As I’m writing this post, there are only six more days until my spring semester classes start! I’m going to be a second-semester junior which is crazy. Didn’t I just graduate from high school? After a not-so-great previous semester, I really need to kick this one’s butt. I’m taking two psychology courses, two education courses, and one Hebrew course! After going on Birthright this past summer, I was really inspired to learn the language. My other courses seem interesting, too, so hopefully they all go well!
In order to set myself up for success, I made a list of things to accomplish before the semester starts.
Get to campus a few days before classes start
I’m the type of person who needs time to settle into a new environment. Although this will be my fifth semester of college, I know I’ll still need time to re-adjust to being on campus before classes start. I plan on arriving two days before the official start of the semester!
Order books early
Professors often assign readings that are due the first week of courses. The one semester where I waited to order my books, I fell behind during the first week because I couldn’t read the assigned material. Consult with people who have taken the class previously, because sometimes the ‘mandatory’ books aren’t so mandatory.
Go through your syllabi
Planning ahead is the key to success! Spend some time before classes start to go through your syllabi and mark due dates, exam dates, review sessions, etc. in your planner. This will prevent assignments and exams from catching you off guard.
Check in with your organizations
Find out about any pre-scheduled meetings and mark those in your planner as well!
Clean your dorm
I probably should have done this before I left campus for break, but I was kind of in the middle of a mental health crisis. I am the most productive in a clean environment, so I need to make sure my room is tidy before classes begin!
Pack your bag early
Make sure you have all of the supplies you need in advance. You don’t want to wake up on the first day of classes and realize that you forgot to buy notebooks! In addition to school supplies, make sure to keep personal essentials in your bag! I always keep Tylenol, Tums, and feminine products with me just in case.
Get your sleeping schedule back on track
The week before classes, try to reverse your winter break sleeping schedule! Although I’ll probably be up until 3 AM tonight like usual, I’m going to force myself to wake up at 9 to get back on track. My earliest class this semester will be at 8:30, so I need to make sure that I can wake up for it!
Go into the semester with a positive mindset! I know this is easier said than done, but if you go into the semester thinking, “this is going to be the hardest semester of my life,” it probably will be. Try pampering yourself the night before classes start — take an extra-long shower, paint your nails, watch some Netflix — whatever relaxes you the most.
Coordinate with friends
I love comparing schedules with my friends before classes start! It’s less nerve-wracking walking into a class when you already know you have a pal to sit with. I also like figuring out who can get lunch with me on what days.
Create a routine for the semester
Nothing has to be set in stone, but it’s good to try to pencil in when you’ll go to the gym, when you’re going to go to the library, or when you’ll practice your hobbies. If I don’t have a set schedule, I procrastinate like crazy. Creating a routine will definitely help deter me from that!
For all of you starting classes soon as well, I wish you luck! Here’s to a great spring semester!