The first semester — or any semester, for that matter — isn't the best. And for new college students, it can be a rough transition and a big adjustment. However, after the first semester, it's smart to develop a better routine and lead yourself down the right path for the next few years. If you had a rough first semester, take some of these recommendations for New Year's resolutions to make your second semester a little — or a lot — better.
1. Make a solid schedule
You may or may not have been able to pick a good schedule first semester, but if you have options second semester, pick class times you'll actually go to. Don't pick an 8 a.m. if you know you're not going to go. My ideal time class time is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find what works best for you.
2. Pick a mix of classes
If you're able to, try to include some easier elective classes that you'll actually enjoy with your harder, major-related courseload. Having these types of classes makes your day better and may give you less stress during the semester. If it's an easy enough class, you might not even have a final, which will definitely make the end of your semester easy.
3. Take hand-written notes
If any of your professors have banned laptops in their lecture halls, it's likely because they're a distraction to both the computer-owner and the students around them. Even if your professor allows laptops, you may benefit from using pens and notebooks. Not only are you more likely to remember the information, but you might be a little less distracted.
4. Make a friend in every class
While you don't have to have a bestie in every class, it is helpful to learn the name of at least one person and get their contact information. If you miss a class for whatever reason, it'll be helpful for you hit that person up for notes or any important information you missed.
5. Find a study spot that works for you
If you didn't do your best in the first semester, not having a good study routine or location may have been a part of it. Whether it's your room, your dorm's lounge, the library, or anywhere else on campus, you should find a quiet spot to get work done. Finding that ideal location will be crucial to having a better second semester than the first.
6. Make sure your professors know your name
While this may not be a worry — heck, you might wish they didn't know your name at a smaller school — you'd be surprised how much more receptive professors are when they recognize you from office hours or e-mails than a first-time contact at the end of the semester.
7. Balance school and social life
Doing better in school doesn't mean you can't have fun or a social life. The trick is to find the right balance between school work and social life. Don't do anything crazy the night before any tests or quizzes and make sure you have a decent chunk of your work before you go out.
Now, start your new year and second semester off right with some of these tips! Good luck. Hopefully, it's better than the first!