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The drinks have been put away, the syllabus stocked back in our folders and now the real work begins. The first couple weeks of college are simple. You’re slowly getting back into the groove of working and starting to really get focused. Once week three rolls around, that’s when the work really starts. And for some people, that can be pretty tough.

So in celebration of this new semester, here are ten ways to own this school year

1. Take a breath

This may sound cliché, but it’s true. From those majoring in communication all the way to STEM, we all need to learn to just take a breath. We stress out over little things that we’ll look back on in ten years and see weren’t the end of the world.


2. Use. The. Syllabus.

This is the most obvious thing in the world, but students seem to never get it through their heads. The syllabus is literally your God for any semester. It tells you when tests are, when assignments are due and when you have to buckle down for hours of homework. Read the bloody syllabus so you don’t fall behind. It’ll organize your school life. And connecting to this…


3. Use a planner and calendar

…You’re going to need one. It may seem simple to just put everything in your phone and move on with that, but phones screw up sometimes. It’s much more reliable to have that physical planner and calendar in front of you all the time to remind you of your deadlines so you don’t fall behind.


4. Eat properly 

I cannot stress how important this is. Without a proper diet, your brain isn’t going to function correctly. You need to make sure you get enough of every nutritional value to study well. If you don’t, you’re only hurting yourself.


5. Sleep well

This goes hand in hand with eating well. If you don’t sleep well, you’re not going to be awake for your classes. When you’re not awake, you don’t take good notes and that’ll end in a bad test grade. It might seem hard to get real sleep in college, but if you get a schedule down it’s possible.


6. Study in places that aren’t typical study spots

It might seem easy for you to go to the library and just study there, but when you’re in a big major and everyone is taking that same test or its finals week, the library is not your best option. Try going to a quiet spot on campus, the third floor of a building, a coffee shop downtown or the park by school. You’d be surprised at how many spots there are that students don’t take advantage of.


7. Make a study schedule

You really don’t want to overstress yourself studying. Trust me, I’ve done it before. Try to make a study schedule so you’re not cramming for that test a couple of hours before you have to take it. When you get the material, study it for maybe fifteen minutes a day and slowly add more information. When the big test does come around, you’ll be good to go.


8. Try to hit the gym

No, I’m not calling you ugly. The gym is a great way to wake you up. Even if you go for a half hour, it will awaken your senses and you’ll feel more ready to take on the day. I used to exercise everyday, but once I started realizing I had other things in my life, it became an every-other-day thing. Even going to it once really helps.


9. Don’t spend all of your time on work

Seriously. The main point of college is the academics, but the social part is a huge aspect of it as well. Try to get out and go out with friends, take the person you like on a date or even go to a movie by yourself. I’ve done the movie thing, and even if it sounds lonely, it’s not. It’s nice to just get away from work and go do something fun, whether it’s as simple as going to a movie, or heading to a huge party. It’s a stress relief, and everyone needs that.


10. Be happy, don’t stress

There are much worse things you could be doing than being a college student. Some people don’t even have the chance to come to a university, and yet here you are, taking that for granted by stressing about something that won’t matter in ten years. These are some of the best years of your life, and stressing out is going to ruin them. Be happy and enjoy it while it lasts, because it does fly by.


Good luck this semester, collegiettes!



Cover: Allie Maniglia

Alexandra is a senior at Penn State majoring in Digital-Print Journalism in the College of Communications. She is the assistant editor for Her Campus and loves everything else PSU has to offer her. She is involved with the Onward State, and would like to somehow benefit THON. Alex loves to write, sing, bake, and dance around like no one is watching. Alex is known to love her animals, including her cat, Grace, who isa little devil at the same time. Oh, and pizza. She loves pizza like it's her world. Follow her on Instagram for her craziness: allieramos1698
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