After re-adjusting to life at home during winter break, college students are heading into a fresh semester—hopefully forgetting a few bad habits along the way. I understand (as much as any student) the stresses of balancing school with the rest of life.

I am taking 19 credits this semester, and I know that getting ready and staying ready for classes is extremely important. These tips will help you stay on top of your game for the entire semester.

1. Make a checklist

Make one checklist for assignments and tests and another for non-class related events, like doctor's appointments, date nights, or your work schedule. These can be digital or written checklists. I usually like to use the Sticky Notes app on my laptop.

2. Organize study spaces

Whether it's in your dorm room, a community space, or that hidden place in the library that you are shocked no one has found yet, the less clutter in the space, the more you will be able to focus. But don't keep organization to just your physical spaces. Keep your paper handouts, quizzes and tests, and digital files in specific places. Make folders! Buy binders! Stay organized!

3. Do something fun every day

Stress is bound to happen in college. There is no escaping it. But doing something fun every day, even something little (like watching your favorite episode of "Game of Thrones" or "The Office") can be extremely beneficial to your mental health and help alleviate some stress. Taking an hour away from studying won't hurt your GPA.

4. Find the perfect study space

Last semester, I finally found my perfect study space. And it's not even at the library! It's a quiet, clean space with insanely comfortable chairs and lots of TVs so I can watch the news while working on homework. It's perfect for me. Once I started studying there, I noticed I was able to actually focus on homework without wondering what was happening on my phone. If you're finding that the library is not the study space for you, go in search of a new one. It will definitely be worth the time.

5. Actually focus in class

I definitely struggle with this from time to time. Even without my laptop, it can be difficult to sit in a class and listen for over an hour. Taking notes can help you pay attention—real notes, on paper. Just know that it's only an hour of sitting and listening. You can do it! Making friends in your classes will also help for when you do zone out (or miss the class completely) and you need to figure out what happened when you weren't really there.