10 Ways to Calm the Pre-Semester Jitters

Everyone gets stressed, but there are ways to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for the events of the semester.  Before classes get into full swing, use syllabus week to get a grasp at what your semester is going to look like so you know what to expect before it's too late.  

1.) Email your professors.

Before the semester starts, send an email to all of your professors to see if you can get a copy of the syllabus early.  Some professors are more than willing to send over a copy of the syllabus or at least talk you through what the class will entail before it starts.  Not only that, but make sure to ask the professor if the textbooks are necessary or just recommended to buy (so you don’t waste too much money). Buying your textbooks before the first class is also something that could be beneficial, because you can get a jumpstart on readings that could easily build up in the first few weeks.  

2.) Read the syllabi.

Make sure they you read the syllabi for all of your classes in full, and if you don’t understand it, be sure to ask questions, especially during syllabus week.  Make sure you understand when the deadlines are so that they don’t sneak up on you!

3.) Get a calendar.

Touching on my last point if understanding assignments, get a calendar and write all of the assignments on their due dates.  Personally, I like to color code my classes, so all of the assignments are in the pen color that corresponds to the class. If you go through and add the assignments on their proposed due dates, you’ll have a better understand of when things are due.  This will make it much easier to plan things around big due dates, which will help relieve stress.

4.) Make a visual representation of your schedule

Writing out your schedule can really help you figure out what times of day you are busy.  This will make scheduling other things around class, work, and homework easier! You can use your Google calendar to keep everything in one place, or alternatively, you could create a simple  Google spreadsheet you can access and update on your phone at all times!

5.) Schedule some “Me-time”

After you write down your schedule, make sure to schedule in some “me-time.”  Self care is extremely important, especially as the semester starts getting more and more stressful.  Remember to take care of yourself and put yourself first!

6.) Schedule some “Friend-time”

Scheduling time with your friends before you all get too busy with homework is important.  It can help keep you calm during stressful times because you have something to look forward to, and you will also be more productive (because you know you have to finish something before going out with your friends).  Talking to your friends can also give you a much needed break from the stress of homework and can help you refocus and get things done more productively when you return.

7.) Schedule some “Work-time”

While scheduling time to spend with friends and yourself is important, you don't want those to take up all of your time and leave minimal time to work on the assignments for school.  Scheduling some weekly time dedicated to working on assignments is going to be beneficial and will help you get work done. You have to be dedicated to getting the work done, but working for a one hour block twice a week is pretty easy when you know it will benefit you as you don’t have to stress during Friday nights out with friends.

8.) Plan a trip home/for your family to come visit

Semesters can be a long time to be away from home, so planning time for your family to visit or for you to go home can be a great way to relieve stress and give you something to look forward to.  Also, even if you have been away from home for a few semesters now, coming back from a longer break can sometimes trigger homesickness all over again. Planning to go home can curb that feeling and allow you to look forward to going home rather than wishing you were home in that moment.

9.) Pick one big event to go to

Give yourself something else to look forward to.  Pick a nearby event t like a concert, professional sporting event, or a book-signing to attend.  This helps motivate you to get your work done faster because you are anticipating this event and you don’t want to be worrying about assignments when you are there!  It also doesn’t hurt to enjoy the city or town you are attending school in, even if it means splurging a little on the experience.

10.) Tell yourself you can do it.

Last, but probably the most important, make sure you remind yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to.  If you tell yourself that you can get the work done, you can get it done. Don’t stress over it, just take a deep breath and do the work, because you are completely capable and prepared to do so!