How to Start Your Semester Off Right

So you're all moved in and have two weeks of school under your belt -- what do you do to make sure your semester is off to a good start? 

1. Complete your "Semester at a Glance"

Write down office hours on the side as well so all the information you need is in one place. I always recommend the "semester at a glance" because nothing will sneak up on you if you have it completed. It's also nice to know which weeks will be crazy so you have time to prepare. Get your own to fill in at the ALEC.


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2. Organize your study area, and keep it organized! 

An alternative is to commit to only studying in the library because dorm rooms are extremely distracting places to study. My favorite place to study is the Hamon Arts Library by the third-floor windows because there is plenty of natural light and it typically is not crowded. Finding a quiet place to study is an important part of staying on top of your grades.

3. Talk with your roommate 

Whether you agree to have quiet hours every night or twice a week, being on the same page with the person you live with is so important! I also recommend filling out the roommate agreement form and communicating any potential issues. Finding a compromise may be difficult, but it is so worth it.


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4. Get into a workout routine

If all the beautiful girls on campus with perfect hair and great bodies aren't inspiration enough, let science convince you. Being active is so important because it helps relieve stress, improve sleep quality, increase energy levels and makes you feel happier. A full article on the health benefits of exercise can be read here

5. Limit your daily TV time to less than 2 hours

As addicting as Netflix, HBO and Hulu are, limiting your TV time frees up your day to do school work or invest in an organization you care about. You also could sleep in the time you saved, which, as college students, is sacred.

6. Keep your area tidy

Too lazy and think it isn't important? A study by Psychology Today revealed that women with cleaner homes were more physically healthy, had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and had less trouble focusing than those who had messy homes. Need another reason? It looks gross. Seriously, respect yourself and your roommate. Clean your mess. 


Image via SMU Panhellenic


7. Get involved (Especially your Freshman year)

Not only does SMU have tons of organizations to get involved in, it also has Greek life and club sports. There is no reason to be shut up in your room all day or all weekend– go on rush dates, go boulevarding, play pickup basketball, try a new club– honestly just go and find your niche!