How to Make Your Week 1 Self Last the Whole Quarter

I've sometimes struggled with maintaining that bright, studious, organized and sociable version of myself from the first day of school throughout the whole year, or even a whole quarter. As commitments and responsibilities piled up, I often felt overwhelmed and exhausted, as if I couldn't get a handle on myself. Over the years, however, I've found some ways to help me feel like a boss beyond just the first week.

1. Find someone who will hold you accountable or maybe even work alongside you

No matter your goal, find someone who'll help you reach it. If you want to exercise more this quarter, find a workout buddy or persuade your roommate to make sure your butt is out that door and on its way to the gym. If you want to stay on top of your assignments and tests for a difficult class, get a study group going.

Your accountability partner doesn't even have to be a real person! For example, if your goal is to stay within a budget you've made yourself, you can use an app or even a simple spreadsheet to help you track your spending habits (check out this article for more on that). 

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2. Check out campus resources even before you think you might need them

We seem to ask our professors everything we might possibly need to know about the class on Day 1. Are the exams cumulative? Do you grade for participation? How much of our grade will this be worth? Knowing those answers helps us to feel more informed and prepared.

Similarly, it's wise to know what's available to you and prepare for challenges that might arise. Speak with the people you need to even before you anticipate a problem, just so you can check in. Make appointments to see professors, major advisors, tutors, career and internship or financial aid advisors, therapists, and more. They want you to do well and be well, and they'll help you make sure you're on track to getting there.

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3. Schedule in times to see your friends

Week 1 is all about catching up with the friends you haven't seen for an entire summer and coasting through some homework before the seemingly-everlasting midterm season begins. Still, there’s no reason for your social life to disappear as the quarter goes on – you simply need to get the ball rolling and make concrete plans. It might be a movie over the weekend, coffee before class or dinner after an evening discussion. Your spirits will improve when you see the people you love!

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4. Tackle your to-do list during breaks between classes

Some breaks are for catching up with friends or down time. Others give you the time you need for that one email you need to respond to, some paperwork you need to get to, or that office you need to call with a question. While your to-do list will get longer as the weeks fly by, you can also make sure to tackle it promptly.

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5. Take just FIVE minutes to prep something – anything – for tomorrow

I don't know about you, but I'm always incredibly proud of myself in Week 1. My outfits are pre-planned, I eat nutritious breakfasts, manage to exercise and make myself a packed lunch to put in my bag. While it may not be possible for you to take time out of every single night to fully schedule the next morning, it's far more likely that you can take just a few minutes to ensure that at least one aspect of the day runs smoothly. Plan a meal, put a few of your clothes aside, or fill up your water bottle. Your future self will thank your past self in the morning!

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Cover image source: Pexels