Starting a New Quarter

Most students believe that the end of an academic quarter being far more important than the beginning. This, however, is a common misconception. Sure, the end of the quarter signifies revising for final exams and writing essays, which often count for a large portion of the overall grade. I know from personal experience, however, that the beginning of the quarter is just equally as important as the end. As a third-year UC Davis student, I fully understand how stressful the quarter system can be. Given its fast-paced and intense nature, the key to a successful quarter is to start it off strong. 

To prepare for the new quarter, the first step is to organize. There are many ways to do this, but a good place to start is by reading all the class syllabuses. The syllabuses will usually provide all the information needed to get a good grade, from exam information to class expectations. A class syllabus is essentially a roadmap to succeeding in the class. Organizing can look different to everyone, as it depends on one’s goals and preferences. In order to achieve a balance between school, work and personal life, keeping track of due dates, assignments and activities should be a priority when preparing for a new quarter. Daily planners, calendars, to-do lists, and spreadsheets are a good source of organizing class information, especially for those who are visually-oriented. 

planner with coffee Photo by Estee Janssens from Unsplash

There are tons of reasons why preparation is essential before classes begin. In addition to finding a work-life balance, good preparation and organization can be beneficial to students’ mental health. Having knowledge of when and what to accomplish eliminates uncertainties and unnecessary stress, preventing any future burnouts. This also allows students to plan ahead and arrange their schedules, allocating enough time to study or even save time for self-care. Another benefit is that students can maximize their productivity. Being organized also gives students an opportunity to prioritize the more time-consuming and difficult tasks, which increases efficiency and effective time management. 

All this preparation and organization during the start of the quarter helps to set students up for success. Students often think that the first couple of weeks in the quarter should be easy and relaxing, as they are still adapting to new classes and getting back into their routines, but the first couple of weeks actually represent a crucial period to get organized for the rest of the quarter. Being organized early on during the quarter gives students a higher likelihood of doing well in the class and a smaller chance of falling behind. And, as everyone knows, it is very hard to catch up once someone falls behind in a quarter system. 

So, as Spring Quarter has just begun, it’s important for everyone to utilize these couple of weeks to prepare and get organized. Once again, the key to a successful quarter is to start the quarter off strong; through being organized and taking care of one’s mental health. I wish you all a happy and successful Spring Quarter!

white long sleeve shirt sitting on grass Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels