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Transforming a Hot Girl Summer Into a Smart Girl Semester

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

So you did it. You lived the dream. You achieved the hot girl summer that many ladies will only ever dream of. A hot Barbie summer, if you will. It was everything you dreamed of and more.

Or at least until August rolled around and you got that sickening slap in the face of school starting again, and before you know it, you’re failing Chemistry and not sleeping. But fret not! We are here to share each and every trick you’ll ever need to know to completely transform your hot girl summer into that smart girl semester that you, your parents and your scholarships are desperate for right about now.


Find Your Way to Organize

College is no joke. It is 100% your own responsibility to stay on top of everything going on in your life, and it’s very easy to completely miss something if you aren’t proactive. So, it’s very important to find your own way of jotting everything down. For me personally, I’ve got three ways of reminding myself, in increasing importance, to stay on top of things.

1. You can try keeping up with one of those super cute Pinterest-girl planners. Whether you’re someone who thrives off of the fun details and decoration aspects of creating something or if you would prefer to just scribble assignments down in the middle of class, a planner can be a great place to organize your thoughts.

2. But if that’s not your thing, a “To-Do” list can be a great way to see a visual of what exactly you need to get done, and the process of crossing off tasks as you go along is both satisfying and motivating. Whether it be a reminder to complete an assignment, call your mom, or simply take out the trash, this list acts as a great way to keep everything in one place. Plus, as an added bonus, nothing is more satisfying than being able to crumble up and throw away a list once it’s eventually completed.

3. If you don’t think you’ll have the time or energy to keep up with either of those, there’s always one great resource at the tip of your fingers at all times… your phone! There are so many awesome free apps available to set reminders. Whether you want the simple Apple one or one of many variations from the App Store, there is something to work for everyone. So if you know that you would never remember to check a list or planner, there’s no way to miss a simple notification on your phone.

Whether you end up using a planner, list, app or something completely different, the most important thing is to constantly be updating things. As soon as you get assignments, make sure to keep note of them somewhere you know they won’t get lost. And make sure you are constantly checking all of your teachers’ resources, school email, syllabus or anywhere else that secret assignments could be hiding. If you don’t take the initiative to find what you need to get done, there’s no point in trying to organize your tasks/assignments. Always assume that there is something to be done, and if there isn’t anything immediately due… then find something you can get ahead on!

Stay on Top of Studying

While the human brain is extremely incredible and capable of so much, it also takes some effort to truly retain information. Even when what you’re learning in class seems ridiculously easy, it can never hurt to stay on top of your studies. By practicing repetition and rehearsing what you learn in your head while the content seems easy, you’ll be much more able to study when it’s actually important. If you find what works for you and practice your notetaking and reviewing when it’s still simple information, then you’ll have no problem with those all-nighters before exams in the future.

1. Create a habit of studying early on, and try your best to keep it up. Even if it’s only for a short period of time, make yourself a promise to reserve study time every day. Make sure this is time to actually study, not to be confused with the time it takes to complete homework. By getting into a routine of studying, you’ll set yourself up for a successful semester.

2. Try out different study spots to see what works for you. Most campuses have a surplus of study locations available to students, so check out what yours has to offer! Spend some time in multiple places. Whether it be somewhere quiet or loud, busy or empty, outdoors or in, you should try to find which spots create the best environment for you to stay focused and productive.

3. Try not to let studying have a negative connotation in your head. If the thought of sitting down and actually studying makes you queasy, then you’ve got to find a way to change your mindset. Even if it means a completely non-traditional way of retaining and practicing what you know, whatever works for you… works for you! Try reading your textbooks while trying out some new yoga poses, create a game out of it, or find a way to reward your studying to make sure you stay motivated during the process.

At the end of the day, how YOU study only matters to you. As long as you’re being productive, who cares how you get it done. Creating a successful study plan is entirely dependent on what you find out works best for you, and once you find that much out, take advantage of that! Staying on top of your studying is a vital step in making sure you’re able to stay on top of your classes and help pull you even closer to that smart girl semester you’re vying for.

Work Hard Before You Play Hard

One of the best things about college is that there’s always so many people to meet and so much to do. With endless events going on both on and off campus, it can be easy to get caught up in the grand scheme of having that fantastic college experience you’ve seen in movies. And I promise, you will. But at the end of the day, the fun should come after the school aspect of it all.

1. Don’t get into the habit of spending all day, every day, goofing around with friends and having fun to just end up staying up late every night to finish homework or maybe even skip doing it all. If you stay on top of assignments and studying, your classes shouldn’t engulf your life. Just make sure you spend time wisely by working hard in class and for a little bit after class. Trust me, it will feel much better to finish your assignments in the early afternoon rather than have to stay up until two in the morning cramming.

2. Don’t let the need to be social prevent you from getting stuff done. If you feel like you’re constantly choosing to follow what your friends are doing before you can finish your work, find a way to change things up! You can work on assignments together or even suggest lunch outings or simply hanging out at someone’s dorm as a time to get some work done. While every get together shouldn’t have to become a study session, it is still really easy to spend time with friends while also being productive! Plus your friends will be sure to thank you when you all end the semester with great grades.

It’s okay to have fun and enjoy the best years of your life, but it’s also important to stay on top of school (because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re paying so much money to do). Play hard while you’re in college, but work hard before you do.

If your summer was great (or even if it wasn’t), you should have no trouble finishing the year off strong. By taking initiative and making the effort to stay on top of your classes now, you’re just helping to avoid unnecessary stress in the future. But even if it does get stressful, that’s okay, too! There are so many resources available on campus to help students be successful, so take advantage of all of the help you’ve got, and ask for more if you still find yourself struggling. Just remember, YOU’VE GOT THIS! You’re smarter than you think and more capable than you let yourself believe, so the only thing that’s between you and your success is you.

Hannah is currently a Fisheries & Wildlife major pursuing a certificate in Environmental Education. When she's not writing for Her Campus, she can usually be found watching TikToks or looking at animals somewhere.