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3 Tips to Start a Successful Semester

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Syllabus week is a great time to plan and be prepared for what is expected from you throughout your new semester courses. Starting off the semester strong will keep you motivated to work hard in your classes and increase your chances of succeeding in your courses. We’ve put together 3 tips you can follow to start off a successful semester.

1. Syllabus Key Points

Take advantage of syllabus week and become familiar with what your classes will entail for the semester. The following are specific points you should keep accessible at all times throughout the semester:

  • Grade structure
  • Exam Dates
  • Professor/TA Office hours
  • Professor/TA emails

…and most importantly, note which of your classes have strict attendance policies.

Make sure to always have your professor/TA office hours somewhere easily accessible. Attending office hours can make a big difference in your class performance.

2. Get a Planner and Commit to it

Now that you have analyzed your course Syllabus’s start planning out your semester accordingly.  Get a planner and make a commitment to always have it handy and ready to write any upcoming deadlines. Most students will claim to buy a planner but end up forgetting about it some time into the semester.

Not being able to see all your responsibilities can negatively affect your progress and slow down your productivity. Students who regularly follow a planner are likely to have higher scores. Keeping a planner will help you avoid missing deadlines, upcoming assignments and will help avoid cramming for exams.

Start by writing down all the important dates given to you on your syllabus. Make the habit of taking it out and writing in it every time you hear your teacher say something is due/there is an exam coming up. Plan your study time ahead. A lot of the times dates might change and the professor will forget to upload changes on the syllabus. Keeping a planner will help you stay organized and ahead of the game.

3. Make Use of Your Time Gaps

Analyze your class schedule. Do you have awkward time gaps in between your classes? It is important to realize this and use these breaks from lecture as an opportunity. The majority of students find these time gaps awkward and inconvenient. But this can be avoided by planning ahead and filling in productive activities during these time gaps. Some ideas could be:

  • Use that time to study in between classes
  • Tutoring session
  • Read a book
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Food break

Depending on how long your breaks are, you can schedule in productivity accordingly. When classes start settling in and the workload increases, using your time gaps will ensure you’re using your time efficiently.

Keeping these tips in mind at the beginning of the semester may seem easy, but remembering them throughout the semester is what will guarantee true progress. If you have trouble staying organized throughout the semester, bookmark this post as a reminder.  If you are staying organized but are struggling in your coursework, look into hiring a tutor! The result of your semester will depend on the hard work you put in.