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NO CATEGORY / 14 December 2016
Make this Semester your Best - How to Be Productive from Day 1
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Tim Elkana

Summer is officially over and the fall semester has begun, but don’t consider the first two months as an insignificant time. Before homework and exams begin to overwhelm your schedule, take advantage of this free time you have to ensure you’ll have a good semester- academically, mentally, and physically. 

School presents a drastic change from summer, and new routines and habits must be established. The rest of the semester will be determined based on the foundation that is created now. Here are some simple pointers to have a guaranteed successful semester.

Get Organized

Abe Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Preparation and organization make the menial tasks and everyday assignments less stressful and easier to tackle. For example, rather than diving into a paper, prepare the groundwork by organizing your information using agendas, folders, calendars, outlines, and a timeline in which to complete the paper. All are good examples of adding structure to your life that make it comfortable to manage. Managing your time effectively is the first step to having all the other pieces falling in place. If you want some other great ideas on how to best stay organized, read this article on 45 ways to stay organized in college!

Put Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

When classes begin, make an attempt to introduce yourself to your classmates. This doesn’t have to be an all out effort parading around the class shaking hands with everyone, but nothing is wrong with saying hi to the person sitting next to you. Assuming your neighbor isn’t a grouch, most people are appreciative when someone reaches out. It’s a natural and smooth way to make a new friend and if you ever happen to miss a class it’s a relief knowing you will be able to obtain the notes you missed. Take it a step further and make it a point to get involved with events and functions going on around campus or in your city. Meetup with anyone and any organization that can help you grow more confident, aware and give you inside knowledge on what you want to be doing with your life.

Take Care of Yourself

Your wellbeing should be a priority because if you don’t get enough sleep and eat well you won’t be able to focus on your studies. Setting good habits at the beginning of the semester will keep you keep in check as the semester progresses. Get a decent amount of sleep, and try to avoid the freshman-15 diet. Regular exercise just 3 days a week is also a great stress reliever and self-esteem booster. Hitting the gym offers the chance to forget about everything for an hour and focus on improving yourself. Taking care of yourself prevents anxiety from building up and allows you to enjoy the college experience. Even preventing your living space from becoming dirty and disorganized helps to eliminate unnecessary stress. 

Figure out a way to Study that works for you

There are a million articles on the perfect way to study, but studying isn’t a one size fits all type of model. Generate an awareness of your learning style and how you learn. Once your awareness increases, start applying those techniques to further advance your education. Whatever techniques work for you- flashcards, study groups, practice tests, studying in certain locations, taking breaks- keep at it. Here are 10 effective study tips that you can start with. 

Relax and enjoy the ride

College may seem intimidating at first, especially if you are a first-year student, but keep in mind that this is a four year period that is different from any other time of your life. College is a time when you’re living with your friends, taking classes that change your perspective on life, sleeping at the most bizarre hours of the day (and night), and experiencing things that have a profound impact on your adulthood and maturity to only name a few. 

Yes, you should take school seriously, but at the end of the day, grades are usually not a life or death situation. Focus more on building your skills (take a course in growth hacking!), work experience, and social experiences. These four years are not solely about grades; they also include numerous encounters that help create the person you will become. Don’t forget to have a blast in the process! 

If you have any other great tips, leave a comment below! Subscribe to our blog for more helpful tips to help you succeed!