Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


The Guide to a Successful Semester

Guide Successful SemesterEvery college student knows the beginning of the fall semester is filled with chaos and stress—stress from realizing your savings account plummeted from buying textbooks and anxiety concerning your future academic performance, constantly fills your mind.

 The first week back on campus all students are in the same boat, struggling to stay awake at 8 a.m. classes with coffee as their only vice. With homework piling up and never ending to-do-lists, it’s easy to forget responsibilities and run back to our beach chairs. 

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Once the time comes to head back to college, the transition becomes easier as the semester progresses.

Whether you are a freshman in college or a senior, you have been mastering your back-to-school routine since kindergarten. Of course, as we get older our routines change and in college there are precautionary measures you can take to help your semester run smoothly. 

One important, yet often overlooked, act of preparation you can take to alleviate stress during the first week of classes is to buy your textbooks in advance. Buying your textbooks in advance not only leaves you prepared for the first day of class, but can help you budget your remaining funds for the rest of the fall semester.  

Once you have your books taken care of it is important to start planning out your assignments, classes, and work schedule.

Caitlin Clarke, a junior english secondary education student, suggests purchasing a planner. “Combine all of your assignments from your syllabus onto a master planner and budget your time so you aren’t stressed,” said Clarke. 

Planning out your assignments for the entire semester will help you avoid missing deadlines and make it easier for you to prioritize papers, projects, and studying. Not to mention, a planner rids of last-minute panicking from forgetting about your big term papers. With your planner in hand, wave goodbye to procrastination this year. 

Keeping a planner is an effective way to conquer your fall semester, but that’s not always the case for everyone. If you are not a pen and paper type of student, sometimes it is easier to make a mental list of upcoming tasks. 

Evan Orsini, a sophomore biology student, utilizes what he calls the “one at a time” approach for his college courses. “Essentially, I mentally cross off assignments one by one once I have completed them. This prevents me from  feeling overwhelmed by every assignment due within the upcoming week,” said Orsini. Guide Succesful Semester 2

Whatever approach you take to make it through your first semester back from the summer, remember to breathe. It can be easy, even after planning your entire life out, to get overwhelmed at the amount of upcoming obligations you have.

Whenever you begin to feel stress or anxiety remember to always take a step away, and take care of your mind. Your brain is your power. 

Courtney Wright-Werner,  Ph.D, Assistant Professor and Associate Director to First Year Composition, advocates for students to make time for themselves. Students can make time for themselves by doing what makes them happy.

“A lot of people get into the habit of working out or reading at the beach in the summer and I think it’s important to maintain that within the school year as well,” said Wright-Werner. Your summer down time activities, don’t have to end in the winter. You can even make time to bundle up, walk on the beach and clear your mind.

Dedicating just one hour of your day is a start to checking up on your own well-being, and productivity levels. 

When setting this time aside from yourself you can also begin to monitor your progress. Keeping a daily log of your sleep patterns, exercise, and nutrition can highlight areas where you may need to improve to lead a healthier lifestyle and complete a fruitful semester. 

Preparing ahead for your semester will aid you in living a stress-free life, where you can enjoy the things that make you smile. 

If you are feeling anxious, keep these approaches in mind to excel for the semester. Your academic career is important, but you’re individual wellbeing comes first and foremost.

IMAGE COMPILED by Chloe Barone

PHOTO TAKEN by Chloe Barone

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