“How much homework will I have this semester? Will my meal plan last me until the end? This is going to be the hardest semester of my life.” These are all normal thoughts that hound almost every college student at the start of a new semester. If you’re someone who struggles to get into the groove of post-vacation life (like me!), the tips below are exactly what you need.
- Get your organization game on point. One of the most important things you can do to ensure a productive semester is to get organized from the get-go. Buying a planner that helps you map out your homework, meetings, and any other responsibilities is a perfect starting point. Glued to your phone? Try a free app like myHomework Student Planner that helps you store notes, assignments, and pictures in one space. Take your efforts for organization to the next level by doing a thorough spring cleaning. This un-cluttering will leave your room feeling fresh, open, and infinitely more comfortable.
- Know when to ask for help. College doesn’t have to be a solo journey! Don’t consider seeking help a weakness. Being able to ask for help represents your determination to succeed, so OWN IT! Others will not consider you inept or incapable. Everyone has been there. Take advantage of the resources that your college offers in order to make this your smoothest semester yet. Make an appointment with the writing center before your next essay, visit the counseling center for a vent session, or find an advisor that can help you with anything school-related. One of the biggest mistakes college students make is trying to fight their way through a situation that could have easily been solved by asking for help. You’ll be better off for it.
- Celebrate success and embrace failure. I’m resisting the temptation to quote Hannah Montana’s “Nobody’s Perfect,” but she was right! We all make mistakes but the most important part is how we recover and learn from them. If things don’t go your way, that’s okay. After a particularly hard week (or month), we’ve all considered becoming professional couch potatoes. As fun as that sounds, it’s not an option! Why? Because you are capable and worthy of success. If you get a good grade on a paper that you’ve been struggling with, print it out and pin it to your wall. It will be a reminder that you can rock future assignments. If you get a grade that’s not up to your standards, speak with your teacher and figure out what you can do better next time. There is always a next time. Revel in the victories and recover from the losses like the true powerhouse you are.
- Don’t let anybody mess with your clique. Has your mother ever said, “You are who you surround yourself with”? I heard this a lot during my childhood and really took it to heart. Surrounding yourself with people who lift you up and show their love for you is the key to a healthy, happy life. Try to hang out with people who challenge you and promote a positive lifestyle. Sadly, our friends can sometimes become the people that are holding us back from reaching our full potential. So whether it’s having that tough conversation or finding a wider group of friends, do what makes you feel good. You deserve to have a circle of friends that support you and make life that much better.
- Listen to Yourself. College can be hard. There are times when work seems endless and the pressure of succeeding comes down on you. Amongst this chaos we often forget to pay attention to our own needs. Taking care of your body and soul is essential to not only having a productive semester, but to living a full life. Try meditation! It has been confirmed to improve self-awareness, patience, concentration, and the ability to handle stress. There are a plethora of guided meditation videos on Youtube that can help you get started, like this one: Honest Guys – Guided Meditation. Some of my favorite stress reliefs are going to a quite café or snuggling up in bed and doing something unrelated to school. Watch a movie or read that book you haven’t had time for! Why not treat yourself to a coffee and a scone? As Donna Meagle says, “Treat Yo Self!”
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