A new year, a new semester. As college students start coming back from a relaxing winter break, it’s time to start preparing for spring semester. Many people make new year resolution’s, so add a few college-themed goals to that list to start the year off right!
Get a Head Start on Assignments
Waiting for the last minute is never a good idea. It creates a stressful scramble that can hurt your grades and class performance. Instead, use your syllabus to your advantage and get started on things earlier—especially bigger projects. Even outlining, doing general research, or reading ahead can help.
Organization is key for clarity and functionality. But let’s get more specific than overarching: organize. Create dedicated folders or notebooks for classes, where you can keep all your notes, hand outs, syllabi, and other materials in one convenient spot. Hang up a calendar and mark important due dates. Clean your room and desk—seriously, this can make things easier to find and is scientifically proven to lower your stress levels.
Go to Office Hours
If you’re struggling in a class, or a particular element of a lecture is stumping you, or you’re not sure which direction to take on a project, go to office hours. Even if you just want to get a handle on where you’re at with the material: go to office hours. These are an underutilized resource for college students. It’s a direct way to interact with your teachers and get help or a leg up. Many students need a little one-on-one focus to help grasp a concept. Some teachers might even give you extra credit opportunities if you take the initiative.
Meet with Your Academic Advisor
Advisors are gold-mines when it comes to scheduling, planning, major resources, career paths. You should definitely get to know them—so they can get to know you, and offer you the best personalized help they can. Academic advisors can suggest minors, classes, and show you potential internships or networking contacts. So meet up with them more than just once a year.
This is a big one. Time is a precious commodity in college, as is attention. You won’t be able to do everything you want to do at once. If you are a full-time student, have a part-time job, are a member of two clubs, play a sport, hang out with friends, volunteer three times a week, it’s easy to burn out. Manage your schedule (and your sanity) by saying no to certain things. Balance out your time and effort.
Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
College is a time of exploration and discovery. You should push yourself a little, just to see what’s out there. So try out for the school play. Audition for the choir. Read your poem to an audience. Volunteer to lead a project. Do something that intimidates you a little bit, and see how you turn out!
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