Prepping and Reflecting During the Beginning of a New Semester

It’s the fourth week of the spring semester, and while spring seems to be nowhere in sight, I like to take time this week to reflect on how I’ve been preparing myself thus far this semester and think about what’s working and what’s not. Reflecting on your preparation techniques around the quarter mark of your semester is a great way to assess if everything you’re doing is serving you or not. Are you taking on too many responsibilities? Is your battle with procrastination looking like a victory or a big fat L? Are you getting enough sleep, and is your current lifestyle sustainable? Asking myself these questions along with others helps me analyze if my time management and life balance is effective or not and pinpoint exactly what areas of my life might need some attention.

Reflecting on the Past and Present

I have found that the best question to ask myself first is, “How exhausted have I been on Fridays?” I have been notoriously exhausted beyond measure every Friday for the past handful of years, so I use this as a sort of tool now to determine if I’m either doing too many things throughout the week or if I’m not balancing and managing my time between these things efficiently enough. If I do find that I’m feeling exhausted on Fridays at the beginning of the semester, I always ask myself what specifically is making me so tired. A lot of times, I used to associate exhaustion with not getting enough sleep, which is usually the case for physical exhaustion, but I failed to ask myself why I was sleeping so little. Sometimes it was because I had wayyyy too much on my plate, but other times it was merely because I was not managing my time well. I have found that it’s important to distinguish between the two so that you make the best decision to ensure you’re living a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. 

I have learned that it’s also important to realize that exhaustion does not just mean physical tiredness, but also mental and emotional exhaustion. It’s important to pay attention to these feelings as well since any form of exhaustion can lead to a lesser quality of life, and one is not more important than the other.

Prepping for the Future

The fourth week of the semester is also around the time when you start to really get into the swing of things with your daily schedules and routines, so it’s a lot easier to assess if those routines are working or not. After I’ve determined if my routines are effective and made any necessary changes, I like to do some longterm semester planning. For me, this usually includes marking down all due dates in my planner as well as any events or applications that will come up during the semester. Doing this has always kept me on track for the entire semester and helped me remember my commitments and responsibilities. I also tend to do some longterm financial planning for things like summer savings or any big spend events in the future. I like to have a guide so that I always know where my money is going and when.

The biggest part about prepping and reflecting during the beginning of the semester is to remember that it’s just the beginning. If things aren’t going too well, you still have several weeks to make adjustments to your schedule and commitments. This isn’t a time to be harsh on yourself; it’s a time to critically think about your decisions and change anything that isn’t going to help you be happy, be healthy, and achieve your goals, no matter what they be.



Class of 2021
Hey y’all, I’m a History and Gender and Women Studies double major and a French minor from Chicago! I concentrate in all things Black and Black women studies and love long-distance running.

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