Starting Strong Fall Semester



   If you are preparing for your freshman year of college, or even if you are an upperclassman looking to start strong this fall, here are 5 things you can do now to get ready. 

1. Pick your courses wisely. 

    By now you may already know what classes you are taking. If so, review what you signed up for to make sure that it is a balanced course load. If this is your first semester at school, or your first away from home, you may want to carry a lighter load while you get acclimated. 

    Balance your more difficult classes with ones that are more enjoyable and less rigorous. Pursue an interest through one of your classes or try something new. This can give you something to look forward to when the  difficulty of your calculus or organic chem class is stressing you out. 

2. Determine an organizational system. 

    There are tons of different ways to organize your notes and materials -  apps, taking pictures on your phone, calendars, planners, notebooks, folders, etc. Find one that you like and start now. Write down your class schedule in your calendar. Add some homework/study time to your calendar too. If you have a job or other out of school activities, add those now. Having your time organized on the front end will make it much easier. You can always adjust it once the semester starts, but starting from scratch with getting organized while managing your workload may be overwhelming. 

    Once you get your syllabi, put in due dates for all of your assignments. That will help you see if you have a big test and a paper on the same day and help you to plan accordingly. All-nighters may be needed, but not EVERY time you have an assignment due. 

3. Buy Your materials

    Now’s the time to start buying your books, notebooks, and other required materials for class. If you are waiting on student loans to kick in, go ahead and make a list of all the things you will need and price it out so you know what to expect when you go to the bookstore or hit up Amazon. 

    If you are able to get your materials, look them over - don’t try to read them cover to cover, but get a feel for what the books are about, especially if you’re taking classes in a subject you’ve never taken before. 

4. Go to Class. 

    This might sound basic, but making sure you make it to every class is going to help you start strong. I know, you already took algebra in high school and your class is at 8am, but go. Take notes. You never know when they may get to a topic you are not familiar with. This can also give you an opportunity to meet some people who may not be as strong in the subject and you can help them out. 

5. Prioritize and then let go. 

    It can be easy to get overwhelmed when you think about all of the things you will have to do in a semester. But you can literally only do one thing at a time. Set your priorities for the week and then the day, to determine what you need to work on. Then you can let go of the rest until it is time to work on that. This is where the organizational system above comes in handy. 

    It doesn’t help to prioritize your English paper and spend the whole time worrying about your Biology test next week. So, once you set your priorities for the day, focus on those and trust yourself that the next day, when it is time to study for your Biology test, you will. Then, you can study for that with a clear mind because you took care of the previous days’ priorities!



College can be daunting, but with a little preparation you can make the most of each semester, not only getting good grades, but developing good habits that will take you into the next semester and beyond. 

by CircleIn Team

Published August 3, 2021

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