Searching for redemption after a tough fall semester? Stressing to maintain that stellar, or not so stellar, GPA? Regardless of how last semester went, your slate is clean and you have 15 new weeks ahead of you.
I am going to outline a few suggestions that will kick off the semester right.
(p.s. enjoy these SpongeBob GIFs)
If you're anything like me, I came back a few days early to clean and organize my room and apartment. This isn't completely necessary but in order for me to be in the right headspace, I need an organized space.
Now that my room, and desk, is clean, I'm ready to conquer the semester. There's no excuses for not studying when my desk is cleared off and my household duties are done.
Use a planner
I can't stress this one enough. I recently bought a three-year planner that goes all the way through my time at JMU, and it was the best decision I've made as far as organizing.
I'm not saying a three-year planner is the way to go for everyone, but a yearly planner is a necessity, especially one with a notes section that you can write down abstract ideas that don't necessarily have a date set in stone.
I don't have the greatest memory and even if you do, it's important to write down the things that are coming up so that you can plan ahead and avoid procrastination.
Actually look at the syllabus
This is another big one. I made the mistake last semester of not looking at one of my syllabi, and I was hit with surprises all near the stressful end of the semester. Don't let yourself be surprised.
I even recommend printing it out and putting it in the binder or notebook for that class, so you can refer to it often.
Buy the right supplies
It's much easier to ace a class when you're organized and take good notes. Instead of putting off buying that 99¢ notebook and scribbling notes down on random pieces of notebook paper and throwing it into a messy folder, BUY IT.
Buy the basics and you won't be disappointed ( as long as you actually bring it to class).
Start off with a good impression
The first class of each course is important for future success. Where you sit, who you meet, and how you interact with the professor sets the stage for the rest of the semester.
I recommend sitting near the front, even though it may seem intimidating. The professor will notice and will most likely get to know you better than other students. Also students who sit in the front are statistically more likely to receive an A.
Introduce yourself to those around you and grab at least one phone number by the end of the first week, so that if you miss a class or have a question, you have someone to reach out to.
Also, take that extra step. Introduce yourself to the professor and mention one thing you're looking forward to learning more about. The more you get to know your professor, the more comfortable you'll feel if you have to go to office hours.
Don't underestimate this one. If you walk into your first class aiming low and praying for better grades, you aren't putting your best foot forward. Be confident in who you are and what you're capable of.
And if you've done the previous steps, you're starting off a step ahead. Be optimistic and hold your head high. You got this.