How to Make This Semester Better Than the Last

By Amanda Olavarria on January 29, 2017

Nothing quite beats the feeling of completing a semester. After feeling a rollercoaster of emotions in the duration of finals week, one semester is finally down. We feel accomplished, relieved, and to be honest, beyond thankful to be done.

However, when one semester comes to a close, it means the next one is right around the corner. After weeks and weeks of lounging around while on break, finally the time has come and we are back on campus and back in classes in a way that feels like we never truly left.

The beginning of a new semester means being thrown back into the hectic college lifestyle. We are thankful for the routine and the fact we get to see our friends. However the workload and responsibilities we can do without. The start of the new semester gives us a fresh new outlook and a prepared list of goals. The new semester gives us a promise and a chance to do things better. In alignment with that thought process, we tend to promise ourselves that this semester will be different and we hope for vast improvements.

Here’s to making those goals a reality and making sure that this semester is way better than your last.

Start off by making yourself a routine. Having a routine makes your day go by so much smoother and ensures that you will stay on task and accomplish what you want. Yet make sure your agenda is not too packed because it is important to have some flexibility, so if you need a quick nap or want a much needed Netflix break you can do so.

Give yourself some time restraints. This will ensure you do not end up taking too long doing one thing. Tell yourself at a certain time you will do your homework and then map out when it is reasonable to take a break. Overall make sure you’re making the best use of your time and not binging on Netflix when you can be doing other productive things that will honestly help you much more in the long run.

Actually do the readings. Although the first couple weeks of the semester are slow and you are tempted to blow off the reading portion, DON’T. Reading the chapters either before or after lecture allows the material to sink in more and it is going to be that much easier when you go back to study. Take advantage of this time and crack open those books.

Try your best to do assignments ahead of time. If you are not too swamped and you just found out about an assignment due later in the week, get a jump on it. Nothing beats the feeling of not having to scramble to do an assignment at the last minute. Plus the quality of your work is bound to be better when you don’t have to rush through it.

Make sure you take time for yourself too. Do something just for you and something that you particularly enjoy. If going to the gym makes you feel refreshed and energized make the time to do so. If you have another hobby you love to do, go for it. You should definitely take part in an activity that you enjoy and one that allows you to clear your mind from the daily stressors.

As cliche as this is, GET INVOLVED. Find something that sparks your interest and join it; the worst that can happen is you don’t like it, then you can just find something else. It’s not only a great resume builder, but a great way to meet different people and take part in something that you are interested in.

Get out of your comfort zone. Try not to limit what you can and can’t do. Make this the semester of you trying new things (not anything dangerous obviously) and exploring. If you hate public speaking, take a public speaking class or if you are interested in a club, but hesitant to join, do so. Above all make the most of the opportunities presented to you and don’t be too afraid to dive right in.

Lastly keep a positive mindset. Just a positive attitude can change your whole outlook. Even when you feel down remember that things will get better even if it does not feel that way in the moment. Keep your head up and power through and positive results are bound to eventually follow.

Power through this semester my fellow college students. Soon enough it will be another semester down, so make sure to make it one for the books and one that you are proud of. You have all the tools and skills.

Amanda is a junior at the University of Connecticut studying communication studies with a psychology and english minor.

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