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Freshmen’s Guide to the Spring Semester

Currently a sophomore here at UT, I remember my first spring semester as being much more fast-paced than I had expected. As a freshman, it is easy to feel overwhelmed at how quickly time flies during the spring, but with a little preparation and planning you can accomplish everything you set out to, while also having time to enjoy yourself. Here are some tips on helpful approaches to the spring semester:

  1. Start thinking about your summer plans. Whether you plan on working during the summer in your hometown, taking summer school courses, or applying for internships/ programs, now is the time to start looking into deadlines and deciding what you want to do with your summer. That way you can plan ahead for any recommendations or paperwork that needs to be finished by their respective deadlines. Once the semester and your classes start gaining momentum, it will be more difficult to find time to look into applying for jobs or programs. 
  2. Try not to procrastinate with schoolwork! I know, I know, this is much easier said than done. For some reason spring semester classes have a way of creeping up on us. Before we know it, it will be final exam time. To avoid feeling overwhelmed and pulling multiple all-nighters fueled by Monster and Red Bull the week before your finals, take some time every week to review the topics covered in your classes. Having a schedule is a great way to prevent yourself from procrastinating. You won’t feel discouraged by the idea of having to study all day long, and as a result will be more likely to focus and accomplish your goals in a set amount of time. 
  3. Ease yourself out of “Winter Break Mode.” After a relaxing and fun holiday, it is undoubtedly difficult to immediately go back to “school mode.” To avoid burning yourself out right at the start of the semester, break up the tasks you need to get done into pieces and tackle them one at a time, taking fun breaks to keep yourself encouraged. This way, you can smoothly transition from having been able to sleep and relax as you wanted, to balancing your sleep, schoolwork and free time. 
  4. Spring Break is near! If you plan on going on a certain vacation or participating in one of the many awesome service trips offered by different organizations here at UT, now is the time to start planning! Look into applications and their deadlines starting now. Spring break service trips are a great way for freshmen to immerse themselves in different cultures, so if you are interested make sure you do research ahead of time.
  5.  Don’t forget about your extracurriculars. If you didn’t join or really get to participate in any organizations the fall semester, the spring semester is a great time to explore your interests and try out different clubs to see which ones best suit you. Extracurriculars are a great way to meet people with your similar interests and to explore the diversity that UT offers.

Whether it involves planning for your spring break and summer, getting back into school mode, or joining new organizations, spring semester is a great time for new beginnings. By staying organized you can maximize your college experience and accomplish all you set out to do. 

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