5 Things You Should Do ASAP to Have a Successful Term

Welcome back to school! It’s a new year and a new term, and the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. Take advantage of it by doing these five things to set yourself up for a successful term:

 

1. Record ALL your deadlines and commitments for the rest of the term.

Whether you use a physical agenda, a calendar app on your phone, or one of those 4-month dry erase calendars that everyone seemed to have in first year, make note of everything coming up this term: midterms, assignment due dates, club meetings, work/volunteering shifts. Taking the time now to record your deadlines is so worth it because it will help you to plan out your work and make sure you don’t miss anything important. Be sure to record some fun stuff too, like reading week or some particularly exciting on-campus events, so you know what you have to look forward to as well.

 

2. Create specific goals for the term and plans for how to achieve them.

If you ever learned about SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Timely), then you know how important it is to not only decide exactly what you want, but to figure out how you’re going to achieve it. Once you decide on your goals, figure out how to change your routine to achieve them. For example, if you want to get a certain grade in one of your toughest classes, you may decide to review and rewrite your notes after each class and do 10 extra practice questions per week.

 

3. Reflect on your bad habit triggers and enablers.

You know yourself better than anyone, and even if you hate to admit to them, you know your own bad habits. Take some time to reflect on the things that trigger those bad habits and allow them to continue. Once you’ve figured it out, you can work on avoiding them so you can create better habits for the new term. For example, if you showed up late to (or skipped!) a lot of your morning classes in the fall term because you kept sleeping in, figure out what time you need to go to bed to get adequate sleep so you won’t be so tired. Commit to going to bed at that time everyday. If you waste a lot of time when you’re studying because you always get distracted by your phone, start putting it on silent mode and putting it in a drawer or in your bag while you’re studying.

 

4. Find or make a friend in every class.

Knowing people in your classes can be incredibly helpful when things get tough later in the term. Having a “class friend” can be beneficial to both of you in multiple ways: You can compare assignment answers to catch each other’s mistakes before you submit them; you can both improve your understanding of course content by explaining it to each other when you study together; you can send each other notes if one of you misses a class when you’re sick. Find out who you already know in the course, even if they’re in a different class section. If you don’t already know someone, introduce yourself to the people you sit near in class. Don’t wait until the night before the midterm when you don’t understand one of the course concepts and you have no one to ask for help.

 

5. Check all your school supplies and restock if necessary.

You never want to be that person who realizes right before or during an exam that you’re out of pen ink or pencil leads and you don’t have any extras, or that you left your calculator at your parents’ house over the break. Save yourself the panic and last-minute rush to borrow one by checking right away to make sure you have all the stuff you’ll need to take notes and exams this term, including extras of everything.

 

Good luck and have an amazing winter term!

 

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