A Strong Start for the New Semester

You have officially made it through your first term of university and managed to pass all of your courses. Now that you are somewhat used to the pace of university and how fast the midterms come, you are more prepared for tackling your second term. To ensure that this term is better than the last “trial” term that you just experienced, here are a few tips to help you get back into the academic game, hopefully increase your GPA, and maybe even save time for doing other things, like starting hobbies or volunteering.


1. Plan Ahead

I cannot stress how important it is to make a schedule and plan ahead. Get a calendar and mark down all the important dates this term including all assignment due dates and midterms (don’t forget the holidays and breaks!) This will be helpful in reminding you about upcoming and future assessments, so that you will not have any surprises the day before something is due. I also recommend getting a four-month calendar, available at the university bookstore, as it allows you to plan for long-term.

2. Make A Daily Agenda

Agendas are useful especially when you have a wide variety of things that need to be accomplished every day. While calendars are good in the long run, agendas are good for day-to-day organization. This way, you can track exactly how you use your time and plan your hours to maximize efficiency. Be sure to use an agenda to block out time for; studying, extracurricular activities, hobbies, meal times, laundry and socials, etc. You can then learn the best way to use your time for efficiently.

3. Work Out More

If you had zero time for hitting the gym last term, try and make it a goal of working out at least once a week this term. Now that you are more used to the pace of university, you are no longer studying 24/7 and have time for other things. It is important to maintain your health, so try to make a bigger effort to get active. Even if you do not have time for hard-core workout sessions, you can always start with yoga, stretching, or jogging around the campus. There is always something you can do.

4. Study Smarter, Not Harder

A lot of us miss this point of studying. The point of studying is to review the information in the material learned throughout the course and prove that you understand it by the time exams come around. However, some of us can spend a whole day studying and still not gain most of the required knowledge that is expected of us. The reason? We are studying, but not the right way. There is a difference between studying harder and studying smarter. The difference is that when you study smart, you use your time efficiently and narrow down your studying to the material that is likely to show up on the exam. “Studying harder” is usually a phrase people use to means “I’m reading the entire textbook over, but I probably won’t remember half of what I just read.” It is time-consuming and tedious, whereas studying smarter will get you the grades.

5. Join Clubs/Organizations and Get Involved

if you did not have the time to last term, then try it this term. Joining clubs and getting involved on campus are important because these opportunities will show future employers that you are an active member of the community. Yes, grades are proof of good academics, but employers need to know that you do other things besides school. Having extra-curricular activities on the side will show them that you are not just focused on academics, but are an open-minded person that can thrive in the workplace.