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Tips For Kicking Off the School Year the Right Way

 Welcome Back, Buckeyes! We are now well into fall quarter—week 2 is coming to a close and the homework, reading, and projects are piling up quickly.
After a long and hopefully relaxing summer, it can be tough to get back into the school mindset.  Whether you are a freshman still trying to learn your way around campus, or a “super senior” finishing those last few credits before you graduate, these tips will help you get your school year off to a great start!

1.    Get Organized and Stay On Top of Your Classes
Week 3 is certainly no time to slack off!  It is easy to feel like it is early enough into the quarter that you don’t have too much work to do, but in reality, our quarter is only 11 weeks, and midterms will be here before we know it!
Get a planner, record dates and assignments in your phone, or use an online calendar—figure out what works for you, and stick with it!  Stay on top of your reading, practice problems and papers and work ahead whenever possible.  You will be glad you did come week 4 when you are swamped with essays and exams!
Now is also the perfect time to start visiting your professors and TAs during office hours.  As many professors will tell you, they’ll be more likely to round that 92.99% up to a 93% if they know you and know that you are putting in a good effort to understand the material.  Even if you are not having trouble in a class, getting to know your TA or Professor is still always beneficial.  You never know when you may have an emergency and miss a class or need a letter of recommendation.  They will be much more forgiving and helpful if they can put a face to your name.
2.    Make a Friend (Or at Least an Acquaintance) in Every Class!
We know this is easier said than done, but try to get to know a few people in each of your classes.  This will come in handy if you get sick and need to get notes from someone, need clarification on an assignment, or just want someone to study with.  Plus, it is way less awkward than emailing everyone in your 600 person lecture for missed notes.
3.    Reconnect with Old Friends!
Reach out to the friends you may have lost touch with over the summer!  You may have changed living situations this year, but don’t forget about your old roommates and neighbors.  Also, make sure you take the time to get to know your new floor-mates, roommates, and neighbors.  This is especially important when living off-campus.  If you know your neighbors, they will look out for you and you will look out for them.  Not to mention, you just might make a new friend!

4.    Get Involved!
Fall quarter is the perfect time to join a student organization.  With around 1,000 student organizations at Ohio State, you are bound to find something that appeals to you!  Student Organizations are great ways to meet new people and have fun, not to mention add a little boost to your resume!  For a complete, searchable list of all the great organizations at Ohio State, visit www.ohiounion.osu.edu/get_involved!

5.  Have a “Roommate Talk”
Don’t wait until halfway through fall quarter have a talk with your roommates about some ground rules for your dorm room, apartment, or house.  If you live in a dorm, your RA will probably require you to make a written roommate agreement, but it is also a good idea to do this with your off-campus roommates, even if they are your friends.  This will help avoid conflicts down the road.   Some things to talk about include cleaning schedules, visitors, whether or not you will host parties, and how you will handle paying your bills.   If issues do arise later on, addressing problems as soon as they come up is the easiest way to have a peaceful living situation.

6.    Set Goals!
Whether you want to go to the gym more, raise your GPA, or eat healthier, the beginning of a new school year is perfect time to evaluate your life and set new, realistic goals for yourself!  Sit down with a friend or family member and share your goals with them—they will help you stay on track!
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