A new semester is upon us, and some of us are looking forward to it while some of us are dreading it. Hopefully, more people are looking forward to it, but for those are dreading it, I’ve compiled a list of 13 ways to make this your semester!
1. Get ahead!
The beginning of the semester is the best time to try to get ahead! If you’re able to order your books ahead of time, do it! This gives you time to look over your books and become familiar with the material before your classes start! You can even try to start preparing for those classes by taking some notes on the chapters if you have enough time before classes start!
2. Get a planner and use it!
I don’t understand how anyone can function without a planner. My planner is my go-to when I have an assignment due or I need to figure out my responsibilities I need to focus throughout a certain week. It’s also helpful when I need to make a game plan for any big assignments that I have coming up. I can break the work down so that I don’t end up waiting until the last minute and stressing out over it!
3. Use your syllabi!
Your syllabus is this handy, little tool that your professor gives you, and if you know how to use it, it can really help you in the long run. If a schedule is included in your syllabus, be sure to use it! Write those due dates down in your planner, write down the topics that will be discussed over the semester, and be sure to write test dates down!
If you don’t, you could be blindsided by an assignment, lesson, or a due date, and that could lead to a low grade. Use your syllabus so that you always know what to expect in your class throughout the semester! This could lead to higher grades, and it will help you be more prepared for your classes in general.
4. Use and organize your binders!
When I watched all of the YouTube videos about what type of school supplies that I should need for college, a lot of students said not to even worry about binders anymore, but I completely disagree with them after completing three semesters of college.
Binders have been an absolute necessity for me. They give me a way to separate my work for each of my classes and I’m able to organize them by using dividers! I typically separate each binder by notes, homework, classwork, quizzes, exams, essays, labs if this binder is for a science class and handouts. Each of these sections is also organized by date so that I can find everything easily.
5. Keep your assignments!
Many people don’t consider their graded assignments to be important, but I do. They can be very useful when studying for quizzes, exams, and even your final exam! Keep them and use them!
6. Go to office hours!
Office hours are so useful! They seemed scary when I first came to college, but after going to a few of my professors during their office hours, I realized just how useful they can be if you make the most of them! Contrary to popular belief, professors aren’t out to make you fail. They actually care about your success and want to help you reach your goals!
When you go, come prepared with questions about the material and how you can be successful in that class. Ask about how they would recommend studying for their class, and be sure to put forth effort. Trust me, your professor will notice all of your effort.
7. Try using Quizlet!
Quizlet has made my life as a college student so much easier! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a website where you make your own sets of flashcards online. You can do terms with definitions, multiple choice sets, and many other things! You can even create exams, play games with your cards or go through the flashcards one-by-one. You can even share your flashcard sets with your friends!
This is a great way to split up work, and you all benefit from it! You also save a lot of time with these Quizlet sets! Instead of writing out each card and making sure that you keep them in order, you can type them up quickly and save them in one spot on your account so that you can return to you whenever you need to!
8. Read, study, and review!
The biggest mistake that a lot of college students make is waiting until the night before a quiz or an exam to study. You get busy, think that you have plenty of time to study in the future and then it’s the night before some type of test and you haven’t studied anything. Instead of procrastinating, read your textbook, study a little bit at a time weeks before your exam, review the material and you'll be prepared for any quiz or exam that comes your way!
9. Get some rest!
This is something that I need to remember this semester. You can’t function properly without sleep, and I learned that the hard way. If you study ahead of time, schedule a set amount of time to work on assignments and equally spread out your assignments over a set amount of time, you’ll be able to find more time for sleep instead of staying up late studying or working on an assignment when you have less brain power.
10. Take advantage of tutoring!
If you take anything away from this, make it this: there is no shame in going to tutoring for a subject. Tutoring can be very beneficial for you and your education. It’s an opportunity to have more class time and ask more questions so that you can gain a better understanding of the subject you’re studying. Take notes, listen closely and ask questions when you’re in tutoring to make the most of each session.
11. Organize your computer!
Another organizational tip is to organize all of your documents on your computer. You can then separate those into subfolders containing assignments, essays, study guides, etc. If your computer is organized, it’s easier to find the documents that you need.
If you have a Google account, take advantage of Google Drive and upload all of your documents there so that you have backup if you accidentally delete your documents on your computer or if something happens to your computer.
12. Organize your backpack and your desk!
Having a clean desk and an organized backpack just makes me feel more productive. I can find things easily, spread out my work on my clean desk, and I know where everything that I need is located in my backpack and my desk so that I can complete my work and study for my classes.
13. Set goals for yourself!
Working toward a goal has always helped me! Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel is what drives me to work so hard. They don’t even have to be big life goals. You can set a goal to complete every day, every week and every month. Keep your goals in mind and let them be your motivation to succeed!Whatever you do, be sure to make this your semester. Take control, organize your life, and consistently chase after your goals