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Paul Rodriguez's picture

School's Back

It's still the middle of winter. There's snow on the ground, it's relatively chilly outside and it's going to remain this winter wonderland for a bit longer. To top it all off, the next semester of school is just beginning. Getting back into the school routine can be a bit tough sometimes, but I have some tips on how to start a new semester the right way.

1) One tip I can offer right away is that you should always look at your syllabus; print it out, have it at the ready at all times. If the Professor hands you one, keep it in the safest part of your binder, as this will serve as your ultimate survival guide. In almost any syllabus will be a schedule (created by the instructor) that outlines when homework is due, what readings have to be done for the next week, when major exams are, etc. I always have mine with me, so if I'm sick for a class, I can just look to see what to do for the next period. It's also helpful if the instructor very quickly goes over the homework and you missed what they said. Trust me on this one, syllabus is key.

2) Another tip I can offer is to just create a schedule of major dates on a calendar right away. This can mean setting up a Google Calendar online and adding in the major exam days and paper due dates, or you can use your planner and write in the dates in there. For every freshman, you get a free planner so there's no excuse not to write in the dates there. I do this, as sometimes I forget what's coming up in the future, and if I want to make a trip somewhere for the weekend, I can plan when to study far in advance for exams that may be coming up. Having a filled out planner with these key dates will keep you on top of the game.

3) The final tip I'm going to tell you is about meeting people in class right away. It's the first few weeks of the semester and with such a large university, chances are you (nor your classmates) will know many people in the class you are currently in. This is the perfect time to sit by someone new, say hello, have small chat and start a friendship. No one knows each other and that's the best time to meet others. From here you can study with them outside of class and even after the class ends, you'll have a friend you can hangout with in the future!