New Semester, New Me: 7 Tips You Will Need

New Semester, New Me: 7 Tips You Will Need

“What one does is what counts and not what one had the intention of doing" - Pablo Picasso
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After a long needed break, most of us will be starting a new semester soon. Like every semester we promise that this is finally the one in which we will actually get our shit together. We always start out by saying:

I will not skip a single class, I will start my homework and projects earlier, I’ll start going to the library more, I will go to office hours, I’ll be more involved in school events and my favorite one, I will not procrastinate.

But who are we kidding, we won’t stay true to these commitments. We are bound to break them throughout the semester. But there is still hope, with the new semester just around the corner here are some useful tips to make this upcoming semester successful:

1. Buy a planner and write down EVERYTHING.

Yes, you heard me. Go buy a planner (it doesn’t have to be a pretty $20 one) and write down all of your homework, due dates, events, meetings. This will help you be more organized and to stay on track of everything, so you don’t have to rush to do last minute work.

2. Take care of textbook duties early.

Don’t be that one student who shows up to the 1st week of class without a textbook that is required. Therefore, you should take some steps now to get those textbooks such as emailing a professor to find out if a textbook if going to be needed. Prices for books are cheaper before the semester starts, so start looking for them now. On that note, don’t wait until the last minute to get them because they will either be out of stock or expensive.

3. You need SMART Goals.

SMART goals? Yes, Smart Goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Your goals need to fit these five criteria in order to be SMART. These goals should be relevant to your long-term academic/career plans, remember to develop a method to track your progress.

4. Use your school’s resources.

Do you need help with a math problem? I bet your school has a math tutoring center. Need help writing your essay? Check out The Writing Center. Go to school events and make connections with other students and professors. The resources are out there waiting for you; all you need to do is to look for them.

5.Make connections with professors.

Your professors know people, they are published individuals with a large network of influential people. Make it a goal to form a relationship with at least one of your professors this semester. For fellowship or graduate school applications, you will need to ask your professor(s) for a letter of recommendation. If an opportunity comes across to them, they might think of you first. So, go to their office hours or schedule one-on-one meetings with them.

6. Make your health a priority.

Your health is very important! Stressing out about the little things doesn’t do you any good. Our eating habits are the worst during these times too, eating pizza or pasta every single day will not energize you. Instead, snack on brain foods like almonds and dark chocolate. Do not let yourself get overworked.

7. Schedule “me” time.

My worst semesters have been the semesters without proper self-care. Scheduling and practicing time for yourself is as essential as studying and attendance. You can’t do either of the latter two without a proper amount of the former. A healthy run, a good book, insightful meditation — even if it’s just an hour a week, it’s an essential part of a successful semester. It’s important we focus on our personal growth and development as the semester progresses.

Follow these quick tips and it should all be a piece of cake from there. Wishing all you a great spring semester!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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