New Year, Fresh Start: 5 Ways To Improve Your Semester

As a new school year begins, college students, like myself, look for a new way to restructure their schedules in order to avoid the stress they encountered the previous year. I always set goals at the beginning of the year, which seem to utterly fail by mid-semester, which is common for most college students who are still trying to balance work, internships, class and a social life. This year, I’ve decided to make a change in my semester and try to improve on the little things that will help me in the long run. However, while primarily focusing on school, we can’t forget to take a breather and have some social time.Taking a much needed break and going out every once in a while can help ease our hectic schedules. If we don’t make time for extra curricular activities and outings, stress becomes a problem. Set aside some time to consider a few things that will result in a more successful semester.

Here are a few ways to get your started.

1. Be organized, Buy a planner. A planner in high school was never necessary. We never had that many things to do and writing it down on a piece of paper always did the trick. However, college is a whole different story. We have multiple classes of all different subjects all demanding different assignments due at different times. Plus, some of us are involved on campus, are members of sports teams, and work, which adds more things to our to-do lists. So…get yourself a planner! It gives you the ability to write down all the things that need to be done and by when. It’s a great start to becoming organized and having a better semester.

2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Freshman year I was so excited to finally be in college and found myself signing up for all types of organizations and volunteer opportunities. Though that is all great, your studies should always come first. Don’t get caught up in the fun and forget the assignment that is due the next morning.

3. While focusing on school, however, do join an organization or two. After realizing I could not be part of more than 3 organizations, I stuck to the one that interested me the most and the one I knew would benefit me in the long run. I highly recommend joining an organization pertaining to your major or something that will look great on paper. For example, I’m part of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA). As a PR major, I have found this organization to be highly beneficial throughout my undergraduate career and something that will follow me through my future career. Plus, it’s a nationally recognized organization. What else can you ask for? Just a couple hours of commitment in an organization can get you a long way!

4. Take advantage of the programs and centers your university offers. Throughout your college experience, you hear about places such as the career center and writing center, but never seem to take the time to visit them. Don’t know what you want to major in? Visit the career center and have a chat about what best fits you. Perhaps writing isn’t your thing? Visit the writing center to improve your research paper. Ever wanted to study abroad? Visit the Office of International Services to see your options. So many programs are included in your tuition and students fail to take advantage of them. One day you’re going to wish you would have gone, so visit today!

5. Try to avoid cram-sessions during Midterms and Finals. Simple things such as having a planner and building a time management system can help you in the long-run especially when it comes down to midterms and finals. College students often stress during these time because they decide to have a cram session of all the assigned readings they failed to read throughout the semester. Make it a point to keep up and stay organized so when everyone else is stressing, you’re just reviewing with some hot tea on the side.

Improve yourself this year by thinking of the future and what might benefit you in the long-run, but remember to have fun and enjoy your college experience. Be well-rounded and learn how to balance both worlds.


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