To the second week… and beyond!

23 Aug

More likely than not, your first week last week probably consisted of going over syllabi and the format of classes and potentially diving into some introductory content. Now that the first week of your freshman year is done though, things really start to kick into high gear from here on out. Without being proactive, it’s so easy to be underprepared and get overwhelmed by everything that’s getting thrown at you. Getting prepared early in the semester has always helped me to stay focused, organized, and on top of things, so here are 5 helpful tips to help prevent under-preparedness and help you thrive in the weeks ahead.

1. Get the books you know you’ll need.

Now that you’ve gone over the syllabi with your professors, you should have a good idea of what books you’ll actually need for your classes. Make sure to purchase them before the bookstore runs out. You don’t want to have to wait for your books to come in the mail because you could miss assignments or required reading in that time. Purchase them as soon as you know what you’ll need, and explore used and rental options to save an extra buck!

2. Begin introducing yourself to classmates and form a study group.

I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten the first assignment in the class and had a simple question but no friends in the class to ask. Or when the professor says to get in groups for a project and I have to work with strangers. Introducing yourself to a few other people in the class early on is a great way to make friends, have people to turn to when you need help, and gives you people to study with before tests.

making friends

3. Get plenty of sleep.

Getting adequate sleep will keep you healthy, alert in classes, and overall make you enjoy everything you’re doing so much more. College is a busy time so it’s so important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Setting a good sleep schedule early on in the year is one of the best habits you can form. You’ll be thanking yourself when exam season starts.

4. Don’t get stressed by the assignments listed on the syllabi.

It can be overwhelming to look and see everything you have to do during the semester on one page. Multiply this by four or five different classes and it can be really overwhelming. But there’s no point in stressing about a test or assignment that isn’t happening for another two months. Be aware of tests, papers, and assignments that are happening later in the semester and put them in a planner, but focus your attention on the assignments that are happening the soonest. Then, check in on your planner each week to know what’s coming up so that assignments don’t sneak up on you.

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5. Have a plan of attack for the rest of the semester.

I have found my professors’ office hours to be one of the most valuable resources in my classes. One of the best ways to prepare and stay on track for the semester is to plan office hours, study time, and SI/preceptor office hours into your weekly schedule. This way you have no excuse to not go to office hours or say you don’t have enough time to study. This makes studying and attending office hours routine. I always find that if I study on a schedule, studying becomes less of a burden over time too and prevents cramming the night before exams.

end

The year is coming on strong but the right preparation early on can make a big difference in setting the tone and pace for the rest of the semester. The second week is the perfect time to jumpstart your year. You know more of what is expected from you in your classes but the assignments and tests haven’t hit hard. Take advantage of this week and prepare yourself for your best semester!

-Jess

 

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