Six Secrets for a Successful Semester


Do you find yourself struggling to stay on top of your work even though it’s only week four? Ever wonder how that girl in your 8:30 a.m. lecture always looks so polished and put together? Did you not accomplish what you wanted to last semester, grades or otherwise?

Well, stress no more! It’s the start of a new semester and an entirely new year! Make 2017 the best yet with these six secrets (or perhaps for you, they are simply helpful reminders).



Secret #1: You do not need to "fix" yourself in order to be successful. A resolution is only a goal meant to enhance the person you already are, so that you may shine to the best of your abilities. So often, we start a new year with these feelings of needing to completely change ourselves, as if that will somehow make everything all better. I’m here to tell you that creating that kind of mindset just sets you up for up a stressful year of unrealistic expectations. Time to let go of your excessively high standards and realize you are already awesome!


Secret #2: Successful people know that maintaining a positive mindset is crucial. We all have those days that take everything out of us and question why we don’t just pursue a career as a professional dog sitter instead of this wonderful, but trying experience we call university. However, it’s important for us to have those days that make us want to quit, because at the end of them we come out the other side more grateful. Your positive mindset can put you on a better track. You must know that your dissatisfaction is only temporary and tomorrow is a new day. Try to remember that negativity breeds more frustration and negativity and if you’re not careful, you can spread to those feelings around you. If it “has not been your day, your month, or even your year,” you still have time. There is always room for improvement no matter how many days of the semester are left. Take each setback as a re-evaluation, but don’t dwell, simply look forward.


Secret #3: In tandem with positivity is doing one thing every day that makes you happy. Although Queen’s University is located in Kingston, ON, it is not one of the local prisons. You are free to come and go as you please and have the ability to say when enough is enough. There is nothing wrong with taking the night off and letting loose with friends. Perhaps going out is not your scene and you would rather treat yourself to a delicious pastry and hot beverage at The Small Batch or any other of Kingston’s numerous bakeries. The point is, don’t beat yourself up for not working 24/7. You can have that hour of Netflix. Heck, you can have it every evening. Do what you need to do in order stay happy and sane, because you are not a workhorse.


Secret #4: Make an effort to get involved in extracurricular activities. There is still plenty of time to join clubs or other on campus activities, who are hiring/recruiting for the winter semester. Check out your Facebook page for postings or e-mail club presidents directly. Now is your chance to put yourself out there and finally try out that new hip hop class (Queen’s Dance Club) or volunteer at the on campus soup kitchen (Good Times Diner). Whatever your interest may be, stop making excuses and just do it! Extracurriculars help to keep you balanced in your quest for success.


Secret #5: Don’t avoid the gym just because you think it will be packed with New Year’s Resolution-ers. Instead, try to go during off-peak times, like early in the morning or between classes. It’s a great break from the seemingly mundane workday and according to Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands…” Regardless of whether or not you have a husband, the hard hitting facts still apply, exercise is wise! Successful people workout to relieve stress and tension, as well as to stay in shape. The ARC has a selection of free fitness classes offered each week and there are a bunch of yoga studios (Moksha and Samatva to name a few) around town that have relatively cheap "pay what you can" classes, starting at $5.


Secret #6: Get outside whenever possible. As crazy as this sounds, given that it’s winter and it’s cold AF sometimes (shout out to Global Warming for the recent Spring temperatures), you need sunlight now more than ever. Don’t skip out on your classes just because you are afraid of slipping on the ice or wrecking your new boots in the slush. A little cold air and daylight will do you good and hopefully counteract those winter blues, which can manifest as Seasonal Affective Disorder for some. Kingston has some great outdoor opportunities such as skating in Springer Market Square and Victoria Park, or visiting the Lumina Borealis light display at Fort Henry.