There’s something about starting a new semester that feels refreshing. Maybe it’s the chance to start over, the promise of new adventures, or a different set of classes to learn from, but starting a new semester is like a new beginning. Whether this is your first or last semester, it never hurts to be prepared for what lies ahead.

Register for Classes

Registering for classes takes time, so it can be helpful to look up class times, professors, and class reviews before the registration period opens. When you are registering for classes, keep in mind how many credits you need to take, what other responsibilities you’ll have on your plate, and the expected class load so you can create a schedule that works for you. Remember, take classes at times when you’ll actually go to them! Don’t take a 7:45 a.m. class if you are notorious for oversleeping.

Plan Logistics

While your classes are one logistic to plan, you also need to keep in mind your food, budget, transportation, and living plans. Your living plans are one of the most important logistics—after all, you are going to need a place to sleep, eat, do homework and socialize. Some students live in dorms, sorority/fraternity houses, or in an apartment. Some apartments, like American Avenue, offer different apartment layouts and amenities for their tenants. Make a list of what you want in a “house” before you decide where to live.

Invest in a Planner and Fill It Out

Planners are awesome for visualizing your tasks and prioritizing. Before the semester starts, read through each class syllabus and mark important days like midterms, finals, and project due dates. Color coding can help things pop and give you an excuse to buy a pen in every single color.

Take Inventory of What You’ll Need for a New Semester

If this isn’t your first semester, chances are you still have some folders, binders, and a backpack laying around from last semester. If they are still in good condition, reuse them! There’s no point in buying more supplies you already have, and trust me, you’ll need to save the money. Once you know what you need, then purchase it.

Make A Packing List

You don’t need to pack your entire high school bedroom and bring it to college with you. Your stuff probably won’t all fit and you need to share that space with a roommate. Making a packing list can help you make sure that you are bringing what you need, and nothing extra.

Set Semester Goals

Making goals can help keep you focused on the new semester and do your best. Try making a personal goal, a school goal, and a social goal. Maybe you want to work out three times a week during the semester, get an A in the class everyone dreads, or find an intramural team to play with. Setting goals will help you focus not only on school but on yourself.

Find Ways to Have “Me Time”

College is stressful. As fun as it is to live on your own and learn new things, there are late nights, big projects, and group assignments that will make you want to rip your hair out. Have a stress-management plan and know what methods you can take to relax. For some that’s taking a bath, going for a run, watching a show, or reading a book. Having a stress-management plan helps keep you balanced and focused more on your goals than the trifle details.

Get That Degree

College is jam-packed with new adventures, classes, and stress, but being prepared can help you stay focused on what is important—getting that degree. Take the time before each semester to prepare for what’s ahead.

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