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New Semester, New Me: How to Start Off Your Semester Strong

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

We’ve all been there: you spend your entire winter break catching up with friends, staying up late, and sleeping in until 1 p.m. Then, reality hits and you realize your month-long break has flown by and classes are starting back up in a few days. Getting back into a routine of waking up early, going to classes, and doing homework, essays, and tests can be tough after a long break, but there are plenty of ways to ease this transition. Here are a few tips for starting off a new semester strong:

Reflect on previous semesters

The start of a new semester is the perfect time to turn the mistakes you may have made in the past into positive ones. Learn from those mistakes and use them as motivation for self-improvement as you begin this semester. Whether it’s making an effort to study earlier in advance for tests, going to office hours when you need help, or joining more clubs, take this new start as a chance to make this semester even better than the last. 

Establish good habits now

While it may be tempting to skip classes during syllabus week or to procrastinate on your first few assignments, as the semester progresses, you may find that you can no longer get away with these bad habits. Set yourself up for a successful semester by implementing good routines and habits from the beginning. Making an effort to go to class or to complete assignments early, even when you don’t “need” to, will pay off when these good habits are necessary. 

Don’t neglect your personal health

Just because you’re back on campus does not mean you have to overwhelm yourself with academics. Even after a long break, it’s still important to take care of your personal health. Reconnect with friends you’ve been away from over break and let yourself enjoy the time you have here on campus. Taking care of your personal life is just as important as taking care of your academic life.

Remind yourself why you’re here

It can be easy to fall into the mindset of seeing your classes as a bothersome chore after a long break. Whenever I find myself feeling this way, I always remind myself how much listening to lectures from great professors or doing assignments for a class that pertains to my career aspirations is constantly pushing me closer towards where I want to be after college. I remind myself that here, I have endless opportunities to learn and grow. Want some first-hand career advice? Talk to your professors or an advisor. Want to learn how to code? Sign up for an introductory class next semester. Instead of dreading going back to classes after winter break, get excited about all you can get accomplished this semester! 

Starting a new semester can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Look at this time as an opportunity for a fresh start where you can continue to grow both professionally and personally.

Christine Dinh

Virginia Tech '22

A Professional & Technical Writing major and lover of Arrested Development, kittens, and coffee ice cream!
Camden Carpenter

Virginia Tech '21

Senior studying Smart and Sustainable Cities, with hopes to become a traveling urban developer. Attemping to embody "Carpe Diem" in her everyday life, both physically by getting a tattoo of the quote, and mentally by taking risks while trying to maximize each day's full potential.