How to plan for a successful semester

Goal setting, class materials and campus resources can aid your success

The holidays are over and everybody is trying to adjust to the new schedule that we have now. For some, this is their first semester while others are returning to continue from where they ended last semester. Either way, we all want to end up finishing this semester successfully. There are some ways we can plan to have a successful semester.

1) Planning – Yes, you need to plan. This is the first week of resumption and professors are already giving out the syllabus and stating the do’s and don’ts for class. Note the due dates for assignments, exams and other activities that are stated in the syllabus and what the professor says about class in your planner. This will help you keep track of what you are supposed to do for that class and also help you be more productive. In order to do this, you have to go to class and try to be present at all class periods. Most times, professors say things that can help you in the class, information that might not be on D2L, so make sure to attend class.

2) Books and other class materials – Usually, at the beginning of class, professors talk about the essential materials that are needed for their course; the earlier you get these items, the better. Sometimes, you may not need to buy them, especially textbooks; most textbooks are available in the library and you can check them out to study or do your class assignments. Now is the best time to get all you may need for your class.

3) What are your goals? We just entered a new year and most of us must have set our New Year’s resolution. It’s one thing to set them, but another to take it a step further and accomplish them. What are your goals for this semester and how can you accomplish them? The beginning of the semester is the best time to sit and think of what you want to accomplish this semester, how you can accomplish them and what resources are around you that you can usitlize to help reach your goal. Think about your other semesters: what did you do wrong or right? What method has helped you to succeed?

4) School resources – There are some resources around school that are in place to help you succeed. There is the Tutoring Center and the Writing Center to name a few; utilizing these resources can make you successful this semester. Do not forget to use office hours. The professors here at MNSU are here to help you, so it is beneficial for you to utilize their office hours.

5) Start studying now – Studying before and after class is a good way to prepare for upcoming exams. This will help you understand the course material. Do not wait for a few days before the exams to study. And don’t wait until finals week to try and push your grades up; start now. Also, take opportunities to gain extra credit when you can; those little points may help.

6) Stay healthy – It can be hard to find time to prepare healthy meals and exercise which could lead many students to rely on junk food. Try to find a day in the week to prepare some healthy meals and to exercise. This will help reduce stress and burn out.

7) Monitor and evaluate – How am I doing? Am I learning anything so far? How are my grades; are they what I planned to get? Am I studying right? Am I putting as much effort in what I am supposed to? It goes a long way to monitor and evaluate your progress; you will know where you need to improve and how productive you have been.

8) Be positive – Try to keep away from negative thoughts because it only brings you down. Keep a positive mind and work hard to achieve your goals that you planned for this semester.

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