Hello friends! I know a lot of us have already started school or are heading back in a few short weeks which means hello stress, long nights, and endless cups of coffee. That could be your semester, or you could have a stress-free, sleep-filled, exciting semester! I want everyone to have a successful semester with minimal stress because we’re all way too young to be stressing this much about school. Now is as good of a time as any to figure out how to have a great semester.
This post is full of tips from me and other college bloggers across the web. Originally, I wanted to write a whole post about all of these topics, but then I realized it’d be like 3,000 words long and no one wants to read that, nor did I want to spend 3 hours writing out a post. It’s important to start off the semester off right in order to have a successful few months. After all failing to plan is planning to fail. And we definitely don’t want to fail, do we?
Start the semester off right:
Organize & Prioritize
A successful semester will not start by you having no clue where anything is, when any of your assignments are due, or having a disaster of a backpack. Taking two hours to organize and prioritize will save you so much time down the road. Think organizing and prioritizing can only happen the first week of the semester? Wrong. Even if it’s mid-November, get your life together and save yourself multiple mental breakdowns during finals week.
Get in the habit of using planners, wall calendars, color-coding, and to-do lists to keep yourself on track for the day, week month, and semester. Invest in some cute pens, some fancy highlighters, and cute stationery to keep you using these methods throughout the entire semester! Looking for more tips on staying organized? Caitlyn from College with Caitlyn has got you covered.
Do you struggle with prioritizing? Are you always focused on trying to accomplish the most daunting task on your to-do list? Maybe it’s time to re-think how you’re prioritizing your time. Instead of focusing on the biggest task you have to do, work on accomplishing those smaller tasks and break down the larger tasks to make them more manageable.
Get those syllabi in order
Your syllabus is your life in college. If it’s written in the syllabus, write it down everywhere. Professors may not remind you about a test coming up – it’s up to you to know for when things are scheduled. If you’ve yet to organize your syllabi, sit down right now and do it. I don’t care if it’s the middle of the semester, your life will be much less hectic if you figure out your syllabi.
Dani Dearest has two amazing syllabi organization tools. Her assignment planner is perfect for the list-maker who loves to check things off. If you’re a visual person and live and breathe by calendars, her assignment calendar was made just for you.
Learn how you study:
DEVELOP A STUDY SYSTEM
College may be the first time that you actually have to study for something. And no, I’m not talking about reviewing your notes 20 minutes before the test. I’m talking about a good 2-4 hours a few days before the test. If you’re new to the whole studying thing or you’re a studying expert, Tori from Chase the Write Dream has some perfect tips to get you started!
Create Study Guides
Study guides don’t have to be given to you. I almost always make my own study guide for every class when test time comes around. It let’s me type up and organize my notes all while doing some effortless studying. If you’re struggling with creating your own, Emily from Little Flecks of Gold‘s How to Make a Study Guide is perfect for you!
And can we just talk about how cute the How to Study a Difficult Subject infographic is?? It’s from a studyblr called Her Mind is Made Up. Definitely check her out for some beautiful note-taking inspiration.
ace that note taking game
You can’t create a quality study guide without taking quality notes. Whether you prefer typing or writing, notes are super important. I always, always, always make sure I have a notebook and pen ready for every class because you never know when the professor will blurt out that something will be on the test. This spring, I took some time to show you all how I organize my notes, and Tori from Chase the Write Dream also sat down and showed you all how to effectively take notes!
Do something you enjoy:
Whether that’s hanging out with friends one night, ordering a pizza and having a movie night, going to the gym, or staying in bed one afternoon watching Netflix, don’t forget to take time for yourself. College is an amazing experience, but if you’re too caught up in only getting good grades, your mental health is going to suffer. There’s always time to take a step away from the books and just breathe.
Last year, my mental health suffered and I did not enjoy my freshman year at all. So, take it from me. Take a trip to the local farmer’s market one Saturday morning. Treat yourself to brunch. Go to Target for a few hours. Head to a local coffee shop and bury yourself in a good book. If you want to see a post about how to get out and let your mental health thrive while in college, let me know in the comments. It’s something I’m super passionate about now that I went through such a rough year and I’d love to write it if y’all would love to read it.
Have a wonderful semester! Is there anything that helps you stay organized, focused, and on top of things throughout the year?