Tips & Tricks: Braving the new year and a new semester

A new year and a new semester! This is the perfect time to make goals, meet new people and take the opportunities to accomplish your resolutions for 2024. When classes start to pick up, it can be easy to get overwhelmed, so here are some tips and tricks for a successful semester ahead.

USE YOUR SYLLABUS

Classes can differ by semester, and professors can vary by teaching and grading styles. During the first couple weeks, going through each class syllabus and familiarizing yourself with each class and teacher can be the key to eliminating any potential confusion later on in the semester. It’s also a good way to prepare yourself for the way each professor organizes the class to ensure clarity and success.

PLAN AHEAD

Keeping track of all your assignments and midterm dates can be difficult, especially when taking multiple classes at once. Not all assignments are always on Canvas, so a useful tip is to get a planner and write down a daily or weekly schedule to make sure each assignment for each class is turned in on time. This also prevents you from getting surprised by a midterm, so you can make a study schedule when necessary. 

PRIORITIZE HEALTH

Walking around campus in the cold and spending days in stuffy lecture halls with hundreds of people greatly increases your chances of feeling unwell or even getting sick. This may lead you to fall even further behind classes and miss events or opportunities. Take care of yourselves and your bodies. Dress appropriately for the weather, and take breaks if you are feeling under the weather.

When school starts to pick up, physical health is often the first thing that gets abandoned by students. Sleeping too late, eating unhealthy, sitting and studying for hours on end can lead to other issues related to physical as well as mental health. Make sure to take some time out of your daily routine dedicated to that, whether it’s stretching in the morning or even getting to bed an hour earlier; it may make all the difference in establishing healthy habits early on. 

MAKE FRIENDS IN CLASS

New classes mean new people! Take the time to introduce yourself to the people around you during the first weeks of classes. It might feel awkward at first, but when everyone else is in the same boat, just one friendly greeting can help people open up and start a new conversation. 

It’s nice to have someone to rely on for new and intimidating classes, as well as having a study buddy when it gets closer to midterm and finals weeks.

BE FLEXIBLE

Especially with the start of a new semester, you may have certain expectations of your classes, social life or any other personal goals you may have. 

Having a flexible mindset when changes occur and not being too stuck on past regrets or difficulties is the key to growing successfully. It’s easy to get lost in the moment and feel overwhelmed, especially when it comes to classes and grades. In that case, going along with the flow and having new perspectives can help you grow from those mistakes and improve.