5 Tips for a Successful Semester

  1. 1. Get a Planner and Really Use It

    goals, coffee, notebook

    An organized planner is your best friend when it comes to staying on top of assignments and managing your time. Take the time to look at each of your class schedules and update your planner accordingly every couple of days and you’ll never miss a due date.

    Don’t be afraid to add breaks into your schedule too! You can give yourself structured down time using your planner to keep yourself from running out of steam.

  2. 2. Get Some Sleep

    According to the CDC, adults aged 18-60 need 7 or more hours of sleep a night.  Getting enough sleep and having good sleep hygiene (like avoiding blue light before bed and keeping a quiet room) will help you immensely when it comes to focusing on schoolwork during the day. If you want to work on your sleep habits, you could try using a sleep app, like Sleepzy or the Bedtime app for Apple. There are many that will make you aware of your habits, wake you up at the most optimal part of your sleep cycle, give you bedtime reminders, and more.

  3. 3. Take Good Notes

    This one seems obvious, but it’s so crucial and it’s so tempting to just not. Keeping thorough, organized notes from every lecture to refer back to will boost your grades like crazy. Not only is writing the content down going to help you learn it, but when you have a test coming up your notes will serve as all the study material you need.

  4. 4. Actually Read the Book

    For classes that have an assigned textbook, there is usually extreme advantage in actually reading it- especially before the content is lectured on. Reading the content before class will prime you for being able to understand the content thoroughly and quickly. You’ll also be able to ask better questions and your professor will see your effort (and probably give you better grades).

  5. 5. Exercise, Eat, and Drink Water

    pink yoga mat with two pink weights and other exercise equipment

    A sure way to improve your work in your classes is to take care of yourself. Making sure to move for at least 30 minutes a day will clear your mind and make it so that you’re not drudging through your work with antsy muscles and a foggy brain. Drinking adequate water between iced coffees is also very important for avoiding work-killers like headaches and fatigue.

    Eating food that makes your body feel good (and eating enough of it)  will boost your success as well. Carbs are generally good for you, but one thing to avoid during your school day are foods that contain highly processed carbs and have a high glycemic index (white flour, added sugar). These types of food will cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar and can cause you to feel lethargic and cloudy.

Feel free to take these tips and run with them as you start getting back into the hang of school- they’ve really helped me succeed.  Let’s have a great Spring semester, Panthers! Welcome back!