15 Ways To Make This Semester Yours

15 Ways To Make This Semester Yours

You want to start off on the right foot.

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Starting off a new semester can be challenging. Trying to find all your classes, meeting new professors, getting your textbooks and just adjusting. Here are some hacks to help you have a great semester.

1. Color Coordination Is Key

Give each class a color. History is blue, math is red, English is green, etc. This way anytime you write an assignment in your planner you have an assigned color to that class and know that if you see a test written in red you have a math test on Thursday. Also, whether you like folder, binder or journals have each class have that color in whatever you want to use. For me, I have a journal for every class. So, when I look in my backpack at 7 a.m. getting ready for class and I'm half asleep when I see a blue journal I know that I am ready for my history class that day.

2. Unique Note Taking

If you're the type of person that likes taking notes on the computer try a different font every now and then. Studies show that when your notes are unique you are more likely to remember them. Try different colors, different sizes, different fonts! The more unique the more information you'll store.

3. Plan it out

At the end of syllabus week, make sure you take 30mins to write down everything in the syllabus calendar in your own planner. Write down when everything is due, but also write down when you're going to get everything down. For example, if you know you have a paper due on 17th also write down that on the 10th you're going to go to the writing center. Which gives you 7 days before the paper is due to fix any mistakes and not be pulling an all-nighter.

4. All Nighters Will Happen

No matter how hard we try we are always going to end up having at least one all-nighter this semester. If this happens to you try to take at least a 15-30 minute nap before your test or class to make sure your body resets itself to ensure you have a good day.

5. Study Time

Your brain will retain more information if you study first thing in the morning versus last minute before bed. If you're cramming for an exam it helps to get a good night sleep and wake up in the morning to cram rather than stay up all night studying. When your brain is already tired from the day you won't retain any of the information you are studying no matter how much caffeine you have.

6. Having Fun On A Budget

Keep track of your spending by creating a budget spreadsheet. This way you can spend money, but also save. Give yourself a certain amount of money to spend each week that way you're not over-spending.

7. Writing Papers

When you finish writing a paper copy and paste it into either Google Translate or Grammarly. Google Translate will read your paper back to you that way you can hear your mistakes and fix them. Grammarly will read over your paper and help you fix grammar mistakes.

8. Can't Focus During Class?

Take your phone and put it up against your laptop to record the lecture. This way you aren't using your phone during class and if you miss something the professor says you can go back and listen to the class. This will not only help you focus during class and it will help you study more.

9. Trying To Charge Your Phone

I'm the type of person that likes my phone right next to me when I sleep. However, when you have a short charger and an outlet across the room its hard to charge your phone at night. Use a command strip to put a power strip up against your bed. That way, you can charge things without needing a bedside table.

10. Mathway is the way

Mathway allows you to insert math problems and it automatically gives you the answer with step by step explanations. It helps your math homework go by so much faster.

11. Stage Fright

When giving a speech change the text color every four lines so it is easier to keep your place when reading and delivering your speech.

12. Lean on your friends

Make friends in your classes the first. That way you can have a group of people you already know when it comes times for study groups or group presentations. It also helps to have friends when you give your own presentations they can ask you questions that you already know to help boost your grade.

13. Ramen Is Bad For You

Invest in a pasta cooker. DASH has a really good one for only $20. That way you can cook all different types of pasta and add meat or cheese, even cook rice. You can be healthy but on a budget.

14. Grape Juice

If you like Concord grape juice, you're in luck — Some evidence shows drinking grape juice can help you process new information and enhance your memory better.

15. Need More Sleep 

This semester, start it off right by having a good sleep schedule. Sleeping on your right side helps you fall asleep faster than sleeping on your left side helping you get more sleep faster.

Good luck and have a great semester!

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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