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Getting Through Your First Semester By Samantha Richardson

Summertime Is Over

Summer has officially come to an end, and it’s quite a hard concept to wrap your head around. But in the words of Geoffrey Chaucer “, All good things must come to an end”. So what do we do now? Well, what really matters is getting yourself back into the flow of academic productivity, while still having room in the transition to care for your mental health. School can be very demanding, and if you are actively working, and balancing school, it can be twice as demanding.

Take Time To Plan Out Your Semester

The most important thing to remember is organization. If you're bad at time management, and you fall into procrastination easily, you might want to look at your new school schedule, and evaluate how to divide your time wisely. It's better to do this ahead of time to avoid feeling extremely overwhelmed a few weeks into your semester, and so that you won’t leave room for procrastination to reside. It’s not always going to be easy to keep yourself productive. But don’t make it easy for yourself to be unproductive. I think the most crucial part of transitioning from summer fun to school is organizing your time.

Get Familiar With Your Environment

Now that summertime is over, most of us choose to live on campus. Essentially, being on campus can somewhat help us with being in touch with our academics, and staying connected with our academic minds. It's important to get to familiarize yourself with staff specifically involved in your major. This can be applied if you've declared a minor as well. When you are in need of support, you will already have access to the proper resources. Living on campus is a bonus because you’ll save yourself time and energy. Your commute to class and the resources you need are easy to reach. Even if you can access information online, being close to campus is much better in my opinion.

Write Down Important Deadlines

Looking back at my first year and even some of my second year of college, I often neglected to write down assignment deadlines, mainly because I overestimated the power of my memory. As small an issue as this may be, we all have been down this same road. So to eliminate this issue altogether, as soon as you receive a deadline date, write it down in a space that is effective in reminding you. For example, if you're an out-of-sight, out-of-mind person, then your phone would be a great place to keep assignment deadlines. Notepad and pen, setting alarms, and physical calendars are also great if you prefer to jot down your to-do's for the week. If you have no clue what type of person you are with the organization, my suggestion would be to try multiple systems. Maybe one week try using a notepad and buy a calendar. And then the next week, try using your phone. This is fundamental in figuring out how to be punctual and organized.

Lastly, Make The Most Of Your Semester

Even if your semester starts or ends off rocky, you still have the potential to overcome and persevere. Getting connected to the right people via LinkedIn, Handshake, Instagram, and Twitter (just to name a few apps for networking purposes) at the right time can make a huge difference in your academic and professional career. Failure isn’t an option, however, it's not always avoidable, so be patient with yourself. With a mindset like this, you will be 100% ready for school.

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