How To Make This Semester Your Best Semester

How To Make This Semester Your Best Semester

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.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Let's Talk More About Lori Laughlin Facing Up To 20 Years In Prison When Brock Turner Got 6 Months

And he was released three months early for 'good behavior'... after sexually assaulting an unconscious girl behind a dumpster.

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To start, Lori Laughlin messed up royally, and I don't condone her actions.

If you live under a rock and are unaware of what happened to the "Full House" star, here's the tea:

Lori Laughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli — and like 50 other celebrity parents — were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, and paid a $1 million bail on conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and honest services fraud. You don't need to know what these mean except that she paid $500,000 to get her two daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade Giannulli.

I know you're wondering why they did it — tbh I am too — however, these parents paid the University of Southern California to give admission to her daughters in through the rowing team on campus, despite neither one of them actually playing the sport ever in their life.

Yeah, Aunt Becky messed up and should face punishment, but why is she facing up 20 years when men like Brock Turner are sentenced only six months for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford?

I hate to bring up the gender card, but I'm pulling it: Why is Lori Laughlin — a woman who with bad judgement who used money to give an upper-hand to her entitled daughters — face more prison time than a man who willingly raped a woman who wasn't in a right state of mine (or any at all!) behind a dumpster of all places.

The answer? Because the system is a mess.

Yeah, Aunt Becky paid for her daughters to get into a school, giving disadvantages to students actually deserving and wanting to attend a college. Her act was immoral, and ultimately selfish, but it doesn't even compare to what Brock Turner did, and it doesn't even effect others as much his rape survivor.

The most that will happen to the Giannulli girls is an expulsion and a temporary poor reputation, however, Emily Doe (the alias of the survivor) will feel the consequences of the attack forever.

There should have been a switch:

Lori Laughlin and the Target guy should have had to pay other students tuition/student debt while facing prison time, while Brock Turner should have had to face over 20 years with more consequences.

But, that'll never happen because our system sucks and society is rigged. I guess our society would prefer a rapist walking around more so a woman who made a poor choice by paying for her daughters to go to a college.

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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