By the beginning of February, New Year’s Resolutions have either been made a permanent part of your lifestyle, or been broken. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Everyone jokes and says “New semester, new me”, but, there’s really no better time to start forming habits that will allow you to be more successful, less stressed, and better prepared for an upcoming semester. These are some super easy, and pretty simple things you can do to be a more mindful student that will have a lasting effect on your time in college.
Because classes are often spaced out throughout the day, it can be hard to sit down and actually get work done. There’s always something more interesting to do, whether it be scrolling through social media, grabbing food at the Cabaret with friends, or even taking a nap. Before you know it, it’s nine o’clock and you’ve got two chapters of Bio to read and a 4-page paper to write. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather watch Netflix or hit the hay than do homework at that time. An easy solution to late night cramming is to plan out your assignments for the week, as a lot of professors list everything due over the course of the semester in the syllabus. Plan to do quicker assignments when you have an hour break between classes and save the longer, more tedious ones for when you have more time. Keeping a planner that details daily, weekly, and long-term assignments are great ways to stay on top of all the work that needs to get done during the semester. It may seem like a lot of planning at first, but this planning will allow you to spend less time cramming in the end. Procrastination may be inevitable, but at least you can plan your procrastination instead of letting it all sneak up on you. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to get to bed early, do something other than sleep and homework over the weekend, or raise your GPA.
One of the amazing things about Naz and how small it is, is that you are likely to have multiple classes with the same students from semester to semester, inside and outside of your major, so why not reach out and have a conversation with them? This may seem like an easy or basic thing to do, but often we get wrapped up in our own work, social media, or the course itself, and forget to make connections with those around us. Before you even start classes at Nazareth, you’ll meet a lot of your future peers on tours and at Naz Bound Days, and you might just find one of them sitting next to you in the fall. Reaching out means you might make a new study buddy, roommate, or friend!
Once the semester gets into full swing, I find it easy to drink more cups of coffee during the day than water. During the spring semester especially, sickness spreads quickly and is hard to shake, and the dorms are hot and dry with the heat on full blast. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially with water, in order to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
Finding a balance between work and relaxing or finding time for yourself is also key, and putting your hypothetical foot down to find that balance is easiest in the beginning of the semester. Living in a suite, we always have extra people in our room, and sometimes it can be difficult to get work done or get to bed at a reasonable time. Setting boundaries with your friends and roommates about having people over, playing loud music, and basic nighttime and morning routine things are key to staying healthy and doing well in all aspects while at school.
Putting your best foot forward at the beginning of a semester, or at least within the first few weeks, is important and key to being successful, and with each new year and new semester, you get another chance to strive to make this one the best it can be. Never be afraid to set new challenges, goals, and expectations for yourself – you’ll be amazed by all you can do!