9 Smart Ways to Prepare for a Successful Semester

Students Studying Outside Around the Fountain
Are you ready for your next semester, Bearcats? The next round of courses is set to begin very soon – now is your chance to prepare yourself for your most successful semester yet! All you need to do is plan a little bit, and you’ll be able to make your dreams and goals a reality! Here are 9 ways you can do just that:

Read Your Class Syllabi

Your professors take the time to plan, write, and submit their plans for the courses they teach. Do your due diligence and read your syllabi before classes begin. Take note of any due dates for assignments, papers, and exams that might appear on the syllabi as well. Once you’re done, be sure to save your syllabi by either saving them to a specified folder on your computer or by printing them out and storing them in a designated folder.

Make Your Class Schedule

Now that you have your classes all sorted out and your syllabi read, it’s time to create your schedule for the semester. Include all of your classes and extracurricular activities you’ll be participating in throughout the week such as sports, work, internships, volunteering, etc. This will help you greatly when it comes to managing your time throughout the semester. After you create your schedule, print it out and post it on your wall, or write it all down on a monthly dry-erase calendar. Don’t forget to communicate to your family, friends, or roommates what your semester will look like as well!

Set Up Your Calendar

Remember how we said that your syllabi could contain important dates for assignments, projects, tests, and papers? Find those dates and put them in your calendar ASAP! You can use an old-school planner or try out an app on your phone. One benefit to using your phone: you could set up reminders to alert you of an assignment a few days before it’s due!

Don’t Overload Yourself

Worried you might be taking on too much? See what you can cut back on before the semester begins. If you have more credit hours or an internship this time around, you might not be able to be as involved with some of your clubs. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin!

Female Student Studying Outside with Textbook
Get Your Textbooks Now

There’s nothing worse than starting off a brand-new semester without the textbooks you need to ace your classes. Without the right books, you will find yourself falling behind before you even have the chance to start. Don’t wait until it’s too late – check your handy syllabi for the books you’ll need now and purchase them right away! Find yours at the bookstore or snag second-hand editions from older students well before classes begin.

Replenish Your School Supplies

Take a quick inventory of your supplies. Do you need new notebooks, pencils, or planners? Make a list of everything you’ll need for your upcoming semester and procure those items before classes start. Get everything set and organized so that you’re ready to tackle whatever comes your way in your classes!

Clean Up and Organize Your Workspace

A clean, organized desk or workspace can help you in the concentration department when it comes to writing papers, working on assignments, and studying for exams. Establish your very own workspace – whether it’s the desk in your dorm or your kitchen table at home – and get it ready for the new semester. A good wipe-down and time taken to straighten up your materials will work wonders, trust us!

Use a Time Management System

Time management may be the greatest challenge you’ll face as a college student. It’s imperative that you find a way to manage your time now if you want to have a successful semester (and college career). There are plenty of time management systems you can try out for free, or you can go old school and use an agenda or wall calendar.

Female Student Reading a Book Outside
Remember to Make Time for You

You’re here at McKendree to get a high-quality educational experience and earn your degree. But take it from us – while you need to dedicate plenty of time to your studies, you absolutely should make time for yourself as well. Get enough shut-eye, eat balanced meals, stay hydrated, get in a good sweat session most days of the week, and make time for your friends, hobbies, and relaxation. Learning to balance your time, de-stress, and enjoy life is crucial for success both now and after your college life!

Get hyped, Bearcats – the new semester is nearly here! Keep these handy tips in your back pocket to help you have your best semester yet. With a solid plan, a little preparation, a good attitude, and a little bit of grit, you can achieve anything!