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The beginning of a new semester is the perfect time to lay the foundation for a successful semester. Here are 10 easy tips to crush this semester!
1. Being organized is key.
Whether you keep your notes and papers in a binder or on
- I prefer to have files on my computer AND printed copies of everything I need for my classes.
- You can make it fun by assigning each class a different color or customizing the cover of your binder/folder/notebook.
- Google Drive is a total game changer!
2. The syllabus is your best friend.
I repeat THE SYLLABUS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. I always pay close attention to the professor and take notes on the syllabus as they’re explaining it on the first day of the semester. Keep a copy in your folder, on your phone, on your laptop, wherever you can easily access it. It just might save your grade one day.
- Several classes that I have taken have dropped the lowest test score. I wouldn’t have known and taken advantage of it if I had not read, and reread, the syllabus.
- Keep the professor’s contact information handy. Make sure to write down their preferred method of communication too! Some professors don’t touch their e-mails and it’s better to call.
- Office hours. Two very important words that are vital to your success in college. Having a good relationship with your professor can go a long way. My nutrition professor rounded my grade up when there was no reason for her to!
3. I highly recommend purchasing a laser printer.
Some classes are print heavy and while your school may give you a certain amount of free printing per semester, it is time-consuming and still may not be enough to print everything for your classes. A laser printer is one of the best investments you can make for college! I got my printer in January 2017 and have only had to replace the toner twice since then. The average toner cartridge can print up to 1,500 pages while a traditional ink cartridge can print around 250 pages. That is six times the amount of pages printed!
4. Doing assignments early is best!
If assignments are available at the start of the semester, do as many as you can now. That way you have a bunch knocked out ahead of time and you can focus on the more difficult assignments and tests.
- My English class had a lot of online discussions so I knocked those out-of-the-way asap.
- My psychology class had a group of assignments using the textbook but the professor didn’t use the book in her lectures. Luckily the textbook company provided complimentary two-week access, so I did all of the assignments in the first two days and didn’t have to pay for the book!
5. Wait until the first day of class to buy the textbooks.
A lot of times you get to class and find out you don’t need all the books the bookstore says you do! So you may as well save yourself some money and the time it would take to return the books you don’t need. Some professors actually use free pdf textbooks and some don’t use books at all.
6. Get an Amazon Prime Student membership.
Always do a price check on your textbooks. Often, Amazon is the lowest price available. An amazon prime student membership will help with renting your textbooks, offers free two-day shipping, Prime video, and a whole lot more! Plus Amazon’s seemingly limitless offering of products will ensure you get your money’s worth after your first free six months are up!
7. Set aside a designated study space and time.
Having a nice, quiet place free from distraction is ideal. If you can’t create a designated study space, get some ear plugs or head phones and try to find the least distracting area you can. A schedule is also a great idea. Dedicate a block of time, preferably at the same time, every day to study and do homework.
8. Break up your studying.
If you don’t take a short break every so often while studying, you’ll eventually end up staring at the same spot in the textbook over and over again. So set a pomodoro timer, where you study for 25 minutes then take a 5 minute break and then after 4 sessions, you get a 15-30 minute break. Bonus points if you do a quick workout during your 5 minute breaks!
9. Invest in a good alarm clock or get on a good sleep schedule.
A lot of professors won’t let you in even if you’re only two minutes late to class so make sure you get up on time! If you are a heavy sleeper, they have alarms that will vibrate the bed or even roll away. Or you can just move your alarm to the other side of the room so you have to physically get up out of bed.
10. Don’t forget to have fun now and then.
While school is important, so is taking the time to enjoy yourself. Finding the right balance between fun and school can take some time. Make time for friends, relationships, and family. Treat yourself to a spa day even if it’s just a face mask and a bubble bath.