As the snow melts into agonizing slush, a sudden realization strikes: a new college semester has arrived. You utter a groan, arguing that your vacation had only just started, not realizing that it had already been more than a month since you last crammed for an exam or essay. Just what exactly is one supposed to do? For most of us, we still have a few days before classes begin, and it doesn’t have to be your definition of hell if you prepare for the new semester right. Here are just a few tips on how you can make the most out of the few days of freedom you have left.
Grab a pen, or pencil (for you old souls who still use those), a piece of paper, and make a list of everything you know you need to get done, leaving space to fill it in if something new pops up. While this sounds easy, sometimes having your tasks physically there, where you can clearly see them, can help get you started on them.
If you don’t already use Google Calendar, this is the sign telling you to start. Put down as many activities, events, and goals that you already know you must get done, and the best part is that Google Calendar allows you to place these into separate categories in an organized fashion. For educational purposes, before your semester starts, write down your class schedule and, if you already have your syllabus, get all those assignments and exam dates onto that calendar. I can’t tell you how much Google Calendar saved me during finals week, reminding me constantly of exam and essay due dates.
Are you that person that lets half a semester go by before getting that textbook, or is that just me? Textbooks, as any in-debt college student can tell you, are pricey. Thus, make sure you're getting your money’s worth and ask your professor just how necessary the textbook is. They won’t fail you for asking a simple question, so don’t be afraid. Don’t spend $300 on one book that you end up only using twice during a semester, invest your money in the books you’re certain your professor will use.
If you’re on a budget, maybe rent the book on Amazon for less. Or head over to your school’s library and make copies of the pages you will need for the class. I once had a class that only used a $150 textbook for the practice questions in the back, and saved money by using the library. Don’t fall behind and make sure you’re on top of your textbooks.
Sometimes the only issue with starting school again is simply the fact that you have no motivation to get any work started, let alone done. Luckily, we live in the time of Internet and social media where the world is only as small as we want it to be. There are many ways to use the Internet to your advantage, and not get sucked into the distraction of your Facebook feed.
How to do that: Get into the studyblr community!
These people are everywhere, and are easily recognizable with their aesthetically pleasing planners and desks. Though it might seem silly, it is just this community that got me onto the right track of my college life and to a higher GPA. With a plethora of tips, and eye-catching pens, the studyblr community can help get you off Facebook and onto the actual books.
To give you guys a start, I highly recommend checking out Thomas Frank’s YouTube channel, as well as his own website, CollegeInfoGeek. He gives amazing advice on college, jobs, budgeting your spending, and basically all aspects of how-to-be-an-adult.
Take a few deep breaths; remind yourself that buying even one textbook for an upcoming class is an accomplishment in itself, and head into the Spring 2016 semester with an open mind to success.