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Seven ways to make the most of your spring semester
The beginning of spring semester in chilly Hamden at Quinnipiac University can be a difficult start for some. The weather is still cold, the holidays are still lingering and the thought of another academic workload isn’t always appealing. On the other hand, most students return from winter break with an excitement to return to the life they know here at school. Whether you decide to finally fit in time for the gym, force yourself to go spend an afternoon with Arnold so you actually get work done, or if you want to have a completely new experience, this is the time to do it. Here are seven tips to make the most of your spring semester.
1. Stay organized: Nothing says a new semester like buying new notebooks and folders and making the age-old commitment that this will be semester that you actually stay organized. Keeping your notes in one place will make studying for exams easier and keep stress levels down. Not only should you keep your school life in order, but keeping your room neat will make daily life easier and stress-free. Knowing exactly where that English book is that you need to bring to class may mean that you can get an extra five minutes of sleep. Time management is also a key component of staying organized. Spending two straight hours on Facebook is a waste of time. Do homework instead, and the stress will melt faster than the snow in springtime (hopefully!).
2. Sleep: Sometimes staying up until the wee hours of the morning seems fun at the time, but you will immediately regret that decision when you wake up. Sleep is not only necessary to keep your focus so you can do work, but it will keep you sane in the long run. Living with roommates and being in tight quarters can start to wear at your nerves, and sleep will keep that in check. Pointless freak-outs will only make situations worse and are often avoidable by getting enough sleep. Getting enough sleep will ward off any potential illness and it will keep you mentally in check too.
3. Stay on top of your work: While putting off those 10-page reading assignments might not seem like the end of the world at first, after a few days and a few more assignments, things start to quickly pile up and you will become overly stressed. Sitting down and actually doing the readings will pay off in the long run. Putting aside a half-hour here or there to do one of your assignments will alleviate stress and result in better grades.
4. Make use of office hours: Believe it or not, professors are there for you. They want you to succeed and do all that they can to make that available and known to their students. Being able to simply walk into your professor’s office and sit down and ask any questions you have is the quickest and easiest solution to any academic confusion you may have. They will really get to know you and know that you care about your grade.
5. Take advantage of excused absences: Professors give those for a reason. They understand that sometimes you just need a mental health day or you sometimes need to finish assignments for other classes. Excused absences are gifts that should be used and not abused.
6. Branch out: New semesters are a chance to be a new person. Go out and let yourself do all those things that you said you would do last semester but then never actually did. If there is a club you want to be a part of or an event that grabs your attention, you should definitely get involved. Just because you were part of this club or that organization last semester does not mean you have limited yourself forever. Getting involved in something will lead to meeting new people, and you can never have too many friends. It also will help build your growing resumé for future employers.
7. Plan a weekend getaway: The start of a new semester leaves many open weekends and time to fill. As a reward for all your hard work, plan a weekend away with your friends as a mid-semester pick-me-up. A night in the city or even just at someone’s house could be just the thing that will get you through those all-nighters. The key to healthy living is balance and moderation, so include some leisure time amongst all your hard work.