It seems like just yesterday was finals’ week – and now spring semester is upon us! As I enter my final Spring semester I thought I should throw together a post to help others prepare for their “second semesters”.
Why am I approaching this through second semester rather than just spring semester? Well, some people start in the Spring, so some of my tips won’t be applicable to them.
As an education major, I look forward to going back to college – regardless of if it’s for my first or second semester of that school year. I look forward to learning many new things and putting together everything that is needed to be a successful teacher. This semester is no different. Hopefully my “How to Prepare for Second Semester” guide will get you in the mood to go back too!
How to Prepare for Second Semester
Get your supplies in order.
I don’t know about you, but I use every last piece of paper for notes and assignments during first semester. My binders are falling apart by about halfway through and I have lost all of my good pens, too. Prior to the start of second semester I go buy all the school necessities. This gets me off to a good start and I am ready to take on everything thrown at me! I also have a love affair with office supplies, so buying new makes me a very happy person. Also – supplies includes textbooks. I know many students who do not buy/rent their books until they know they need them for the class or they just never buy them. If that works for you, much applause. This does not work for me! I rent my books through Amazon and Chegg, whichever is cheaper.
Get back to a normal schedule.
Don’t think I don’t know you have spent your winter break laying in bed, watching Netflix, and eating Pringles for every meal. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing, trust me I have done my fair share this break, but you have to get back to a school-worthy schedule before the Monday of classes. (I guess if you don’t have class until 2 pm, you have lucked out and it will be easy to adjust.) I have to be on campus at 8 am or 8:30 am everyday this semester, so my wake up schedule needs to be heavily reconfigured. Another important thing to adjust in your schedule before your first day of classes is your eating schedule. I have been indulging myself in loads of sugar and fats this break, and I know once school starts up my brain will be sludge if I continue this habit. The rest of this week will be committed to me adjusting back to my regular eating habits.
Get your brain back into school mode.
Even if you really don’t want to go back, it is oh so important to get back into deeper thinking and reading. I love to read, so I ripped through a memoir over break (The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – I highly recommend it!!) and reenergized my brain this way. By the end of the semester I hate doing readings and I swear my brain stops being able to read by December! Reading for fun helped me launch my brain into not only deeper thinking but back into enjoying reading. I also have been keeping the creative juices flowing over break which helps me adapt to classes better (at least that’s what I think – I don’t have any scientific proof or anything). So go read a few articles or write in a journal before the end of break – get back to actually thinking!
Keep the feeling of “relaxation” nearby.
This is something I am striving to get better at. I get stressed so easily. As break quickly ends, it is important to remember that you did relax, and that there will be relaxation in the future. During the semester I try to do a few things that bring me joy and relaxation to keep me from getting too stressed – girls’ night, shopping, photo sessions, date nights, and so on! Remember those things you did for weeks over break? Do those once in awhile during the semester to keep your sanity!
The start of Spring semester is just after New Years’. Many people make resolutions about leading healthier lifestyles by eating better or losing weight, about saving money, about traveling, etc. Make goals at the beginning of the semester just like you do at the start of the new year. Also, don’t just think up goals and say you did this. WRITE THEM DOWN. I don’t care if it’s on a sticky note or in the back of a book. Writing them down will help you remember them better. I used to write them on a sticky note and keep them in my journal, that way whenever I wrote down important life events, I was driven by what I wanted to accomplish. Now I write pretty strictly on here and not much else. My goals for this semester: stay ahead on homework (no late assignments), study for tests before the night before (start at least one week in advance), take breaks before I need them (don’t drown from stress and frustration), and do homework on the weekends. These goals offer time frames and specifics – that is what makes them achievable! Set some achievable goals for yourself!
I hope these five tips to preparing yourself for a successful semester help you be a good student! Let me know if you have any other ways you prepare for second semester in the comments below! I would also love to hear your second semester goals in the comments below too.