Winter break has come to an end and school is ready to welcome you back, but are you ready to go back? To help you get ready, here are some things to keep in mind:
First things first, get everything you need together. Supplies are quite crucial. Double check to make sure that you have all the stationary you need such as blank/lined paper, pens, pencils, erasers and a calculator. Also make sure that you have a reliable way of backing up all your work. The last thing you want to happen is to loose everything! Common ways to do that include: external hard drives, USBs and cloud back up. If you have a Gmail account you already have a Google Drive account which provides you with 15 GB of storage. If you need more storage, Dropbox and One Drive are also a reliable services. However if what you want to back up something is more personal, give SpiderOak a try. They pride themselves in providing a secure way of keeping your data away from internal or external hackers.
Re-establishing your old school routines or starting new ones
Again, depending on how you did the previous semester you may want to either re-establish your old routine or change it up a bit. First thing to focus on would be the efficiency of your work routine. An easy way to find out if you need to alter it is to look back and count the number of all-nighters you had to do last semester. If it seems like too many, maybe you’re not optimizing how you work. A common way to increase your efficiency would be to work on assignment/study during breaks between classes. It may seem insignificant, but if you add up the minutes/hours you spent at the library or computer lab you’ll see it adds up. Another important tip is to prioritize your time well. When it comes to studying, sometimes it’ll be better to study independently than with a group and vice versa. If you see you can’t focus so well at home, try going to the library. In the end, try and work as effectively as you can. “They say time is money but really it’s not, if we ever go broke then time is all we’ve got” (As said by J.Cole in ‘Mr. Nice Watch’)
After school plans and extracurriculars
Try and keep somewhat of a flexible schedule so that you can afford to go talk to a professor or a TA after school or go see a movie with some friends once in a while. Balance is key and focusing too much on studying can just mean you burn out faster. Also try joining a club if you haven’t already. It might seem counterintuitive to add more work to your plate, but finding a club you like can be rewarding and help keep you from burning out. It may even save you time in the long run.
This is the big one on the list and is most likely the most difficult to make stick. No matter how you did last semester (unless you somehow got perfect in all your classes) you have some room to improve. As cheesy as it sounds, and as often as you heard it from countless lame quotes, self-betterment first and foremost starts with you. Other people telling you the right advice won’t mean anything if you don’t internalize it. You have to find some inner motivation to accomplish your goal. What personally helped me was treating school like a job. This meant that just like in a professional setting, I couldn’t be late for classes and I had to try my best at whatever I was assigned. This helped me to reach the goals I set for myself, in terms of GPA. Find what motivates you and make the most of it.
Ultimately, this article aims to help you analyze yourself as objectively as possible and to try and help you better enjoy the coming semester. It’s hard to keep a balance between somewhat good grades, a social life, some sleep and other things but try and look at where you stand and see if anything needs fine-tuning.