Well, we continue to plug along with classes. Make sure that as you are working through the semester you keep the following things in mind.
- Make sure to manage your time well – there are a lot of assignments that will be due throughout the semester. Don’t get bogged down with them. Breaking them into smaller chunks and working on pieces at a time will help you use the smaller pockets of time you have available during the week. This is especially true when you begin studying for your exams. It may be better to study your material for an hour at three different times during the week than to wait and study the material in one three-hour chunk.
- Make sure you seek help when needed – no one is going to double check that you are clear on a concept or topic in your class work or in your readings. Make sure to ask lots of questions in class, see your professors during their office hours or ask your friends for help. Being proactive about this can save you a lot of confusion when it comes to studying for your exams and finishing other class assignments.
- Know your resources – seek out your professors and classmates. They are your first resource to understanding the material you are studying. Also, ask about setting up a formal tutoring arrangement with students who have already taken the class. The first place to check is with your instructors. They will be able to recommend students who have done well in their class during a prior semester. Seek them out sooner rather than later if you need help!
- Beware of the illusion of “free time” – returning students know all about this: the temptation to see that there is not much to do on the syllabi for your classes, and then assume that you have all the time in the world to go and play. Some professors will have big assignments looming in the coming weeks, like papers or exams. Waiting to work on them until the week that they are due is setting yourself up for disaster. Always have a 2-3 week focus. Look at what is due this week but be aware of what is coming in the next 2-3 weeks as well. This will help you to recognize the difference between the illusion of free time and actual free time.
- Don’t be fooled by lots of vacation days! – Spring semester may seem fairly simple because there are long weekends, Spring Break and Easter, but it’s also a very busy semester. The time seems to pass quicker than in the fall but you have just as many assignments and exams. Spring is also when activities kick into full gear. You may end up doing construction over Spring Break in Mexico for Potters Clay and singing in Spring Sing. All of the Spring opportunities are great, but be sure to account for the time they will consume.
- Make sure to have fun – stress relief is huge during the semester so make sure to schedule in some fun. But be reasonable. Going to a movie at the theater might not be the best use of time since it takes a while to travel to the theater, get your seat, see the movie and come home. But watching a movie in your friend’s room might be ok. Spending four hours on Facebook might not be a good option, but spending 20 minutes there catching up with friends and family might work within your day quite well. So be smart in how you choose your stress relievers.
Best of luck to you all as you conquer the next few weeks!
Assistant Registrar & Academic Advising Coordinator