Yeah, it's that time of year again. Back to school. New classes, new books and schedules. For some, it's a time of promise, of new possibilities. For others, it's a time of pure, soul-crushing, dread. I.E. me. I had a rough first semester of college. When I returned to campus for my spring semester last year, I came in a panic. I knew I had to do better than I did during my first semester. Something had to change. I knew I needed to figure out what that something was. To put it plainly, a new semester can inspire panic in the even those of us with nerves wrought of iron. So before you go into crisis mode remember the following...


How this semester turns out it really has everything to do with you and the choices that you make. I learned this last spring. I had to find that ability to have control not only over my grades but of my social life as well. Believe it or not, you have the potential to take complete control over your semester, and ensure that you get the results that you want. When I look back at that semester, I know I did as well as I did because I MADE it happen. I took the initiative and did what I needed to do. Weather it's meticulous scheduling or pausing for a nap or coffee. You will eventually figure out what it is that you need to do and how to make it happen.


When I came back for my first spring semester, I knew there were things I needed to change. My schedule, my day-to-day, and my habits. When I reflected on my first semester, I realized that there were certain areas and environments that did and didn't suit my learning style. For example, I tend to feel suffocated by campus. I was in a huge, cramped, residence hall, Freshman year. So I knew that campus just wasn't going to work for me. So I started waking off campus to the village, where I found my absolute favorite study and work space. Our neighborhood coffee shop, sandwiched right in between my other two favorite spots, the tattoo parlor and the book store. All of my favorite things in one block. Each time I had a paper to write, I walked up and off campus, got a coffee and sat until the paper was done and I felt confident about my work. That new routine earned me straight A's on every paper I wrote that semester. I knew that The Cup was my spot, so this year I got off moved into the apartment complex right across the street.


Remember that while a good part of being in college is making sure you’re successful in your educational endeavors you’re also there learning to be an adult. We’re on our own, learning how to co-exist with people who are learning to do the same. Balance and harmony between your college and social life is key. Maybe you skip that party to get in some extra study time or you put down the pencil and take a well deserved nap. There’s a good chance you’ll have to go through a chaotic couple months before you find that balance in college , but you will find it and it when you do it will ensure a fun and successful semester.