Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Whether this is your first semester at college or your last, this list will help you have a successful semester from the start!

Learn Your Schedule

To fit everything into your semester, you have to know your schedule. Many people try managing their workload by checking their schedules day by day instead of looking at everything in advance. Getting to know your schedule is essential to factor in your class times, study time, time to hang out with friends, time for self-care, and more. This may seem like a lot, but self-care could be anything from five minutes of meditation in the morning to an hour at the gym. Plus, scheduling tests and larger assignments in advance can help you plan ahead and stop procrastinating (which we all know we do).

Find Your Happy Place on Campus

It’s very important to find a place on campus where you can escape the stress of classes and actually relax. This could your favorite dining hall, the student union, a patch of grass around campus, or anywhere that you feel comfortable. Personally, my campus happy place is the Durfee Conservatory. Something about the beautiful plants and hot air (especially during the winter) helps me forget I am in the middle of a stressful semester and allows me to enjoy the beauty of it all. I know for some people it could be the gym, where reducing stress could mean taking a spin class or lifting weights. Having a spot on campus to relieve stress can make Amherst feel a bit more like home and can make your semester go a lot more smoothly.

Organize, Organize, Organize!

It seems like the easiest way to keep your life running smoothly, but as the semester catches up to you, it gets harder and harder to stay organized. Being organized can mean anything from cleaning your room regularly to planning out your homework every day. There’s a reason people say that “a clean room is a clean mind.” Instead of searching through your room for your homework at the last minute, or looking through endless files on your computer for that paper you wrote, it’s ideal to keep everything organized and make your life much simpler.

Reach Out

It can be very easy to fall into a certain friend group or just go to class without making real connections with classmates or professors. But it’s important for everyone to make connections with the people around them. College has so much to offer, and one of those things is the relationships you build with others. I always find that I enjoy my courses a lot more when I connect with the professor and have a friend or two in the class. This doesn’t mean that you should only choose classes that you know your friends will be in! It means making friends with new classmates and making new connections. And while building a relationship with your professor may feel uncomfortable, some easy ways to do so are going to office hours, sending emails, and asking questions during and after class. Another way to reach out is to get involved in campus activities and clubs. These opportunities are a really great way to make friends that have similar interests, which makes it easier for you to find people who you connect with.

Set Realistic Goals

Sometimes, we fall into the trap of thinking we can juggle so much when we’re at school. For example, at the beginning of the semester, you might think it will be easy to balance working out every day, getting straight A’s, hanging out with friends every night, and calling your family daily. While it seems so doable at first, it’s easy to have life get in the way and cause you to fall behind on the lofty goals you made. That’s why it’s so important to not put pressure on yourself to do every single thing you can possibly think of. Setting manageable, long-term goals can help you get the most out of your semester without feeling like you’re constantly busy or falling behind.

While all of these tips may seem like common sense, establishing these practices before your semester is in full swing can help a lot. And while no one can have an organized room 24/7 or be friends with everyone on campus, taking these small steps can help you have a great semester!

Can’t get enough of HC UMass Amherst? Be sure to follow us on Instagram, listen to us on Spotify, like us on Facebook, and read our latest Tweets

Chloe Hopkins

U Mass Amherst '23

Chloe is a Senior at UMass Amherst majoring in Mathematics and is getting her minor in Education. Chloe is in the CTEP program at UMass to get her masters in Elementary Education. She loves animals and has her own black lab named Hero at home. Chloe loves to workout, write poetry, and go on hikes.