Hi friends! Welcome back to Absolutely Azanique. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve done some revamping on the blog, as well as got my own domain. I now officially own a little piece of the internet. HOORAY! So, for my ECU and surroundings schools fam, the new semester starts tomorrow. So let’s talk about how to start the best semester ever!
1. Get organized – Okay, now y’all know I love all things organization and this needs to your first priority. So here’s the top 3 ways:
- Get yourself a good planner!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a planner whether you chose a paper planner, an app, the Google calendar or a huge desk calendar – find what you like & use it. Once you’ve narrowed down your classes, make sure to print at least one copy of each syllabus and store them somewhere that is convenient for you. After you’ve done that, spend some time writing down all your due dates for homework, assignments, quizzes & tests for the semester by class. You can color coordinate, use different writing instruments (pen, sharpies, pencil, highlighter) to differentiate between classes or the block method on your electronic calendar.
Whether you choose to do the entire semester at once or go month by month, get started early. The longer you wait to organize your planner, the more risks you’re taking with forgetting important dates. If you have a consistent work schedule, block out your work time (if you’re using an hourly planner like myself) and use it as a good visual to guide your day.
Add any other dates already set such as weddings, birthday parties, family vacations, off dates and doctor appointments to avoid future confusion.
- Set up your work space. Last week, I decided to get a new desk plus new organization systems. It took a few hours to get what I want but I am overall so ecstatic to use it everyday now. No matter if you have an entire office, a tiny desk to yourself, use your kitchen table or a laptop stand – set it up now! For the most part, I have organized all my pens, highlighters, sharpers, post-it notes, paper clips, push pins and index cards. I purchased a new tape dispenser, hole puncher, stapler and correction tape all from the dollar store.
- Get your schedule together. Part of this comes from utilizing your planner maximally. But if you haven’t already, map out your schedule. Include your classes, job(s), extracurriculars, volunteering, researching and any other activities are reoccurring weekly. Keep a copy in your planner, a copy on you work space and possibly another copy. Where you keep them is also flexible, just make sure you will always have it available whether that be on your laptop, saved as a picture in your phone or have a hard copy on the top of your desk. This way, you always know where you have to be and when, so you can effectively establish a new routine.
2. Get to it – Okay, so you’re organized. Now what?
- Set goals! This is perfect time to set goals for the semester: before it starts. Set one for each of these: personal, professional and academic. If you’re feeling ambitious, try setting 2-3 for each. One goal for each works for most people,but don’t sell yourself short if you have multiple personal goals like working on fitness and treating yourself better; professional goals of creating a LinkedIn , perfecting your resume & starting on your CV; and academic goals like making Dean’s List and spending more time studying.
No matter what they are: figure them out, write them down and hold yourself accountable. Feel free to revisit and revise them during the semester but make sure you are not taking the “easy way out” and are actually working towards them.
- Get to class on time! Y’all, this is self-explanatory but seriously do it. You know how awkward it is when a student comes dragging in 10 minutes after class has started. Then they have to shuffle through their papers and books to set up for class while everyone else is trying to learn. Isn’t that uber annoying? It is. So don’t do it please.
- Pace yourself. If you feel like you are falling behind, try a new studying method. I mentioned a few in my last post here: Getting it together! Try reaching out to your classmates and put together a study group or take advantage of your professor’s office hours to ask for help. Whichever you try, put 100% into it and make it happen.
Just remember, you are in control of how much you are getting our of college. Not anyone else! So act like your care and show some responsibility.
3. Get with it – Okay, so you’ve got your planner together, your work space setup & your schedule is in place. You’ve also set your goals, are getting to class on time, are in a good routine and finally getting into the swing of the semester. Now, get with it!
- If there are clubs you want to join, find out when they meet and figure out if you have time for them.
- If you want to work on research, start looking for a faculty member that best suits your interests so you can connect with them early in the semester.
- If you want to adopt a new workout schedule, figure it out now and try to implement it with your new school plans. Check around campus for free classes to narrow down what you like. Most campuses offer a week of free fitness classes held in their rec center to give students a taste of what classes are like. Take advantage of those classes then commit to what you want and have time for. [P.S. –Just signed up for my first Barre class & I’m super excited. Let me know if you have any tips for beginners!]
Whichever you are planning to do, figure it out during the first two weeks while school is fairly slow, and try to implement your new routine as soon as possible.
4. Find things to make you happy – We all know how crazy the semester can get, so be proactive and find stress relieving and positive activities to engage in.
- If you enjoy reading, creating a new Reading List
- If you enjoy volunteering, find time to make that happen
- If you enjoy reading a daily devotion, make time to do that each day and reflect on it
- If you enjoy cooking your own meals, find easy recipes to make during the week and consider food prepping. I talk about both of those Here!
Whatever makes you happy, find time for it! Self-care is one of the most important healthy habits to adapt during this stressful time of left. Make sure not to leave that out!
Alright, that’s all folks! I hope all of you have an amazing semester 🙂 Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Now, go do amazing things because you are amazing!