plan for days where you do nothing later in the spring semester. These days can be used to relax both your body and your mind.
3. Keep everything organized
The best way to stay on top of everything and to make the most of this spring semester is to keep it all organized. You will find yourself panicking later if you can’t find that one homework assignment that you just tossed into a random folder, hoping that future you will have your stuff together better than your current self.
Binders and labels help in organizing a lot. If you can clearly see what subject it is for, or have a label for extremely important things, it will get your attention. You won’t have to waste time later trying to figure out what folder is for what class. Or even worse…what notebook.
4. Take a walk if the weather is nice
Many students will neglect the outdoors while they are studying, but sometimes getting away from the books for an hour and walking outside helps the brain flow better.
It doesn’t matter if your campus is in the middle of nowhere or if it is in the city. Chances are, there will be a place that will put your mind at ease for at least a few minutes. Try to find this place and make time to visit it regularly. It will work against you if all you do is stare at that blank screen or those blotches of ink that are supposed to be words.
The place doesn’t have to be nature-centered either if you don’t find peace in that type of scene. Find a place that you feel safe and comfortable and go there when you can’t stand to look at the books for another minute. Crowded or isolated, nature or brick buildings, it’s all up to you and your preferences.
It is important to note the fact that the weather should be nice if you do go on a walk. If it’s extra cold or raining and you are determined to take your walk, then dress appropriately. The last thing you want is to get sick during the school year.
5. Talk with your fellow classmates
You aren’t alone in this struggle towards the degree. Your fellow classmates are on the same journey you are, so don’t be afraid to talk to them outside of class. You might find, more often than not, that you have a lot in common with your peers.
The people you meet in college might just end up being some of your best friends. They can also help you to push past those limits you put for yourself and to reach new heights you never dreamed were possible.
College students are generally more accepting than high schoolers seem to be of each other. None of them care what you’re wearing as long as you’re wearing clothes. If you’re wearing a tank top in winter weather, they might worry about your health, but they wouldn’t judge your sense of style.
Classmates are also some of the people that can lighten up a very confusing time for you, either in the subject matter of the classroom or in personal problems, too. Many of them will have been where you are right now, and they can help if you want help.
6. Try new things
One of the best things you can do for yourself to make the most of the spring semester is to try new things. It seems cliche to say, but it’s true. The more experience you have in a diverse amount of activities, the happier you might just be later in life.
You try something and find out you hated it? Well, now you have a story to tell that might just end up being funny someday.
You try something new and find out it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever done? Now you have a brand new passion that you would have never thought of if you’ve never tried it. What’s even better about those experiences is that you will remember them for the rest of your life because of how great they wound up being.
Trying new things, especially with new people, can open your eyes to a whole new world you never imagined. Even if you wind up hating that particular thing.