5 Ways To Start This Semester Off Right

by Ayanna Jacobs-El

After summer break it can be difficult to get back into the groove of college life. Getting used to new classes and teachers can be a big challenge with the addition of staying on top of your homework, projects, a job, and a social life – you might begin to feel overwhelmed right at the beginning of the year! To help avoid feeling stressed and unprepared for the obstacles of the semester I’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to get your semester off to a great start!

1. Create a list of SMART goals that you want to achieve this semester.

Instead of arbitrarily setting a goal, come up with a list of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. By putting more thought into and listing the exact steps of how you plan to obtain your goals, you are more likely to follow through with and achieve them. It’s also a great idea to let a friend or family member know about your SMART goals so that they can help motivate you.

2. Get your health and wellness in check.

A healthy mind and body is the foundation for having a positive and successful semester. Take some time to figure out how many hours of sleep you need each night to feel your best and stick to your sleeping routine. It also helps if you give yourself a specific bedtime and wakeup time to get your body on a sleeping cycle. In addition to getting a good night’s rest, come up with an exercise and healthy eating plan. This can be as simple as doing something active for at least 30 minutes each day and drinking more water and eating more fruits and veggies.

3. Join a club and/or volunteer.

Once the semester gets into full swing it’s easy to get engrossed in your work and set in a mundane routine. Start out this semester by finding an on or off-campus club that caters to your interests or something you are interested in learning more about. You could also volunteer for a cause or an organization you care about. Both of these are a great ways to meet new people, add some excitement to your life, and volunteering is such a rewarding and important way to give back.

4. Establish a budget for yourself.

For many students, college is really the first time that they are in charge of their own finances. It’s easy to overspend on eating out and entertainment. A good way to make sure that you are living within your means is to setup a weekly budget. I have an excel spreadsheet that is divided into categories so that I can keep track of what I buy each day. For an added bonus, cut back on your spending and save your extra money to a savings account.

5. Setup a time management game plan.

A good thing to do right at the beginning of the semester is to figure out which classes are going to be your most difficult and time consuming and set aside designated work/study times for all of your classes to avoid procrastination. You can also set aside times for other things you want to do like exercise, relax, and work on non-school related projects.




About the Author

Ayanna Jacobs-El
Ayanna Jacobs-El is a composer, producer, songwriter, singer, alto and baritone saxophonist, and DJ dual majoring in Contemporary Writing and Production and Professional Music with a minor in Writing for TV and New Media. You can learn more about Ayanna and hear her music by visiting www.ayannajacobsel.com.