The fall semester has arrived and whether you’re ready or not it’s in full swing. Don’t fret though! I’ve compiled five tips that I’ve found helpful for myself when entering a new semester.
1. Take Care Of Yourself
It can be easy to neglect self-care when you have lots of new responsibilities. However, taking small steps to take care of yourself can make a huge difference in making you feel better and ready to conquer your classes. Eating healthy and exercising are some ways you can take care of yourself and make you feel good. Activities that help relieve your stress like spending time with friends or reading a good book can help you feel refreshed and ready to keep working hard. And I can’t stress enough how important it is to get enough sleep! 7-8 hours is ideal and even if you can’t get a good night’s sleep, taking a power nap will help sustain throughout a long day.
2. Do An Activity You Enjoy
Going off of tip #1, doing activities you enjoy can make your college experience more memorable and pleasant. Not to mention it can relieve your stress. Find a club or group at UNF that’s based around an activity you like to do. For instance, if you like playing sports and aren’t on a college sports team, UNF has intramurals sports for students. Doing something other than going to class and studying is good for you and will give your brain a break and help you do better in school.
3. Try Something Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Out of all the tips this one is probably the most difficult (at least for myself). Staying within the bounds of your comfort zone is easy and effortless. But when you’re applying for jobs after graduation, employers want to see how you challenged yourself during college. So go try something new. If you’re afraid of heights, give the UNF Ropes Course a try. Or if you tend to be more reserved, go help a foreign exchange student practice their English during “Power Hour” at the English Language Program on campus. Stretch yourself by venturing outside the realms of your personal “bubble”.
4. Don't Procrastinate
I’ll be honest, procrastination is my weakness. It’s an easy trap to fall into when you have one deadline after another but planning ahead and spacing out your work can help alleviate stress. Completing a big project or paper over the course of the semester makes them appear less daunting. In addition, using a planner to write out specific tasks you have to complete and their deadline can give you a visual of what you need to accomplish and when.
5. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Setting goals can be tricky so when I set new goals each semester, I use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. which stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Time-bound. For more information on how to set S.MA.R.T. goals check out this PDF from Virginia University.
Whether this is your first semester of college or your last, I hope these tips encourage you to stretch yourself and make the most of the new term. You got this!