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How to Start This Semester off on the Right Foot

This spring semester is tough already, right? Maybe it’s the almost two full years of the pandemic, the online start and uncertain in-person future, junior year blue’s or just plain burnout. Regardless, it’s time to kick ourselves into third gear and get it together before this semester eats us alive.

Here are my most useful tips to start this semester off on the right foot. You’ll thank me later.

Update your laptop.

I hate updating my electronics. I don’t know if I’ll like the updates, it takes forever, you never remember to do it until you could be doing real work on the tech, and it’s just annoying. This really could be a me problem, but until yesterday, I had not updated my laptop ever, and I have had it since mid-2019. Sorry to my laptop for keeping her out of touch. But wow! Does it ever make a difference.

My laptop is running smoother, the layout design is more pleasing, my battery is lasting a bit longer, and I feel very productive about doing it even though I just sat on my phone while she breathed heavily for 45 minutes. Mac users understand me there. But just don’t be me basically, and update your laptop before it is considered a relic.

Deep clean your house.

I know. But when else will you have a bit of time to do those random cleanings, like getting the back of the fridge, sweeping underneath the couch, descaling your coffee machine, or dusting the blinds/fans? 

These are the things that you don’t think you’ll notice until you do them and suddenly your life is better for it. If you need a weekly routine to keep your place looking tip-top on a bit more of a time crunch, I wrote a weekly schedule to get your life together. For more deep cleaning ideas, go here.

Stock up on groceries.

At some point throughout the semester, it is inevitable that you will be woefully low on groceries after ignoring the dwindling food for too long. Stock up on some good staples now. I’m talking canned beans, that big bag of rice, canned soups, and pastas. Basically anything that won’t go bad for a few months. Get some easy snacks and meals too, to make sure you stay fully nourished even when rushing between classes. 

Do any “real life” responsibilities. 

Do the things that tend to pile up and add so much stress once school is in full swing. Let’s get that oil changed, those bills paid and those extended family members called. These are always the toughest for me and I find myself cursing my syllabus-week self for not making my current life easier. Give your future self a hand and at least schedule times to do these things.

Get and use a planner.

Yes, yes, easier said than done, I am well aware. As someone with ADHD, I never was one to consistently use a planner. That was, until I met the Muji Weekly/Monthly planner which is so tragically out of stock everywhere right now (if you haven’t heard of Muji, you must check out their clothing and pens ASAP). 

I have found some good alternatives, though, which include some customizable planners where you choose exactly what layouts, colors, fonts and extras you want in your planner. It’s a type-A Virgo girl’s dream. My planner has changed my life. I write down all my classes, obligations, and assignments in it with checkboxes to motivate me to use it. 

What really got me to use it was just to leave it out all the time. Instead of having to fish it out of my backpack after completing a task, which often felt like an interruption, it was right there waiting for me to check something off. This is easier for online classes, but you can even leave it at home all the time in your working space and feel really good about yourself when you come home and can check off a few classes. 

And with that, I wish you luck in this spring semester and I have my fingers crossed for a happy, healthy you.

Marita is a junior at CU and supply chain & operations management and marketing major with a creative technology and design minor. She loves fashion, design and cooking. In her free time, she loves to go on walks and hang out with her bearded dragon, Walter!
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