The previous semester was fantastic, right? Did it go as smoothly as expected? Probably not. It may seem a tedious thing to spend time in your break working out everything for next semester, but it will definitely help you out in the long run!
It’s important to prepare for second semester before it begins. You don’t want to be making the same mistakes twice! Her Campus has come up with a few ways for you to get ready for next semester!
Creating a budget
Work out how much money you will have for second semester after all tuition payments have been made. This can be easier if you are receiving payments from the government or a bank, but if you have a job it may be harder to work out how much money will be available to you each month.
Start with the basics! Deduct rent costs, and general utilities (if you pay utilities), and work with what you have left. You will probably need to buy groceries; so writing a list of all the necessities you need from the store will help you keep on track. From that list, decide if you will need to go grocery shopping weekly, or biweekly. Will some items need to be purchased more often? Mark this on your list!
Check your course sequence, decide how many times you think you will have time to catch a movie, eat out, or go to the bar. This will help you put a cap on how much is probable to spend in one night! An important thing to keep in mind when creating your ‘Fun Fund’ is to remember how much is reasonable, and realistic to spend on a night out. Purchasing textbooks or other resources for your classes should be at the top of your budget list. It is smart to wait until after your first class for each course before purchasing anything. Most syllabuses will mention a textbook, or e-book for the course, but often in the first lecture professors will tell you if it is required or just recommended. The next step of preparation for next semester will also play a key role in deciding whether you will need the textbook. There is nothing worse than the feeling of blowing cash on a textbook you don’t need!
When creating your budget, and grocery list, write out everything in bright colours on a Bristol board. This makes it easier to add things each day.
Read reviews of your professors
Do you know a friend who previously took courses in your course sequence? Ask them if they used the textbook required for class, the workload, and the formats of assignments or midterms. Asking about the teaching style, and if going to the professors office hours is going to be a great benefit can’t hurt either!
If you don’t know anyone who took the course before, I am sure you have heard of ratemyprofessors.com. It’s important to take each review with a grain of salt – you don’t know
exactly the situation of each student in that class, but you can at least get an idea of the teaching style.
Reading notes from a prerequisite
Brushing up on basic concepts that you’ve learned previously will help when you expand on these concepts. As well as reading previous notes can help you recall your studying habits too. Say goodbye to cram-studying!
Following this crucial step can help refresh your understanding and knowledge in these courses so you aren’t left behind in class.
Read up on recent events in news/magazines
Whatever degree you are working towards, there is tons of resources in newspapers, magazines, and journals that pertain to your field. Business, political science, or other social science students can easily pick up a newspaper, and read various articles. One great source to use is BBC. The BBC site, is organized into separate countries, and is an easy website to navigate through. Science, and technology is often written about in newspapers as well, but Wired Magazine, is a great resource for purely scientific articles. Often these articles will explain what basic concepts are being used, and this helps to understand what you’re learning is going towards!
This is probably the easiest thing to do to prepare. Most newspapers/magazines have Twitter accounts that release links to their featured articles! So the next time you’re travelling, or just relaxing at home, you can scroll through your twitter feed and receive all the latest articles. It’s a little thing that can go a long way!
Doing these things can seem tedious when you just want to unwind from the previous semester, but if you start the new semester well prepared, everything will run smoothly. Just by following these simple steps, and taking your time to think about everything, will make a huge difference.
Have a happy semester!