If you're like me and a new semester of school has just begun you may be a bit apprehensive about getting everything in order to ensure your success. In college a new semester means new classes, new teachers, and more than likely a new schedule that you hope to get adjusted to relatively quickly. Now that I have more semesters behind me than I have left (which is absolutely crazy to think about) I like to think I've found some ways to start the semester out strong in order for it to be a successful and great one!
If you don't have a planner then feel free to stop reading this post and go buy one immediately. I am totally reliant on mine and as weird as it sounds save them from year to year to look back through. You can get one from just about anywhere but starting the semester out super organized will definitely benefit you in the long run as it allows you to plan ahead and know what is to come as the semester progresses. It is also super satisfying to cross things off as you complete them.
Buy & READ Your Books
I like to wait until after at least the first day of class to purchase my textbooks that way I can hear the teachers input on which are necessary and which may be optional. Once you've gotten your books they serve no purpose unless you actually read them. I know, I know it can be a pain and it is unlikely that you won't fall behind at some point but staying up to date with readings definitely helps you to perform better in class.
Take Detailed Notes in Class
I am a big fan of note taking. When in class I hand write my notes and try to make them as detailed as possible so that I don't miss anything too important. Taking notes by hand also makes your time in class go by more quickly and helps to better retain the information as well as eliminates the distraction of your computer.
Knowing how to prioritize your assignments and involvement is important. Realizing that studying for a big test is more important than going out with friends the night before is just a part of growing up. By prioritizing your studies and planning ahead hopefully you'll save yourself some stress and have plenty of time to do both during the semester.
Organize Notes & Files From The Previous Semester
In the same way that it is important to have an organized space you should treat your computer with that same care. Make folders for each of your classes and stick any documents pertaining to those courses in the folder to refer to if you need them later on. This will keep your documents neat and easier to access when looking back.
Make An Assignment Timeline
This requires printing and reading your syllabus from each class. That should be a no brainer but by making an assignment timeline it really forces you to do this. An assignment timeline should be a chronologically dated document with any and all assignments that you are expected to turn in and do included. Highlight or cross these off as you go and this will ensure that you won't miss a deadline!
Clean Up Your Space & Throw Out "Junk"
I function so much better when my study and living space are clean. Go through any old papers or notebooks you have lying around and determine whether you need to keep them or if you can toss them out. Do some laundry, vacuum, and change your sheets so that you are starting the semester super fresh.
Talk To Your Professors
Your professors are your greatest resource when it comes to doing well in a course so use them. Introduce yourself, express any concerns you may have, and even let them know super early on any days you may be absent. For the most part they are interested in forming a relationship with you and it will make going in to meet with them during the semester with questions a lot less intimidating.
Stock Up On New Supplies
I am a school supply junky. I could spend hours in the notebook and pen section of Target and Staples weighing all of my different options of supplies to use for the semester. I like to get a notebook and folder for each class (preferably color coded) and make sure to grab some fresh highlighters as well!
Make A Friend In Each Class
Some of my friends find it funny that I do this but I always try to have or make at least one friend in a class. Even if they are someone you only hangout with while studying or all of your texts revolve around a certain subject it is definitely nice to have someone who can tell you what's going on if you miss a class or are confused by the homework. As I've gotten further into my major I know most of the people in my classes so this doesn't apply so much but especially in random classes to fulfill credits this can be helpful.
Get Your Sleep Schedule on Track
This is one that is definitely hard after a long break where you're used to staying up late and then sleeping in. With an 8:30 this semester I am definitely having to prioritize an earlier bed time so that I have more energy the rest of the day. One of my goals for the new year was actually to get more sleep so let's hope this works!
I'd love to know of any tips y'all may have for preparing for a great semester so leave me a comment if you'd like!