How to Hit the Ground Running This Semester

How to Hit the Ground Running This Semester

 
One of my favorite parts of starting the semester is the chance to reorganize and 
 
refocus myself. I had a chance to relax over the break and to think about what I want 
 
to get out of the semester. I reviewed the past semester and determined what 
 
changes I would like to make. I anxiously awaited the chance to put these changes 
 
into action as I pack my bags to head back to school. So I’d like to share with you my 
 
tips on how to hit the ground running this semester and to get the most out of this 
 
semester. 
 
 
Set goals.
 
I don’t care whether you believe in New Year’s resolutions or not. There is 
 
something empowering and inspiring about setting and defining goals. After a 
 
relaxing break where you can focus on yourself, you want to recommit yourself to 
 
taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. It doesn’t matter whether you want to 
 
lose 10 pounds, to earn that 4.0, or to journal/blog everyday. I suggest you clearly 
 
map out what you want to accomplish and WRITE IT DOWN! Studies show that 
 
writing down goals helps you to accomplish them. Does the thought of semester 
 
goals seem too intimating? You can always write out your goals by month or by day. 
 
Breaking up your goals into smaller steps can even help you accomplish the goals 
 
healthy-new-years-resolutions/ 
 
quicker! Lastly, to make sure you accomplish everything you want this semester, 
 
write out a semester to-do list. By to-do list I mean a list of completely not school-
 
related, fun-filled adventures you want to complete this semester (like weekend 
 
trips to go on, restaurants to taste test, outdoor adventures to try, etc.)
 
 
Clean your dorm.
 
The very last thing I had to do before leaving campus for the 
 
break was to clean my dorm room. I stored by the semester’s notebooks in my 
 
storage containers for reference next semester. My friend helped me vacuum every 
 
square inch of floor space. I went through my desk drawers and cleaned the sink 
 
area. All my dishes were washed and put away. My bed sheets were washed, and I 
 
made my bed to perfection. I sprayed Lysol over everything before locking up my 
 
room and leaving for break. So you didn’t clean your dorm before break? No 
 
worries! The beginning of the semester is the perfect time to clean up your living 
 
space and perhaps, rearrange your furniture for the coming weeks. It’ll give you a 
 
fresh start for the new semester. 
 
 
Put up an inspiration wall.
 
We all like to meet our goals, and even the most well 
 
crafted plan can falter when we lack motivation. So after cleaning your dorm room 
 
and de-cluttering your life, put up a motivation wall. I love quotes, pictures, and 
 
inspiration messages. They help to keep me motivated and excited to reach my 
 
goals. It’s the perfect way to express your wants and wishes in life. With the start of 
 
the semester, you can welcome the fresh start with a new, vibrant view of life.
 
 
Buy new supplies.
 
Those half-used notebooks and broken pencils from last 
 
semester aren’t going to cut it when you’re busy being productive and fabulous. 
 
Pitch any notebooks you no longer need. Hit up Walmart for fresh supplies that will 
 
keep you organized. My favorite supplies include new highlighters, pens, notebooks, 
 
and of course, a planner (it’s my absolute must-have in college). You need supplies 
 
in order to make this semester a success. Bonus points if you can find a new study 
 
spot that will keep you focused!
 
 
Review courses.
 
Before classes resume, take time to review your course schedule. 
 
This allows you to make sure that you are covering your major’s required classes 
 
and to make any time changes if course sections have opened. Staying up-to-date on 
 
your schedule allows you to have the most control over classes, times, and 
 
professors. In addition, to ensure that you know where your English literature class 
 
meets, you will need to double-check the locations of every class. Make sure you are 
 
familiar with the building by perhaps walking through your schedule before classes 
 
start back. Go online and read up to have an idea on what to expect from the course 
 
and the professor. If it is available, go ahead and print off the course’s syllabus and 
 
begin to familiarize yourself with important dates and assignments. You’ll feel 
 
better prepared when you sit through the first lecture.
 
 
Organize your planner.
 
My absolute favorite school-related thing EVER! I may be a 
 
slight nerd in my love for my planner. It’s color-coded by course, includes 
 
checkboxes, and organizes my weekly goals. It beautiful! With a new semester 
 
means I must assign different colors to my course and familiarize myself with my 
 
daily class schedule. Any and all important dates must be entered and highlighted in 
 
my planner. This semester I’ll be trying out this new assignment planner from one of 
 
my favorite college bloggers to keep up with assignments among my different 
 
courses. If you don’t utilize a planner, I highly suggest buying one. Everyone is 
 
different, so everyone will organize her planner differently. It may take a couple of 
 
weeks to determine what works best for you. However, the beginning of the 
 
semester will seem 10x less overwhelming if you write it all down. A simple daily to-
 
do list will make your life so much easier as you navigate the new semester. 
 
 
Create a routine.
 
In order to tackle everything and anything this semester, you will 
 
need to prioritize and make good use of your time. One of my plans this semester is 
 
to take my class schedule and delegate blocks of time to accomplish my different 
 
goals. I find it’s much easier to workout at Fike or to study at Cooper Library if I’ve 
 
set aside time to do so. It also holds me accountable to my schedule and makes sure 
 
I have plenty of time to get everything done. Even though I enjoy sleeping-in, I’m 
 
going to try being more of a morning person this semester (emphasis of the 
 
try…that’s the important thing). Morning people tend to get more work done in the 
 
day anyway. I found myself wasting a lot of time this semester on unimportant 
 
things and not managing my time as well as I could. Productivity is key, and it will 
 
help you follow your routine. Hopefully, a routine will relieve some of the day-to-
 
day stresses of college as you use your time more wisely. 
 
 
Be open to new friends and experiences.
 
Do you feel like your social circle is at a 
 
standstill? Often times, the end of semester means we’ve settled into the 
 
comfortable. We’re exhausted, so we resort to living in the familiar. However, 
 
college is all about branching out and going on new adventures. So, get out of your 
 
dorm! Pretend it’s the first week of freshmen year and go meet people. No matter 
 
how outgoing you are, there are always people on campus you don’t know. Your 
 
network will grow, and you now have the opportunity to make lifelong connections 
 
with new people. Meanwhile, I suggest also seeking out new experiences and go on 
 
adventures. College is the time in your life to try new things. Campus clubs and 
 
organizations offer a wide range of activities, events, and trips (usually at 
 
discounted prices) to get college kids involved. So get out of your comfort zone and 
 
try something new!