How to make the new school year successful

10 Tips On How To Make The New School Year The Best It Can Be

School doesn't have to be cringe-worthy!

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I know the end of the summer can include feelings of anxiety even thinking about getting into the routine of school again. For me, it can definitely be an adjustment at the beginning, but it doesn't have to be a necessarily difficult one. Instead of cringing at the thought of the beginning of the new semester, focus on ways to make it more enjoyable and successful than previous semesters.

1. Prepare for the upcoming semester. 

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Buy the appropriate materials you need such as books, notebooks, study utensils, and whatever you else you may need for your classes.

Preparing ahead of time will ensure you are not rushing around your college's student store to find these items. This will make the first few days of class a little easier on you.

2. Prioritize your responsibilities and utilize a planner.

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Lists are a great way to know and keep track of what you need to get done. It is recommended to rate your tasks in some sort of order such as what is due first or what is most important and work your way down your list.

3. Make a list of long-term and short-term goals. so you have a hard copy to reference to keep you on track with what you want to accomplish.

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If one of your goals is to become a better writer, then consider also taking advantage of resources provided on your college's campus such as a writing center which has the tools you need to improve.

Then you can easily keep track of what you want to accomplish.

4. Treat yourself for achieving goals as you go.

Food is definitely a great motivator for me!

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Some people are considered to be motivated extrinsically so this means you may enjoy rewards such as food, praise from peers, or receiving a scholarship. Others are more positively motivated by intrinsic rewards such as going to the gym because it relieves stress, reading a specific genre because you enjoy it, or studying for a test because you want to do well on it. Find out what motivates you and incorporate small rewards for your victories along the way.

5. Do what makes you the happiest and healthiest version of yourself.

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I personally enjoy being able to be active in various ways such as going to the gym to work out or walking around greenways to get a view of nature.

6. Fill your life with friends and family that lift you up. 

Everyone needs a Joey in their life!

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After all, you are who you surround yourself with. Think about the people in your life and decide if they make you a better person on a daily basis or not and then go from there.

7. Learn how to manage your time more wisely.

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I know we all have various organizations we are a part of, class to attend, tests to study for, social lives, and more. Even with all of those different aspects of life, they can all still be juggled. Instead of spending an hour watching a Netflix show, you can read a chapter of your textbook instead to prepare for class. There are many small and simple changes that can make your life more manageable.

8. Develop study times during the week.

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Find a quiet area free from distractions including your cell phone! Take the time to assess how you learn best as well and use various studying techniques that best accommodate your individual learning style. For example, the needs of a visual learner will be different from the needs of an auditory learner and so forth.

9. Be able to manage your money.

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Having a lack of monetary resources is a major stressor for many college students.

Try to keep track of your spending because a lot of people underestimate how much they spend in the first place. Also, consider coming up with a budget plan that fits your individual needs and stick to it. Be realistic about your goals or needs when it comes to spending and saving. Try to think of some ways you can reduce your spending such as eating out less often.

10. Show up for class and get to know your professors.

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Often times just being in class is half the battle and participation/attendance is usually a good portion of the overall course grade so don't lose the easy points. Do the best you can to be present in class and ask questions so the professor knows you are paying attention. It is wise to have a good relationship with your professors because they will be able to help you if you ever need them and you will feel like you can talk to them.

Just remember that the beginning of a new semester does not have to feel like a daunting task especially if you take advantage of some of these ways to improve your overall experience.

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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