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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 A.M. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest,

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old doom room is now filled with two freshman trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Hey ECU, We Really Need Some More Parking, But Sure, Go Ahead And Spend The Money On ANOTHER Student Center

Seriously, who decides what our tuition should be spent on?

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I get the "I'm here" text, and I bound down the stairs and plop myself into my friend's car. "Where can I park?" Craning my neck to search for an empty spot, I reply, "Wherever you see an open spot. This is war." We spend the first 15 minutes of our visit together driving around, waiting for those blessed white lights to signal someone leaving.

Later on that night, my friend mentions they're hungry. I hype them up to go to the new student center, given all the options. "Should we drive to it?"

I laugh, "And give up our spot?" We pull up the bus schedule and wait for the next one.

While munching on Canes' chicken, we sit and talk. "This place is HUGE." I shrug, and then they ask, "You don't like it?" I sigh and proceed to tell them what I'm about to tell you.

I love the student center. It's cool. A nice place to do homework, and it does give more options for food. But I remind my friend about our parking ordeal. "We need more parking but… Did they spend our money to build this instead? We didn't NEED this."

This may not seem like a big deal, but this isn't the only problem students have on campus.

We are shocked when we have hot showers. We are paying literal thousands to be here, and yet hot showers is a treat. Isn't that kind of a basic expectation?

There are about 400 students living in my residence hall, but we only have about 16 clothes washers and dryers. People won't move their stuff in a timely manner, so we have to wait (or some people just take your clothes out).

My friend is having to go on the "Elimination Diet", due to the fact that she constantly breaks out into heat rashes all the time, which may actually be allergic reactions to some food she's eating. But how can she even maintain this when the dining halls really offer no healthy food options?

Buses are continuously overcrowded. But we will see buses continuing routes, with the words "NOT IN SERVICE". People stand around and wait for the next one.

When walking to the library from my dorm (because the bus is overcrowded), I can spot an unfinished, unnecessary sidewalk that ends in the middle of… nowhere. They took the time and resources to build a sidewalk with no purpose.

I'm not trying to complain. I'm trying to bring attention. We have a new student center, but we can't have hot showers?

I feel like things need to be re-prioritized.

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