Five Things You Should Do The First Two Weeks Of School

The beginning of the semester can be a stressful time for some. You might be reconnecting with friends, trying to get everything sorted out for your classes and getting your life together for the coming months. It’s easy to get distracted and even a little overwhelmed. Some things may slip your mind and, at times, it can even be difficult to bounce back. For that reason, the first couple of weeks are important for setting yourself up for a great semester. This is why it's important to do what you can to hit the ground running on a good note. Here are five things you can do to start the semester right.



  1. Introduce yourself to your professors


This is especially important in bigger classes. Try to stand out, you want your professor to know you. That way, when they will be grading your assignments, you will be more than just another faceless name, which can work in your favour in many circumstances. It’s important to build a trusting, relationship with professors as this can aid your academic career. If your professor knows you and knows you put effort into the course, they may be more lenient if you need an extension on an assignment, for example. 



  1. Create a study plan


It’s still early in the semester, you most likely aren't super stressed yet, and are on top of everything. So, why do you need a study plan? Because chances are it's not going to stay that way.  When deadlines start creeping up, what feels like a million and one assignments are due at once, upcoming finals, and you can barely differentiate your left from your right, you’ll be happy to have your study plan to keep your thoughts straight and make sure you get everything done. Time management expert and author Alan Lakein famously said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” So, don’t plan to fail and make a study plan!

Pro tip: Concordia’s Student Success Center has a bunch of workshops on time management.

If you’re like me and have no clue how to make a study plan, you can search them up on Pinterest and get tons of ideas and templates so you can find one that suits you. You can find some ideas here.


  1. Get on a sleep schedule

This might seem obvious, but it can be difficult. No matter how long or when you sleep, research shows it's important to keep it consistent. If not, it can impact your motivation and productivity, especially during the most stressful part of the semester.  So do yourself a favour and establish one now. It’ll be one less thing to worry about down the line. Some tips for establishing a healthy sleep schedule include going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, reducing blue light exposure from electronic devices in the evening -- yes, that means no phone before bed -- and avoiding coffee later in the day. You can find more tips on healthy sleep schedules here.


  1. Hang out with friends

You may be stressed, but even if you aren't, it’s good to relax and be around people you care about. The start of the semester doesn't mean you have to be doing school work 24/7. Take some time to have some fun with your friends. This might help you to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Studies show that hanging out with your best friends can, in fact, help you overcome stress and positively impact your health.


  1. Take some time for yourself

You’re working hard doing the best you can.  You deserve to take some time to yourself. At any point during the year, make sure to take some “me-time,” whether by going on a long walk, taking a bath, watching some Netflix, or doing a face mask. Whatever self-care looks like to you, remember to indulge and treat yourself once in a while.

The first two weeks of school are crucial when setting the groundwork for a new semester, so these few tips might help you get it together. Have a great semester!