8 ways to start the spring semester off right

Syllabus week is almost here, which means it's time to start setting goals for the semester and developing a routine. Here are 8 ways to start the spring semester off the right way to ensure you have the best, most productive semester yet!

1. Get to know your professors

You may feel nervous introducing yourself to your professors, but do it anyway! Professors are one of the least utilized (but most important!) resources you have at your disposal. Don’t be afraid to visit them during office hours and ask questions. Not only will doing so help them remember you, but it’s likely your grades will benefit when you are able to better understand assignments and rubrics.

2. Establish a morning routine

Morning classes are hard, and while it’s tempting to sleep until the last minute, doing so can cause stress for the rest of the day. We recommend setting an alarm (or ten) early enough so that you can get up and have time to get ready, eat breakfast and have plenty of time to get to class.

Even if you don’t have morning classes, rising at a decent hour will help you feel refreshed by the time you get to class. Get up, have breakfast, and start the day off right.

3. Schedule study times

If you’re hoping to avoid procrastination this semester, set time aside during your day to study and do homework. This will help you create a routine, and once you have a routine, you’ll find that sitting down to study comes a lot easier.

If you schedule study times and struggle to keep them, invite some friends! Let them know about your intentions and keep each other accountable. 

Make sure you choose convenient times, like between classes when you’re already on campus. 

4. Give yourself grace

Don’t let anyone tell you college isn’t hard. Balancing jobs, classes, clubs and hobbies, and making time for sleep and self-care is hard. If you forget an assignment or are late to class, make sure to give yourself grace. College is a balancing act, and no one can do it perfectly. Forgive yourself and do what you can to ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice! 

5. Have fun

No, you are not paying tuition in order to have fun. However, having fun is still important! Even adults with full-time jobs need to have fun, whether it’s a weekend Netflix binge or a dinner out with friends. Make time for self-care and entertainment. Doing so will allow you to recharge and start the next week refreshed and ready to work hard.

6. Get sleep

You cannot be truly healthy and productive without sleep. Even if you’re tempted to pull an all-nighter to study for your exam, you should consider whether having a well-rested brain might be more beneficial. At some point, our brains stop absorbing information. So put down the books, get a good night’s rest, and not only will you feel better physically, but you’ll also be able to more easily recall the information you studied.

7. Organize 

When your notes are scattered and you can’t see the top of your desk, it’s easy to lose your motivation to study. Having a clear desk and well-organized notes eases stress and overwhelm, so take an hour each week (or 15 minutes a day) to tidy up and recenter yourself.

8. Prepare the night before

When you’re scrambling to decide on an outfit or get your books together before class, your stress level skyrockets. The good news is that this kind of stress can be easily avoided by preparing the night before! Set out your outfit (even if it’s just a T-shirt) and get your backpack together before you go to bed. That way, you’ve got one less thing to do in the morning before you head to class.

BONUS: Already getting assignment sheets? Bring them by the Writing Center early, and we'll help you get a head start! Even if you have nothing written, we can help you brainstorm ways to best tackle the project.