Student Life Uncategorized

Start the New Semester Right – 9 Tips

January 14, 2014
Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Semester Off Right

The holiday season has come and gone, and college students are just starting to get back into the swing of waking up for classes and having a structured schedule to work around. Everyone wants to start the semester out right, and finish this year on a strong note, so read on for some helpful tips on making this term your best one yet!

Organization

  • It’s easy to lose track of things like assignments, due dates, and other engagements. To keep focused and on track, invest in a weekly planner. For some, simply using the calendar app on their phone or tablet can make a big difference. If you use Google Calendars, it will sync it to all of your platforms, like your phone, computer, and tablet. Or you may find it more helpful to actually purchase an ink and paper planner and write down all of their assignments and activities. The act of actually physically writing something down can go a long way to cement it in your memory.
  • Use a cloud-based app such as Google Docs or Evernote to keep all of your assignments in one place and have them instantly synced to all of your platforms as well. Plus it’s an easy way to work on group papers or assignments and share the information between several people whose schedules don’t quite line up.

Academics

  • Schedule an appointment with your academic adviser to ensure you’re still on track! Things can slip by quickly without you noticing; it’s always a good idea to meet at least once per semester with an adviser to make sure all of your classes are on the right track and to find out what to sign up for next semester.
  • Start planning for next semester’s classes now – will you take classes during the summer or wait until next fall? How many credits will you be taking and what classes are you planning to enroll in?

Dorm/Apartment

  • Now is the time to start thinking about where you’re going to live next semester. Are you going to stay in the dorms? Get a different room or hall? Or are you going to find an apartment to lease for the next year? It’s also good to talk to your roommates and decide if you will live together next year or not. If not, you will want to start looking elsewhere for roommates or alternate living situations. And if you already live in an apartment, start thinking about whether you will renew your lease or try to find a new apartment to live in next year.

Classes

  • Get off on the right foot by printing out your syllabi for each course and designating notebooks for each class you’re taking. Keeping up with schoolwork and not procrastinating at the start are good ways to ensure that you’ll stay on track later in the class.
  • It’s never a bad idea to introduce yourself to your new professors. Visit their office hours to get to know them and to get a good idea of what to expect from the course as far as workload and schedule. It may feel a bit awkward at first, but this can help you with many things such as letters of recommendation, research opportunities, and other things you may encounter in your school career.

Insurance

  • Look into renter’s insurance if you plan to or already have leased an apartment; it can be invaluable if anything were to happen, from theft to fire. It can mean the difference between being protected and being out of luck with no computer, clothes, or Xbox 360.
  • Educate yourself about health insurance as well! There are a lot of changes going on in the world of health insurance right now, and it’s imperative now more than ever that students and young adults are taking their insurance into their own hands and getting smart about what it all means for them.

Best of luck with your new semesters, and here’s to getting started on the right foot!

You Might Also Like

Katie says:

Great advice! I like that you combined things that are more obvious in the short-term (like meeting professors) with already looking ahead to decisions you’ll need to make in the longer term. That’s such a tricky balance, and so important!

(PS I wrote a post called “Starting the Semester: The Syllabus” on what I think is important to figure out from the first week of class. I’d love to hear what you think! http://bit.ly/KthEbH)