Starting Over

Next week is the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester, and we all know it usually begins with a slow start after break. Most of us tend to ease into our new classes and get acquainted with our new books and supplies. However, the beginning of a new semester does not have to be a hassle if handled correctly. By asking others, planning ahead, and building a routine, one will begin the new school year without a hitch.


The first thing I do to prepare for new classes is to ask students who formerly were in that class what they did to succeed. From tips in how to handle the homework to what the structure of the tests seem to be like, I learn just enough to shape the way I tackle each new class based on peer advice. In my opinion, the most difficult task in a class is not mastering the material but learning how the instructor and/or department wants you to show mastery of the topic.


The other way I prepare for a new semester is to plan my routes to classes and study halls ahead of time so I get to the classes in ample time and only have to focus on adapting to the new curricular structures. To do so, I walk or bike to each building in the order of my class schedule and time myself to see how much time I need to complete the task. By the time I am done, I know my route and time constraints so that I have no worries attending the classes.


Lastly, I try to develop a routine for the week so that I know what to do and expect in a successful week at the university. That sense of comfort which comes from developing time to eat, study, and relax helps me become aware what to expect in a week and what to look forward to. Thus, by developing and understanding the structure of daily activities and classes for the semester early on I becomes very content with my new academic environment very quickly.


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