6 Ways to Effectively Start Your Semester:

September 26, 2014

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6 Ways to Effectively Start Your Semester:

6 Ways to Effectively Start Your Semester:

By Laura Waddell ’14


I know what you’re probably thinking. “It’s the first month of classes!  I’m going to be on my game and do all of my assigned readings and homework – before midnight of the day that it is due!”  And what I can say to that is, “Good for you!” I wish that I had your discipline and drive when I was a student (all of six months ago)!  However, I did manage to learn some quick tips and tricks to managing a full course load, while maintaining a healthy social life while I was completing my undergrad here at Crandall. So, here is a list – not exhaustive, just some pointers–on how I [tried to] be a good student! Here we go!

Map out your semester:

If you are like me, then you love lists (ok, you’re probably not like me.  If everyone were like me, the world would be a pretty boring place!); I digress.  If you don’t like making lists, perhaps this is the time to do so–especially to keep track of your homework and assignments. It is extremely helpful to keep a calendar of all your due dates in a visible place.

Tip: If writing things out isn’t your forte, then consider keeping track of your studies by using your smartphone!  There is an app for everything and it’ll be at your fingertips anytime you need it!  Check out inClass–it’s an app developed specifically to keep you organized and on schedule!

Get adequate sleep:

Yes, all those Orientation Week events are super fun, and I encourage you to attend them!  But, instead of staying up all night during the first few weeks, it’s best to make sure that you sleep well during your first few weeks. That way, you won’t “burn out” later on in the semester!

Get to know the staff and faculty:

Get to know the people who work around the clock for you! Your professors have office hours and enjoy getting to know you and helping you in any way! If you have questions that you’d rather not ask them during class, drop by their office, or send them an email!  They are here to make sure that you are successful!

Say “Yes” to invitations:

The start of the semester is really exciting! There are new friendships formed, and you may care about them more than your studies. And this is completely okay! But, let me tell you, there is nothing worse than spending all weekend cooped up in the library trying to get caught up on work missed because you were out all nights the week before hanging out with your buddies.  Instead, use social outings as a reward for finishing a school task.  Spend a set amount of time each day that is designated for school work, knowing that when you are finished you will be able to hop in a car and grab some froyo Gojis for a while with your buds!  It’ll lessen your stress load, and keep you on track with school all at the same time! (Disclaimer: If you haven’t been to Gojis yet, GO. You’ll be glad you didJ)

Take advantage of your technology:

You may have a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone–and if you do, that’s great, but wouldn’t it be even greater to use them to your advantage?!  You can download Dropbox to your devices and sync all of your notes, papers, and class readings in there!  If you have 15 minutes between classes, or are stuck somewhere waiting, then you can whip out your device and review, edit, and study instead of Snap chatting all your friends selfies of how bored you are.  These 10-15 minute review sessions will help you out significantly in the long run!

Seek God’s guidance:

This is the final, and most important one of this list (save the best for last, perhaps?) Spending time with the Father is so important. I really can’t stress this enough!  When you are at your wits end, with papers and assignments up to your eyeballs, and everything seems like it’s falling apart on you, turn to Jesus.  He is there to lend you that supernatural strength to push through the tough times that will come with being a university student. I encourage you to spend just a few moments a day reading the Bible, praying, or reading through a short daily devotional. You will be surprised and glad at how much lighter and confident you feel because of it! Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and Experiencing God by Henry and Richard Blackaby are both fantastic daily devotionals that I have used over the past several years.  You can also use the YouVersion Bible App on your tablet or smartphone and subscribe to daily scripture readings and devotions!

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