How To Set Yourself Up For A Successful Semester

Hey, guys! I finished writing this entire post last week and it was deleted. Deleted! I had meant to publish this before the semester started, but that obviously didn’t happen. I just finished my first week of school. Despite the fact that this is late, I feel like I have better advice now because I just went through it. In your head, you’re prepared then it hits you like a ton of bricks. Okay, it really wasn’t that bad for me, but if you’re reading this, it probably hasn’t been the week you were hoping for. I know who you are. Trust me. If you are reading this, you are procrastinating on the work you have to do trying to figure out a way to get your sh*t together because after a month long break, you are having trouble getting back into the swing of things. Well, I’m here for you. Everything is going to be okay. Just read on.

//Start Waking Up Early

My classes are around noon this semester, so I don’t have to wake up early, but I want to. I feel much more productive when I wake up and get work done in the morning. Plus, I like going to sleep before midnight. I’m an old lady.

This was a lot harder than it should have been. Normally, before the semester starts, I’m able to go to sleep on time and get up early. But not this time. Over the last week (even after school started), I haven’t been able to fall asleep. I have to lay in bed for hours before sleeping because I’m so restless. Hopefully, this will subside in a few days after I get into a solid routine.

//Make Sure All The Logistics Are Taken Care Of

Make sure you’ve registered for classes and paid for them. Those are the main things. Don’t buy your textbooks early because some are just a waste of money. Wait the first week or so because professors will tell you whether or not they are really necessary or that an older edition will do. There may be other logistical things you need to take care of, so make sure they get done before the first day. There is nothing more stressful than realizing a class you are taking is dropped because of a technical issue.

//Walk Around Your Campus And Find Your Classes

I did this last summer and it was a lifesaver. I must’ve looked like an idiot walking back and forth down the same hallway searching for the room number. This is a huge reason why  I wasn’t late on the first day, so I can’t recommend this enough.

I didn’t do a walk through this semester because I recognized the buildings my classes are in. If you get lost, at the very least, look at a map. That’s how I found places last semester (And maps hate me! Especially, Google Maps, dear God…does it hate me) I found all my classes Monday morning because I had time, but if you don’t, walk around campus the day before to locate all the rooms you’ll be learning in.

//Actually Read The Freakin’ Syllabus

Do you know how much information is on that thing? It baffles me how many people don’t read their syllabi (syllabuses?). One of my professors wrote down when our pop quizzes were going to be. She even posted the questions for reading quizzes on her website! It was obvious who didn’t go through her power point notes. It’s sort of sad.

Your syllabus should be like your Bible if you want to ace the class. It has all the lesson plans, readings, tests, even extra credits. Don’t just shove it in your backpack without reading it. It’s way more detailed than whatever you got in high school.

//Get Organized

  • Buy Supplies – You’ll probably only need a new notebook or binder. Maybe some paper. If you keep what you bought in previous semesters like I do, you’ll save a ton of money.
  • Clean Out Your Backpack – I did this the day before class started. It was full of clothes from our vacation to the Smoky Mountains the week before. Jus make sure not to clean it out the first day of class. That’s just a waste of time in the mornings.
  • Set Up Your Planner – This is a biggie. Setting up your planner in the first week is essential when it comes to hitting the ground running. I haven’t done this yet, but it’s on my to-do list for this weekend
  • Make An Assignment List – I finished this yesterday. (Blog post to come). This will definitely help me get stuff done on time, especially since I have much more to do this semester.

//Sit At The Front Of The Class

There’s just something about sitting in the front of the class that makes you want to participate. Seriously! Plus, it helps your professor learn your name. You’d be surprised how many professors will give you extra credit for participating. Being in the front helps me do that. It may help you too. It also forces you to pay attention instead of playing on your phone.

On that note…

//Take Good Notes And Pay Attention In Class

There isn’t as much work at the beginning of the school year, so many students just get up and leave in the middle of class (this bothers me so much). Even though the first week is just an intro, you should still put an effort and pay attention because professors give out essential information (like whether or not an older and cheaper edition of a textbook will work just fine). Also, paying attention in class from the beginning will allow you to transition back into the semester more easily rather than waiting until lessons begin piling up. ALL the notes you take will help with future exams, so don’t mess up on the first day back.

//Set Goals

If you’ve been here a while you know I love setting goals and creating systems to get work done. There is something about writing out my goals and putting them on paper or online that helps me be more productive. I also love reflecting back on previous months and years in order to see how far I’ve come. Setting semester goals is a great way to start off your each semester.

//Make Plans To Do Something Fun The First Week

The first day of class was also one of my best friend’s 20th birthday, so I bought us lunch and we hung out together. (Here is a link to her book blog if you’re interested) That was a great way to start out the semester. Plan something exciting to do on the first week so you have something to look forward to. If you’re on campus, there’s probably some party or fun event going on somewhere, so take advantage! Academics aren’t the only part of college.

//Get Excited For A New Start

Not everything is going to be perfect. You are going to go into this semester thinking that you’re gonna wake up early, go to the gym, study for exams and everything else you dreamed of over break. But now that the first week is over, you are realizing that that’s not true. (Sorry for ripping off the band-aid). But the thing is, it’s still a new start. There is still time to make the best of things. Every semester is a clean slate, so even though it may not be perfect, it’s something. This has not been my most productive week, but I have 14 more weeks left. All I can do is prepare for what’s to come and schedule out a sh*t ton of blog posts.

So I hope that helped you guys. College is fine so far. It’s not as exciting as it was last semester, but I’m ready for what’s to come. I was getting pretty bored during Winter Break because I literally did nothing.  Okay, not nothing, but I had way too much free time on my hands (which is never a good thing when it comes to me). Goodnight. I’m goin’ to bed. Love y’all.


What tips do you have for college students getting ready to go back to school? How has your first week been so far?

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