5 Mistakes You Made Last Semester & How to Fix Them

The Problem: You’re ditching too many classes. 

Most of us are guilty of doing it: hearing our alarm go off at 7:00 AM on a Monday morning and deciding no Biology 101 class is important enough to pull ourselves out of bed and walk through the rain.
But there are many reasons why you should go. For one, you (or your parents) are spending an arm and a leg on your tuition and two, no amount of office hour appointments or textbook reading are going to make up for the fact that you didn’t show up to class. Professors aren’t really sympathetic about that.
The Solution

Figure out what works and doesn’t work for you and try to schedule your classes with this in mind. Briana, a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, says she wishes she wouldn’t have scheduled 8 AM classes because she had a hard time getting up for them. “It is good to know your sleeping habits when you create your schedule and be honest with yourself about how often you will attend early classes,” Briana says.
Of course, it’s sometimes impossible to control when you have class. In this case, you may need to suck it up for one semester and imagine how much harder it’s going to be once you have a full-time job and have to be in the office from 8 AM to 5 PM (at least!)  everyday!

The Problem: You’re falling behind with homework and reading. 

We’ve all done it. The first and second weeks of the semester we’re excited about our new classes and eagerly do the readings (while taking detailed notes!). A couple of weeks later, we throw the books on our desk where they sit and collect dust for the rest of the semester while we try to justify our decision to give up on the readings (“The professor isn’t following the book anyway…”).
Unfortunately, this habit can lead to serious problems once midterms or finals come around. It’s completely understandable that you likely have tons of work to get done and little time to complete it, but it’s important that you find a solution to make sure you don’t dig yourself into a hole that you can’t climb out of.
The Solution

Start the semester by making a commitment to yourself that you will stay on top of your work, but do this in your own way. For example, if you know that you’re terrible at keeping up with the reading, decide that you will skim through the reading and take notes on the chapter summaries every week. By making even small changes like these, you will find that you feel more prepared for studying and taking exams.
Another way you can make up for your tendency to fall behind in reading is by actively participating in class sessions. If you fail to do the reading and spend the duration of the class checking out your ex’s Facebook photos, you’ll find yourself even more behind! So pay attention in class and answer questions and you may find that the reading isn’t even necessary!

Ultimately, the best way to make sure you don’t repeat last semester’s mistakes is by realizing what you can do better. Talk to your academic advisor or friends you look up to for advice as to how you can have your best semester yet!