A new semester is upon us.
With high school students gearing back up to head back to school in the next few days and college students starting back up in a few weeks, students get ready for classes in a variety of ways. Whether they invest in a new planner or use the same supplies from the previous semester, there are so many different strategies to conquering a new semester.
Here is Hypeline’s guide to starting a new semester:
Get a planner
While some people view planners as nonessential, planning is vital to success — especially in college. When you get your syllabi, write down all the important due dates in your monthly calendar page and then fill the daily pages with all your necessary tasks for the day. Bonus points for using a different highlighter color for each assignment category or subject.
I use and recommend the Erin Condren planner because you can customize the internal layout and change the cover as your tastes change, but I also know plenty of people who love the Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer agendas. I also have a friend that uses a planner from Walmart and loves it — moral of the story: it’s not necessary to drop $50 on an agenda (but if you do, it’s a solid investment!)
I’ve also run into the problem of, you know, not looking at the planner for what I need to get done. That completely defeats the purpose of the agenda. It’s all about building and reinforcing the habit of following the planner and referring to it multiple times a day to make sure you’re on track for success.
Decorating my monthly spread helps me get more excited to check my planner for tasks. I use stickers, calligraphy, and washi tape to make my planner less about daunting tasks and more about a pretty reflection of a busy and blessed life.
Use your syllabus
So here’s a fun fact: if you read your syllabus — and you’d be surprised how many college students don’t — your professor will lay out exactly what you need to do to get an A in the course. I used my syllabi more than ever this past semester, so here are some tips to effectively get the most out of it.
First of all, you really need to keep it visible. Pin that bad-boy up on your bulletin board or tape it to the back of your door. Don’t just file it away, keep it in some folder on your laptop or toss it in the trash. Print it up, and put it where you can see it.
Go through line by line highlighting and annotating pertinent information (i.e. due dates, grade distribution, grade scale, textbooks, attendance policy).
The syllabus is a picture of your course, so study it just like you would study course material. You NEED to know the syllabus inside and out.
Go to Class
Now, this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many students ignore this rudimentary step to success. Not only will you stay up-to-date on assignments but you’ll also get to know your professor better.
I made this mistake my first year of college. I skipped class because I thought I could learn all the material on my own, but I got behind so quickly due to my lack of structure.
Another plus is the relationship you can build with your professor to get recommendation letters or even grade bumps down the road. Profs are people too, and friends help friends.
Finding success is not easy…it comes down to hard work and discipline. If you follow these steps, modify them, and make them your own, you’ll set yourself up for success.
What are your strategies for starting a new semester? Let us know in the comments below.