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!