And we’re back. Hopefully you have had a month of tanning on the beach on your tropical vacation or told friends from home about your fabulous college life at the local coffee shop. Whatever you did, let’s hope you had enough sleep to make up for those all-nighters and are ready for a new semester. If you are a freshman, you have a semester behind you. You have learned your limit, and it is time to hit the books, at least a little bit more. As an upperclassman you know second semester is always better. Break is like an intermission. You reflect on the fall and prepare yourself for the second act. To make this spring semester the best one yet, here are some tips to get you there.
Set realistic goals. Do you want to improve your GPA? Set the goal to go to your professors’ office hours or find a tutor. Want to lose weight? Set the goal to make healthier choices. Be mindful of portion sizes, substitute sugary snacks with fruit, and join an intramural team. Set small goals for yourself and you will start to see results. When it becomes second nature you know you have completed your goal.
Write it down. Get a planner, a notebook or anything to keep track of your schedule. When you get your syllabi write down when any major tests are or assignments are due. Is one of your goals to go to the gym more this semester? Write down when it fits into your schedule. If you stay on top of your work from the beginning you can have a smooth transition into the new semester.
Spend less than $1825 for coffee at Starbucks this year. Maybe you don't spend that much, but it never seems like there is enough GWorld money to sustain you through the entire semester. Getting your books from the bookstore, dinners at Whole Foods, and daily lattes add up quickly. Be mindful of how much you are spending. Make a trip or two to Trader Joes throughout the semester and maybe skip the Sweetgreen salad for a cheaper alternative. Your wallet will thank you.
Spend less time on the web and more doing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest. Rather than spending hours updating your status, looking at your friends’ pictures, and pinning everything that you want at your wedding stay on top of your work. The more time you spend studying and off of social media, the more time you will have to spend with your friends and explore D.C. Instead of commenting on your friend’s pictures at the monuments, make the time to go there yourself.
Be positive. The beginning of the semester is never easy. As with anything new, it is an adjustment. Once the excitement of welcome week settles down it is time to focus on your new classes and responsibilities. Try not to get overwhelmed. If you are struggling with a class, go to your professor’s office hours and get help early. If you have a good attitude you are more likely to have a successful semester.