Tips For Starting The Semester Strong

by Lily Bazis

With spring semesters just getting started, you may begin feeling that unmistakable excitement/dread that comes with the territory of being a college student. The prospect of the next few months of your lives being bombarded with quizzes, exams, projects, and homework is certainly daunting, but they don’t have to be with a little preparation. Here are a few tips to get your semester started off on a high note!


Get Organized Sooner Rather Than Later

The key to starting off the semester strong is having a firm foundation in organization. This includes getting everything you need for the semester before it even begins, or within the first week or so. This also means familiarizing yourself with the courses you’re taking by thoroughly reading your course syllabi, paying most attention to assignment due dates. Prepare the necessary supplies for each course and take note of what your professors are requiring of you. Getting organized now will save you so much time and energy in the long run, so starting with organization is essential.

Create Tentative Semester Calendar

Another crucial step to being successful this semester is to create a tentative calendar of your semester. This calendar can include all of your classes, extracurricular activities, exam dates, project due dates, and any other important dates that occur over the next four months. This will give you a broad idea of your timeline and will keep crucial events in the forefront of your mind. You can use a physical calendar or an online calendar to help you stay on top of things.

Schedule in Breaks and Time to Relax

Nothing can lead to burnout more quickly than forgetting to leave time for relaxation during the semester. Just like you schedule time in your week for studying and homework, you also need to schedule in time to take breaks! Go for walks, hang out with friends, or watch a few episodes of your favorite show to forget about your studies for a little while. It’s all about balance, so don’t overwork yourself but make sure to also stay on task!

Get to Know Your Professors

Getting to know the professors that you’re taking classes with is crucial. Are they extremely strict with deadlines? Notorious for giving pop quizzes? Sticklers for class participation? Knowing how your professors tick is the key to succeeding in their class. Figuring this out as early as possible can help you get a better idea of what is expected of you in the course, which will lead to an overall better grade.

Use a Planner that is Functional for You

Having and using a planner is an absolute must for any college student. There’s simply no other way to stay on top of everything you must do each week, between classes, assignments, and extracurriculars. But the tricky part is finding one that is actually functional in your life. There’s simply no point in buying a planner that doesn’t fit your style of organization. There are tons of different styles of planners out there, from calendar-focused, to to-do lists oriented, to ones that are simpler and to the point. You just have to find what works best for you!

Utilize Campus Resources

Making use of the resources that your school provides is one of the best tools for a successful semester than also seems to be the most forgotten. Tutoring centers, study rooms, counseling centers, and professors’ office hours are just a few of the resources that can help you all throughout the semester. Becoming aware of all the resources available to you at the beginning of the semester can save you down the road when you really need some extra help.


Following just a few of these tips can set you up for a great semester ahead, and an overall successful college experience!