It’s that time of year when everyone is heading back to school wondering what lies ahead of them this next year. Starting a new semester is always a mix of emotions between being excited to be back with your friends, to having to get back in the swing of classes. Sometimes it just seems like these next four years are going to drag on forever, other times it seems like they are going way too fast. College is hard, but you still need to enjoy yourself.

Don’t let a grade define you.

I know it’s hard. Everything's a competition anymore and when someone even gets just a B most people assume that they did not try their hardest. Don’t let one bad grade define you. Let it motivate you to work even harder than you did before. Don’t let it stop you from doing something you want to do. Don’t dwell on it. Take 20 minutes, stress out, then find a solution. Extra credit, start studying for the next test, whatever. Then tuck it away and go on. You can’t let something so little get you down.

Always make a little time for yourself.

So many people continually give bits and pieces of themselves to everyone around them, but they never take the time for themselves. Every night spend a half hour doing something you enjoy to do. Watch netflix, take a hot bath, paint your nails, read a book, do something that helps you unwind. Continuously bottling up stress isn’t healthy. You have to keep yourself happy and healthy to live a happy and healthy live. Don’t stretch yourself too thin.

Go to office hours

I know a lot of people don’t do this because they don’t want to seem like a burden or a pain, but that’s why the professors are there, to help. Even if it seems like the silliest question in the world, go and ask. They will see how much effort you are putting forward. Also, your grades will show it. Don’t be scared to ask questions. Ask them to proofread your papers. Ask them about things you don’t understand for an upcoming test. It’s not embarrassing, it shows how much you care.

Take good notes!

Nothing is worse than going back to study for a test or quiz and not being able to read your notes. If a professor lets you use a laptop it’s one way to keep your notes organized in one place. If not, date everything! No matter if its notes, a worksheet, anything, it’s easier to go back and find something if you know the time frame it was done in.

Have fun.

I know it’s hard sometimes to just sit back and relax, but don’t forget too. You need to have fun or you are going to burn yourself out. Do whatever. Go bowling, go get ice cream, go out with friends, whatever you consider fun, do it. I know school is important, but you could alway use a little fun.

Do extra credit.

I know sometimes it seems pointless, but when you’re getting down to the crunch time of finals week you’re going to be so thankful for those few extra points.

Go to class.

I know this one seems obvious but when you’re in college it’s easy to decide that you’re going to skip a class, but slowly but surely it can become a habit. Even if it’s the last thing you want to do, just do it

Believe in yourself.

Don’t give up. You can do this. I know when the work gets piled on and it seems like there is no end in sight, it’ll all be worth it. Remember why you decided to go to college in the first place. Remember all your dreams you have. Just remember to never give up. You got this!