How to Make This Semester Your Best One Yet

Amber Clark

Feb 14, 2017

How to Make This Semester Your Best One Yet

Going off to college might be the first time you are really on your own.

To first-year students, this is the moment to start writing a new chapter in your life, whether or not writing is one of the skills you want to explore and develop in class. To sophomores or seniors, your story is much more evolved already, yet there’s still enough time to (re)set the right frame of mind and get the best out of it.

And while going to extremes – too much studying or too much play – might distract you from the world of activities you can engage in, we wholeheartedly recommend you take your time and enjoy each moment. And it goes something like this:

Work first

No matter how much you detested hearing “no work, no play” while you were a kid, you’ll discover that voice still exists in your head even when you’re a thousand miles away from home. But the best part is now you get to say to yourself, “On my own time and terms.” You might think studying for a high GPA is hard or pointless if you’ve never been the “nerd” type and you don’t plan to become one. But striving for school is the old paradigm. Your new mindset should be, “I love learning new things and this semester I’m on top of it.”

Shy away no more

This ties into studies about how to make the most out of college. Forget thinking of them as authoritarian figures and approach your professors with confidence, because university teachers are the next level. Plus, they’re there to help. So if you want to improve your results, ask for their personalized advice to assess your work so far and give you suggestions on how to make it better. Once you get serious about it and they see that you care, there’s not a chance you won’t strike the right chord with them and yourself.

Get connected

Teachers, tutors, lecturers, mentors – they are all people you should set your mind to seek out, find and keep close to, throughout the semester. Yes, you are now enjoying the position of standing on your own, but with the right guidance, you can see beyond your horizon. Furthermore, the relationships you start building now can blossom further on, when you need an internship or an employment opportunity. Stay under this kind of professional wing, and you’ll thank yourself later!

Join a group

Getting serious about classes is one aspect, but relating to your peers is just as significant. Don’t settle for classmates and dorm mates, and look for other circles you can try, be it a book club, a theater company, a sports team or arts and crafts design lab. The more people you get to know, the more talents you’ll discover.

Find yourself

It may sound a little too deep, but knowing who you are and who you want to be will make things a lot easier. You may be more of a Rory Gilmore than a Felicity or vice- versa, but finding your identity is what school and education should be all about. Because if you feel confident and relaxed in your own shoes, you are never going to fear this year’s fails, trials and tribulations. Once you understand they’re part of the adventure, you might get perfectly relaxed to have the most exciting college experience so far.

Not all college experiences are the same, and not all students are equal. But if you want to learn how to make the most out of college, start with these basic steps.

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