Kicking Off the Semester on the Right Foot: Your Complete Guide Toward Success

We've all made mistakes during the semester, yet we completely forget how to correct them for the next semester. Here are some ways to improve your academic performance and lifestyle so you won't have to save your semester at the last minute.

Keep track of your grades: By writing down your grades at the end of your notebook or on your cell phone, you will have a clear idea of where you stand and how much you need to improve in order to achieve the A you aim for. Be precise, write down the exact amount of points awarded, the date, the type of evaluation (test, quiz, assignment) and the percentage of weight it actually helps toward your final grade. Also, if your homework is returned to you, save it as evidence. 

Stop skipping class: Yes, it’s college and you have all this newfound freedom to do whatever you want with your time without someone nagging you. Yet, excesses are never healthy. Before you start skipping class for no justified purpose at all (oversleeping, hangovers or just plain laziness) make sure it won’t affect your grade. Some professors do care about assistance and participation in class, and this might be a determining factor when you find yourself in between grades or even between passing and failing a class.

Save and consult your syllabus: Your syllabus might seem like a useless piece of paper, but it is not. In fact, in includes all the material you are going to cover for the rest of the semester, as well as useful information such as dude dates for homework, tests dates, your professor’s email and office hours, and the grading scale. Try either saving it on a file on your computer or printing it and keeping it with you so that you are never caught off guard. We recommend investing in a binder to help you keep track of all your documents.

Have a buddy system: Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you will become BFF with one person from each of your classes this semester, but rather that you should find someone who is willing to share the burden with you. Make sure it is someone as responsible and interested in the class as you are, so that it does not become a parasitical relationship, but rather a mutual relationship in which both can be of help to each other in order to kick the class’ butt.

When it comes to jangueos, learn to say noPart of becoming a successful adult means keeping your priorities straight. Sometimes you will have time to hang out, but sometimes you won’t. Learning to say no can spare you a lot of trouble.

However, your itch to blow off some steam and relax in your friends could work in your favor: make janguear a top prize in your reward system. For example, if you finish your work for the week on time (or early!) then you can give yourself Thursday night off.

Keep an agenda: Your mom’s not going to be reminding you of when you have a test or a presentation, so it’s important to have everything in order. It’s not easy to remember when each test, project or assignment is due, therefore make sure to write it down. In the end, organization is everything.

Take good care of yourself (Exercise, eat, sleep): Be aware of what daily fast food can do to you. Going to BK once in a while isn’t bad, but don’t rely on it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Despite being super busy, it is important to pamper yourself with a balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and your beauty sleep.  

Avoid coming prejudiced to class: Notaso is not always right, and unfortunately neither is your roommate. Do not let other people's experiences with certain professors affect your own. It is good to not be caught off guard, but sometimes outsiders opinions do not necessarily relate to you. Give the professor a chance, give yourself a chance, give this semester a chance. Who knows? It might surprise you for the better.