4 Ways to Succeed This Academic Year

After a long summer (that felt extremely short!), it’s back-to-school time—a.k.a.“back to reality”— again. It’s time to attend classes, study in your free time and intern or work. Sighs and laments aside, here are four tips to help you start your academic year off on the right foot:

1. Plan ahead

Planning is one of the best things you could do for your academic life. Print out the syllabus for each of your classes, and write down the exam dates and deadlines in your planner. If you don't already have one, you can find super cute, printable ones online. If you’re in student organizations or Greek life, you can write down when and where meetings and fun events are happening. You can also post sticky notes on obvious places (e.g. on your vanity) and pin papers onto cork boards or put them on the fridge.

2. Stay organized

Staying organized throughout the semester is important. Writing in your planner is not only a way to plan ahead, but it’s also a great way to stay organized. A fun way to stay organized is to color-coordinate folders with notebooks. Taking notes using specific colored pens for specific classes is also a great way to stay organized. Keeping your room clean can can also make your life feel a little less chaotic.

3. Get involved

Find your niche on campus by getting involved. This is not a hard thing to do with over 900 student organizations on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Attend as many meetings as you can, and network with as many people as you can. If you find an organization that you like, stick with it. Long-term friendships and memories can stem from it.

4. Have fun

The academic side of your time at UW-Madison can get extremely difficult, so it's important that you let yourself loose once in a while—especially when stress levels are high. Between game days, concerts, dinner dates and movie nights, there are definitely opportunities to have fun.


Keep these tips in mind, and you will be at least on track to succeeding this academic year. Stay motivated, focused and, most importantly, enjoy the time you have here!