If you’re anything like me, just the thought of the time span from January through March is daunting. The sun sets early, it’s still cold enough to see your breath when you walk to class, and you’re thrown headfirst into a new semester. Honestly, my motivation to start over in a completely new class schedule was low. In order to give me the kick of excitement I needed to get into the groove of the spring semester, I decided to get organized… and you should, too.
Take some time to sit down, look over your syllabi, and put important dates into your calendar. I prefer to do this in Google Calendar, color coding for different classes and marking down when midterms, projects, essays, and finals are due. I know some people are more pen-and-paper oriented, so if you use a physical planner, go through each month and mark every important date. For iPad users, you can find pictures of monthly planners to write on, download the TimeTree app, or make your own through websites like Canva.
What most people overlook is planning beyond academics. College can get overwhelming really quickly, and people often forget to carve out time for self-care. It’s important to hang out with friends, watch your favorite TV show, or fit in a workout. Make the time. The fall semester had a myriad of breaks: homecoming, fall break, and Thanksgiving break. The spring semester is not split up the same way; the only break we have is spring break, so it’s important to create mini breaks within the two months before and after spring break. Look ahead at your calendar with your friends, and plan a dinner or another exciting outing that you will all commit to. This way, the two months without an actual break won’t feel so long, and you’ll have little moments to motivate you through your schoolwork. This will also help you stay sane; we aren’t robots meant to study all the time!
Extracurricular activities are an integral part of the college experience, but they can quickly consume far too much of your time and energy. Be realistic with how much time you will be able and willing to spend on non-class related work. Just because you were accepted into every club you applied to does not mean you should go forth with them all. Yes, it’s important to be involved, but it’s more important to keep a manageable schedule. Similarly, don’t take more classes than you can handle. You would be better off fully immersing yourself in each of your classes instead of dabbling in more than you can handle. It’s not worth it to overload your schedule; you can almost always take that class another semester.
A clean living space can be really important when trying to get into a good mindset – especially at the beginning of a new semester. Put away textbooks and other materials that you used last semester and no longer need, and replace them with this semester’s materials. Don’t hold onto clutter, either; no one should keep their care package holiday decorations up longer than necessary.
Organize your closet, make your bed in the morning, fill your Brita. And send your extra stuff home! Setting up your room as though it were brand new can help separate last semester’s feelings from this semester’s anticipation.
For me, music is so symbolic of different periods of my life. There are certain songs that bring me back to the summer of 2017, and there are other songs that are annually on my spring rotation. Even though it most definitely does not feel like spring right now, creating a spring-themed playlist might help make it feel as though it is. Put together some light-hearted, uplifting songs to boost your mood; you can listen to this while walking to class or when getting ready to hangout with friends. Get excited about the new beginnings that Spring brings!