Getting back in the groove

Photo Credit: John Farrell MacDonald/Flickr

Photo Credit: John Farrell MacDonald/Flickr

Is school actually back in session? The answer is yes, unfortunately you are required to go back to school and take on a whole new roster of classes after a sweet five-week Winter break of nothing but relaxing, traveling, and hanging with family and friends.

It may seem like too soon but the beginning of the semester gives each student at USD the opportunity to start fresh, make new goals, grow a little bit, and get you one step closer to graduating.

Understandably, there is usually a bit of a struggle to hop right back into a full week of school. Students are frantically buying books, registering and re-registering for classes, crashing classes, trying to get organized, and simply reminding themselves that break is over and school is back in session. We’ve all be there and feel the pain of busyness and stress that school tends to bring with it, but it is important to take a moment or two (or three) and write down what you must do in order to have a successful yet fun semester.

Here are some free tips, strategies, and advice that will help you achieve greatness in school while balancing a million and one other things. Take it or leave it.

  1.     Get a planner and get organized. It is crucial to record and acknowledge upcoming assignments, papers, and tests. That way when the due date approaches, you are prepared and finished rather than crying and cramming in the library at the last minute.
  2.     Find out where you have free time in your busy school schedule to do what makes you happy or calms you down. Exercise, grocery shop, chill out and watch Netflix, craft or paint, catch up on free reading, or anything that appeals to you and takes some stress away from school related issues.
  3.     Pay attention. Listen and observe those around you, specifically in class. Understanding and hearing what your peers and teachers have to say is important. Instead of distracting yourself on your computer or smartphone, you will find that it is far more beneficial for yourself and others if you are present in the moment. You might even get more out of the class than you originally thought.
  4.     Be true to yourself. It may sound corny but it is important. If a class or teacher is truly unappealing to you, drop it and add something that fits your style; just make sure to do it promptly so that you don’t miss out on too much. Also, continue to be kind to others but also yourself. Give yourself time to relax if you’re feeling overwhelmed and remember there are countless resources on campus that are meant to help out if you are feeling to anxious or overworked.
  5.     Eat healthy and get those ZZZ’s. Research shows that students who get more than seven hours of sleep at night in addition to eating well and exercising regularly, overall perform better in school and can function properly throughout the day without getting tired.

These five tips will likely get you the perfect head start for a great semester. We have sunny days, good waves, music shows, and much more to look forward to this spring but it is all so much sweeter with a legitimate plan and organization.