Coming back to school after a long, lazy winter break and staring down an upcoming 16-week semester is difficult. A lack of motivation and unpreparedness usually leads to overwhelmed feelings and a sense of desperation before even a couple weeks of the semester can pass.
Fortunately, there are strategies and actions that can be made to put a best foot forward in starting a new semester.
Organization is Key
Find the folders, notebooks, pens and pencils that were thrown aside before break started. Decide if there are any new materials that need to be purchased (hopefully textbooks have already been bought). Take into account what a daily schedule for the week will look like, and figure out how to manage time spent between class, homework, studying, a job, social time and free time.
Set Attainable Goals
After seeing how fall semester went, establish a set of goals that are not too outrageous but offer room to grow academically. Achieved a 4.0? Leave no doubt that it will not drop. Did not go to class ever and it showed on the exams? Set an increasing minimum on the number of classes attended each week until it eventually compels total attendance. Continually arrived late to every class? Plan ahead and arrive early. Identify what went wrong last semester, find solutions to the problems, set attainable goals and stick to them.
The spring semester is going to be 16 weeks no matter how fast you want spring or summer break to come. Focus on achieving those attainable goals, find what is working, and go with it.
Develop a Good Routine Early
The most important aspect in starting the second semester right is doing the right things right away. Eventually, everyone develops a routine with when to get up, when to leave for class, where to eat, when to study and do homework, when to go to bed, etc. Consider integrating a time to exercise or find out when Biolife appointments will be in the first weeks of the semester, because once things get rolling, it is hard to change.
This spring semester is a chance for a clean slate with all new grades. A great first exam builds confidence and leaves a great first impression. A poor test or quiz and it feels like a hole that needs to be dug out of for the rest of the semester.
Essentially, second semester comes down to effort and focus. Putting forth a best step and getting ahead of the game will only make this spring semester easier and a success come the middle of May.