After a long-needed winter break of sleepy mornings and every episode of “Taken” on Netflix, the start of second semester can be a drowsy one for students because the readjustment to fast-paced college life is stressful.
Here are some tips to help college students begin second semester off right:
Do not put off the unpacking process when returning to school. Though it seems tedious and unimportant when returning to school, neatly unpacked things will allow greater thinking space in a dorm room. Clutter often prevents productive work, therefore, a good academic environment begins with a neat room.
Learn from past experiences
There is only one semester's worth of knowledge left to obtain regarding the things needed to survive college. Do not repeat past mistakes, such as rushing out of the dorm five minutes before class begins, attempting to write an entire essay the night before it is due or staying out the previous night before class. Change unhealthy behavior and highlight constructive habits.
Get involved and stay active
Try out clubs and groups on campus. One easy way to feel left out of campus life is to stay stuck in the room studying. Test the waters by finding a club that catches one’s interests. In addition, one should stay active. Exercise can actually help a person think better.
Senior sociology major Cassey Woldy suggests students should also be involved by having an active relationship with their professors.
“One thing that I would tell students to prepare them for second semester is: talk to their teachers,” Woldy said. “Go to their office hours and even email them whenever you have a question. Make sure they know your face and name.”
Do not avoid academic advisers
Check in and discuss course schedule, what classes are best for certain majors and ensure you are on track to graduate on time. Academic advisers have plenty of experience spotting red flags, so use that experience to make the semester better.
Senior chemistry major Jared Holmes suggests one last piece of advice: always remain alert.
“One thing I wish someone told me was to check my email 10 times a day,” Holmes said.
All and all, students should not look at the next five months and groan. Instead, think of how much could be learned between now and then. After all, the semesters go by fast and it will be over in the blink of an eye. Students should make productive use of their time while here at Illinois State.