A fresh start: how to start your semester off strong

Eileen Exama and Julia Fabrizio, Staff Writer and Features Editor

A new semester can be daunting, but it’s important to start off on the right foot to avoid falling behind. Follow these tips and you are sure to find success this spring.

A strong first step is to study your syllabus. Many professors map out the entire semester’s agenda by date so you can stay organized. You should also make sure you get any textbooks or supplies you will need. You can find most textbooks and supplies in the school bookstore, but you can also use websites like Chegg or Amazon to rent or buy books at more affordable prices.

It is also important to get into a routine. It can be a challenge to manage your schoolwork, extracurriculars and social life all at once. Sophomore Nigel Petti-Fernandez suggests “waking up early and working out will keep your head straight.” Starting your day with an activity that motivates you can be helpful to get you through the rest of the day.

You may not want to, but it is helpful to revisit your notes after class. Once you get out of that difficult lecture and you just want to go back to bed, take the extra time before you take that mid-day nap to review your notes. This can be helpful for better understanding topics and highlighting whatever questions you may have for the professor next class.

You’ll want to master some study skills and habits, too. This includes taking good notes, being present in class, making sure to emphasize what is important in the lecture and reviewing what you got wrong on tests. It is also a good idea to visit the Rudin Center if you are having difficulties understanding a certain topic.

Making sure that you establish goals is something that makes the learning process more challenging while keeping you focused on the main objective. As we enter the spring semester, there will be many distractions that will most likely keep you distracted, so what you could do is make your distractions your goal. Say you want to go to a party on Friday night but you have a test earlier that day, you could prep for the test throughout the week and reward yourself with the party.

. It may seem overwhelming, but if you take in the work slowly and work to understand each concept, you will have an easier time managing your study sessions for the test than you would if you waited until the week of or a few days before the test.

New classes are an opportunity for you to take control of how you want your grades to reflect you, and it can get difficult when you are thrown into the social atmosphere of a college campus. If you can discipline yourself and set your priorities, then you should be able to get the results you deserve. Other than that, relax and everything will work out in your favor.