“This is the quarter”
You might say,
“This will be the one. 4.0 here I come!”
or you might be along the lines of,
“I’m going to get all my work done before the weekends. I’m going to have a lot of great time for adventures and tanning.”
or you might be somewhere in between. Regardless of your specific priorities, one thing that almost all students can benefit from is starting the quarter or semester off with a bang. If you get on top of everything from the get go, the remainder of your time in school will be significantly less stressful. Everyone should have time to do what they love!
How do I accomplish this? How do I start my quarters on the right foot?
- Organize your computer. Do it. NOW. I store all my old files in folders pertaining to the class, quarter I took that class, and back them up to a cloud drive my school provides for students for free (thanks UCSB) This is such a simple step so many people neglect, but as someone who works with a lot of data in my classes, I understand how stressful disorganized documents can be. Clean it up, its so easy.
- Create a rough weekly schedule. If your computer calendar dosent do it for ya, I have this weekly layout printable for free and a bunch more organizational printable on my Etsy as well. Even if your appointments and things change, knowing roughly when you will have free time will help you find time for homework, playtime, etc. I make a physical copy of my schedule as well as updating my iCal which syncs to my phone in case I completely forget my schedule when I dont have my planner.
- Print out a syllabus for every class. Read it, highlight dates and assignments, know that thing forwards and backwards. I like to copy down the grading scale in my notebook so I can reffer back to it at anytime during the quarter. You might find some ambiguity in the syllabus, which is a great opportunity to go in and ask your professor personally what he/she meant. It shows that 1. you read the syllabus carefully, 2. you care about your success in the class.
- Exercise. This one I am a firm believer in if you are capable of it. You dont need to go at 6am every day, but trying for maybe every other day or a long walk in the evening after you eat dinner or something of the like will get your endorphins going, stimulate your brain, and make you really feel like things are happening already, even if its only the start of school. Also we all need vitamin D so make sure to soak in that sun.
- Get a planner. Even if its printables (like these) or a tiny lined notebook you throw into your backpack, you should get ahead before you fall behind. I have lots of resources on all kinds of planning including bullet journaling and larger printables!
- Drink water. This is general life advice but still worth mentioning.
- Establish a sleep schedule. It is critical that you get enough sleep, and that you are sleeping at relativley similar times every day. Your body will be confused if you switch your bedtime from 10pm to 2am every other day. This is also basic life advice but sometimes college kids like to pretend they can cheat the system on this one.
- Call an old friend (that you like) and wish them good luck! Good karma!!
- This may be old fashioned, but I like to write thank yous to TA’s from previous quarters that really helped me. I have established a lot of important connections doing this, I kid you not. Even an email with what you found helpful about their teaching style or asking about the resarch they are doing is a good move. Really, I am so glad I started doing this.
- Refresh your room. Tidy up, put up new photos (sign up for shutterfly emails and youll get 101 free prints) and burn a candle. Make your home base a sanctuary!
- SMILE! You got this!
For some more studying and organizational motivation make sure to check out my Pinterest.
How do you prep for a successful semester/quarter? Let me know in the comments below!