The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
After what seems like the fastest summer ever, school is back in session and many people are looking to ace this semester. Some of you may have had a not-so-good Spring Semester with academic struggles, feeling unengaged or even feeling disconnected socially. While we are never fully in control of how college will go, there are a few things we can do on our end to set ourselves up for success. Here we will examine five ways to slay this semester.
- Use google calendar
The number one way I stay on top of my academic and extracurricular commitments is by using a calendar. While I am definitely a Google Calendar girly, the Apple calendar is extremely beneficial as well. First, go in and insert all of your synchronous classes into the calendar. If you are anything like me, it is extremely easy to forget when you are supposed to be in class, especially if your classes are spread throughout the day. If you are someone that struggles with putting aside time for studying and homework, go ahead and create time on your calendar to get those things done throughout the week.
Once you have all of your academic responsibilities logged in your calendar, it’s time to add in your clubs and community service. Going into my second year of college, I realize it is just as important to schedule your extracurriculars as it is your classes. Being involved with multiple collegiate clubs can be kind of stressful to keep up with. The amazing thing about Google Calendar is that you can color code your tasks and events, which helps a lot with dissecting what your day will look like.
- Take Advantage of free resources
The best part about going to university is all of the free resources your school provides for you. Fortunately at VCU, we have free peer tutoring and academic coaching. If you are feeling a little intimidated by your classes, or want to talk through some study strategies, those resources are there to help you completely free of charge. Remember, asking for help will never hurt you, only give you more opportunities for success.
- Find STUDY SPOTS
In college, your study spot can make or break your success. While some people can be productive in their dorms, many people need to get out to get those assignments done. Take a couple of weeks to scope out new study spots around campus, and find at least three that you really like. If you need somewhere to study or chit-chat with friends, I highly recommend the second floor of Cabell Library. If you like that quiet, cozy and scenic vibe while studying, I really recommend the reading porch on the third floor of Cabell Library. Want something a little bit more dim and secluded? Check out the Academic Learning Commons. The recipe for the perfect study spot includes no distractions, perfect lighting, comfy but not nap-inducing seating and a table with good height.
- Get Plenty of sleep
Your body needs an ample amount of sleep no matter what. Prioritizing sleep is not only going to make you feel better, but you will also perform better academically. Adding the first tip about scheduling into your routine will ensure that you have enough time to sleep at night. We all know that all-nighters are sometimes inevitable in college, but they should really only happen in dire situations. Sometimes, getting an assignment in on time is not worth the sleep deprivation.
- Find Your WORK/LIFE BALANCE
This last tip is probably one of the most important lessons I have learned in life. You must be intentional about your work-life balance. While we are striving to do well in college, we also still have to take care of ourselves socially. Be intentional about doing the things that make you happy outside of academics and extracurriculars. Hang out with friends regularly, and take the time to really unplug and connect. Practice self-care with exercise, hygiene routines, church or even meditation. Find a hobby, whether that is watching TV, reading or arts and crafts. Lastly, have days where you do absolutely nothing. Those days where you do not do anything “productive” are a great way to take a breather and reset.